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Brazil China Fever

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Published on Feb 4, 2010

2004-2005 was the time when the growth of China visibly impacted on Brazil. This piece analysis the opportunities brought by this new reality.

Synopsis: There's a new sense of economic optimism in Brazil which has not been seen in many years. Growth, for example, was over 5 percent last year. Some would say it is due to the vision of President Lula da Silva, elected in 2004; much of it has been attributed to China's own economic surge. What opportunities are there for the largest economic power in South America to cooperate with the Asian giant - and what are the challenges and risks presented by China' status? Brazil has long been called "the country of the future" and many Brazilians have joked "it always will be." But by last year, Brazil was on the road to recovery and again attracting attention from international investors - who are also targeting China. Ironically, China's own development has been a major source of growth for Brazil. The Brazilian economy is hugely complimentary with China's hunger for food products and raw materials. Brazil's exports to China soared an astonishing 500 percent from 2000-2003. There are also opportunities for Brazilian business in the field of aerospace, with China launching Brazilian satellites and Brazil building passenger jets in northeast China. President Lula's visit to China in May, 2004, reciprocated by President Hu Jintao's visit to Brazil last November highlighted the significance of the new relationship. Yet there are major questions for Brazil, including can the export boom last? How big a challenge is the growing integration between China and the U.S.? Is Brazil becoming too dependent on China? Can Brazil resolve its own pressing domestic economic problems? Above all, can Brazil learn from China, or will it fail to take advantage of its current potential?

This short documentary was part of the project we did in 2005 with Fundação Dom Cabral ( fdc.org.br ). We shot this piece for World Business Magazine, which is distributed worldwide (PBS, CNBC ASIA).

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