Brazil courts Chinese investment in agricultural infrastructure

Electronic certification of meat export facilities on the bucket list
calendar icon 28 March 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazil is courting fresh investment from top Chinese grains trader COFCO, as the company plays a growing role in the South American nation's booming farm exports, Reuters reported, citing Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro on Monday.

Favaro proposed investing in Brazilian railways and waterways to COFCO's board during a meeting in Beijing last week, he said, as well as financing the restoration of farmland.

State-owned COFCO could not be reached for comment after business hours.

COFCO has already invested in Santos, Brazil's top soybean port, and is currently expanding its export terminal capacity to 14 million tonnes to help it feed China's voracious demand for soybeans.

But Brazil is also a new supplier of corn to China. COFCO was a key player in opening up the market late last year to Brazilian supplies, said Favaro, and behind the purchase of all 1.5 million tonnes of corn shipped to China so far.

Favaro travelled to Beijing last week, ahead of a planned visit by Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Lula cancelled his visit after falling ill with pneumonia but is expected to reschedule the trip in coming months.

China's customs authority approved four new Brazilian meat plants for export to the country during Favaro's visit.

More are expected in coming weeks, said Favaro, who was speaking through a translator, after a list of 50 more beef, pork and chicken facilities was presented with customs.

An agreement to allow for electronic certification of meat export facilities will be signed when Lula travels to Beijing, which will speed up approvals, added Favaro.

The minister plans to visit state-owned ChemChina's Syngenta laboratories on Tuesday to discuss gene editing.

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