Lula Arrives in China to Strengthen Brazil’s Ties With Largest Trading Partner
Orinoco Tribune, April 13, 2023 —
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrived in China to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations and signing new trade agreements with Brazil’s largest trading partner.
Brazilian outlet G1 reported that Lula landed in the city of Shanghai around 10:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. Brasília time) on Wednesday, April 12. The journey from Brazil lasted approximately 30 hours.
The Brazilian government noted that China represents “one of the most important state visits since the beginning of [Lula’s] third term,” which is why he is accompanied by a delegation made up of businessmen, governors, senators, deputies, and ministers.
“The objective of the Brazilian government is to relaunch relations with what has been the country’s main trading partner since 2009,” Planalto explained. “In 2022, China imported more than $89.7 billion in Brazilian products, particular soybeans and minerals, and exported almost $60.7 billion for the Brazilian market.”
Lula, who is making his third visit to China as president – the first in 2004, and the second in 2009 – had planned to travel to China at the end of March, but had to suspend the trip due to health reasons. At that time, part of the delegation did travel to the Asian nation, and accomplished important goals, notably in areas of agriculture and livestock.
During the visit, Presidents Lula and Xi are expected to formalize about 20 bilateral agreements in various fields, including tourism, food, environment, science and technology, aerospace, and finance, among others. Additionally, it is predicted that the countries will agree to carry out transactions directly with the Brazilian real and the Chinese yuan, in order to advance the de-dollarization process and facilitate trade between the two.
According to the schedule disclosed by Planalto, the official agenda of the Brazilian delegation begins on Thursday, April 13, with a visit to Shanghai, where Lula will participate in the inauguration of Dilma Rousseff to the presidency of the New Development Bank of the BRICS (economic bloc formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
Later that day, the Brazilian president will hold meetings with various businessmen, and will travel to Beijing overnight. On Friday, in the Chinese capital, Lula will meet with the chairman of the National People’s Congress, Zhao Leji, in the Great Hall of the People, and will then carry flowers at a ceremony held at the Square of Heavenly Peace.
In the afternoon, Lula will meet with union leaders and then return to the Great Hall of the People, where he will meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, and will later be received in an official arrival ceremony by President Xi Jinping.
Together with Xi, Lula will publicly sign bilateral agreements, and then hold a private meeting, followed by a gift exchange ceremony, photo session, and an official dinner to conclude the visit.
Before returning to Brazil, Lula plans to make a stop in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, for an official visit on Saturday, April 15.