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Chinese Wait for Signs of Bolsonaro to Define Investments

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China’s ambassador to Brazil, Li Jinzhang, met with President-elect Jair Bolsonaro at his home in Rio de Janeiro. There was no official statement of the visit. However, the Chinese are waiting for an official position of the Brazilian government to define future investments in the country.

Investment projects of Chinese companies in Brazil confirmed since 2003 represent contributions of US $54.1 billion, according to a Brazil Ministry of Planning bulletin last month, with other projects already announced in the period involving US $70.4 billion.

But Bolsonaro has on several occasions pointed to China as a predator that seeks to dominate important sectors of the Brazilian economy, which has ignited a warning signal in the Asian giant regarding new investments in the South American country.

After billionaire investments in Brazil in recent years, Chinese businessmen are “on hold” and await signs of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro before settling news business, the president of Brazil-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry told, Charles Tang.

“It’s not that business is being affected, they are just waiting,” said Tang, who advises a number of Chinese companies in transactions in Brazil. The official spoke by telephone directly from China.

The Brazil-China Chamber president cited Chinese CNPC’s negotiations with Petrobras to complete works at the Comperj refinery in Rio de Janeiro as an example of a business that could be affected if Brazil’s more aggressive stance was confirmed China.

The state company has signed with CNODC, a subsidiary of China’s CNPC, an agreement to complete work on the Comperj refinery, paralyzed since 2014 after reports of corruption revealed by authorities in Operation Lava Jato. The business still involves investments in the Marlim cluster, in the Campos Basin.

“President-elect Bolsonaro must understand that it is far better to end the Comperj than to let it rot … you have to thank God that the Chinese want to come to an end,” Tang said.

Bolsonaro received on Monday a group of Chinese, led by China’s ambassador to the country, Li Jinzhang. The meeting was attended by the economist Paulo Guedes, future Minister of Economy. The Chinese diplomat left the meeting without making any statement.