Brazil, China discuss BRICS expansion, climate change, and investment
This marks Lula's third major foreign trip, having previously visited Argentina and the United States, especially as China is Brazil's largest trading partner.
After Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ended his visit to China from April 11 to 14 and met with high-ranking Chinese officials and Chinese President Xi Jinping, deals with Beijing were signed and discussions were made on science, education, and technology - and expanding BRICS.
A statement on the Brazilian Foreign Ministry website said: "They [Brazil and China] supported the promotion of active discussions amongst BRICS members on the BRICS expansion process and stressed the need to clarify the guiding principles, norms, criteria, and procedures for this expansion process based on broad consultation and consensus."
This comes as a number of nations show interest in joining the bloc made of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and these countries include Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
The Chinese government suprised Lula during his official welcoming ceremony with a rendition of Ivan Lins' 1980 song of resistence against the US-backed, authoritarian Brazilian military dictatorship: Um Novo Tempo (A New Era) + pic.twitter.com/yGsqSl15U6— BrianMier (@BrianMteleSUR) April 14, 2023
On the Chinese-Brazilian agenda was fighting climate change and tackling biodiversity loss.
The statement further added: "Bearing in mind that the effects of climate change are already being unequivocally felt, Brazil and China have decided to strengthen their cooperation in the area of environmental protection, combating climate change and the loss of biodiversity, promoting sustainable development and ways to speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy."
To ensure the goals are achieved, both nations agreed to establish the Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change within the Sino-Brazilian High-Level Commission for Consultation and Cooperation.
"Both parties recognized the high potential for investment and cooperation between the two countries in the area of transport infrastructure, including railways, and confirmed that continued sustainable economic and social development depends on efficient transport infrastructure," the statement continued.
Both countries also agreed to encourage Chinese and Brazilian firms to pursue reciprocal investments in infrastructure, mining, agriculture, high technology industry, logistics, and energy.
This marks Lula's third major foreign trip, having previously visited Argentina and the United States. China is Brazil's largest trading partner and key to Lula's ambitions to re-establish the South American giant on the global geopolitical stage.
Speaking on the eve of his departure to China, the Brazilian President said he would invite his Chinese counterpart to Brazil.
"I am going to invite Xi Jinping to come to Brazil, for a bilateral meeting, to get to know Brazil, to show him the projects that we have of interest for Chinese investment," Lula said in an interview with state-owned broadcasting company EBC, pointing out that he is planning to "consolidate" the relationship with China.
Last week, China hosted a forum for 500 Brazilian and Chinese business people that resulted in the signing of more than 20 cooperation agreements.
One of those was to allow business transactions between the two countries to be carried out in reais and yuan rather than US dollars. Bilateral trade between the two countries reached a record of more than $150 billion in 2022.
Brazil was also the main destination for Chinese investment in Latin America from 2007 to 2020, worth $70 billion according to the Brazil-China Business Council.