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Brazil`s Lula, on China visit, secures 13 deals

BEIJING -- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spent his second day in Beijing in meetings with Chinese leaders Tuesday, which analysts said will cement bilateral partnership.

Lula da Silva was welcomed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and a 21-gun military salute at Tian`anmen Square, festooned with the national flags of China and Brazil.

Brazil`s Lula, on China visit, secures 13 deals
Chinese President Hu Jintao (center L) and Brazil`s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva inspect an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Tuesday May 19, 2009. [Agencies]

Following an honor guard reception at the square, Hu and Lula da Silva talked for an hour in the Great Hall of the People.

"The two leaders reached wide consensus on deepening bilateral strategic partnership and decided to start to formulate a Joint Action Plan," said the statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry after the talks.

Lula da Silva said the Joint Action Plan "will lay the new foundations to an expanded cooperation for 2010-2014."

Hu and Lula da Silva witnessed the signing of 13 cooperative agreements in oil, equipment, financing, loan, science, space, law, port, agricultural products, among others.

On the oil front, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Brazilian Oil Corporation signed a contract on crude oil trade and a memorandum of understanding.

China Development Bank also signed an agreement on loaning US$10 billion to Brazilian Oil Corporation.

China Development Bank and Brazilian Development Bank agreed on a framework deal of US$800 million credit extension loan.

In the talks, Hu reviewed the 35-year-long diplomatic ties between China and Brazil, particularly the period since both forged strategic partnership in 1993.

He said bilateral relations had fully advanced, citing frequent leaders` exchanges, a number of established mechanism.

"Our trade cooperation has expanded continuously as bilateral trade volume hit the target three years ahead of time," Hu said.

From 2006 to 2008, China-Brazil trade surged at an average annual growth of 50 percent and China replaced the United States as Brazil`s top trade partner last month.

Brazil`s Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Commerce said trade with China in April reached $3.2 billion, compared to $2.8 billion with the United States.

This was Lula da Silva`s second state visit to China since he assumed presidency in 2003.

Before his talks with Hu, Lula da Silva also met with Premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders in talks focused on boosting business with China and promoting closer cooperation to fight the global financial crisis.
Brazil`s Lula, on China visit, secures 13 deals
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) talks with Brazil`s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a meeting with at Zhongnanhai in Beijing May 19, 2009. [Agencies]

Lula da Silva began the day by opening a Brazilian studies center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country`s top research body.

"In 2009, China became Brazil`s first trading partner. Now we still face the challenge of exploring the full potential of investments that our economies can offer to each other," Lula da Silva told an audience of around 200 officials and scholars.

"During my current visit to Beijing, we have renewed our determination to keep strengthening the Brazil-China partnership," Lula da Silva said.

On Tuesday noon, together with more than 200 Brazilian and Chinese entrepreneurs, Lula da Silva addressed a business forum on how to explore the new opportunities facing both countries.

"President Lula da Silva could play as the best salesman of Brazil`s aircraft, bio-fuel engine, pork and beef, as well as other goods," said Chen Jiaying, a research fellow of the Beijing-based Xinhua Center for World Affairs Studies.

The analyst said the two states could explore more business opportunities in sea drill and energy projects in other countries.

As he leaves Beijing on Wednesday, Lula da Silva will also visit the Chinese Aerospace Technology Agency to underscore bilateral space cooperation.

Brazil`s Lula, on China visit, secures 13 deals
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Brazil`s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing May 19, 2009. [Agencies]
Date:2009-5-19 21:36:00     
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