President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva started a series of meetings in Shanghai, China, this Thursday (13th) with businessmen and political leaders. The city has a population of 26 million and is the most populous urban area in China. The Brazilian head of government left the city and was expected to arrive in the capital, Beijing, at 9:30 am. According to a press office for the presidency, Lula has just left Shanghai airport and has not yet landed in the capital.
Of the appointments in Shanghai, the highlight was the visit to the development center of the technology giant Huawei. The company, as Lula himself informed on Twitter, gave a presentation on 5G and solutions in telemedicine, education and connectivity. “A very strong investment in research and innovation”, he commented.
The contact of the Brazilian head of government with Huawei – as well as the expectation of signing bilateral agreements involving the company – has great political, as well as economic, significance. The Brazilian government has already signed an agreement with the company, which undertakes to collaborate for the expansion of the internet in the country, guaranteeing digital inclusion even in Brazilian schools.
Huawei was the focus of a “war” between the United States and China in 2020, when the administration of Donald Trump accused Beijing of “exploiting US capital” to modernize its military, intelligence and security apparatus, according to the American president at the time. The “war” revolved around the 5G system, and the Americans tried, but failed, to destroy Huawei.
Factory in Camaçari
The Brazilian president also met with the CEO of electric vehicle company BYD, Wang Chuanfu. The company produces electric buses and negotiates an electric car factory in Camaçari, Bahia. The expectation is that BYD will take over the Polo Automotivo in that region, occupied by Ford until 2021, when the American automaker announced the end of car production in Brazil and laid off about 4 thousand workers in the region.
Lula also met, in Shanghai, with the chairman of the Board of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), Wang Tongzhou. The company is the largest in the Chinese civil construction sector. In Brazil, it invests in infrastructure works, such as the construction of the Salvador-Itaparica bridge.
At the meeting, accompanied by ministers of state and governors who are in the delegation, the president of the CCCC expressed his desire to increase cooperation between Brazilian and Chinese companies. Wang proposed the creation of direct exchange mechanisms between the yuan (Chinese currency) and the real, to facilitate financial transactions between the two countries.
The Brazilian president also had an audience with the secretary general of the Communist Party in Shanghai, Chen Jining, and attended a dinner hosted by the leader.