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China and Brazil progress tech partnerships

Long-term plans announced but no sign of imminent big-ticket investments
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

The cooperation between China and Brazil in the technology space is progressing -  but there is no sign of large imminent investments by large Chinese tech players in Brazil on the horizon. 

At a meeting of the China-Brazil High Level Commission for Co-ordination and Co-operation (COSBAN) in Guangzhou last week, the countries announced ten-year plans in areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and technology parks, as well as the continuity of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program, which will put its fourth satellite into orbit on December 9.

The Chinese government is also willing to increase the number of students in the Science without Borders programme and bring more Brazilian students to study tech-related subjects in China. Both countries also want to host a high-level dialogue on science and technology in Brazil, with the participation of political leaders and representatives of the scientific and business communities.

"We're getting on very well with the Chinese," Science and technology minister Marco Antonio Raupp commented after the meeting.

"Emerging markets trail the same path together and grow together," he added.

Despite the recent announcements, there used to be a lot more excitement about partnerships between China and Brazil in technology. Back in 2011, a single trade mission led by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff generated over $1bn in business agreements within the sector between both countries.

Deals at the time involved Chinese telco and network equipment firm ZTE for the construction of an $200m industrial park in the São Paulo city of Hortolândia and a $350m deal related to a R&D facility of telco giant Huawei, also in São Paulo.

Brazil has aggressively courted other Chinese manufacturers, cutting federal and state taxes on the production of tablet computers - Apple manufacturer Foxconn has invested a fair amount in its production plants in the country, though that is nothing near the $18bn the Brazilian government had originally hoped for.

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