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Brazil’s economic transformation gathers momentum

View of the Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in Sao Paulo

Brazil’s largest investment partner, China, is set to play a major role in the nation’s economic transformation amid widespread structural reforms, and plans to privatize state-owned firms and boost infrastructure development

Investors are once again turning towards Brazil as the new Jair Bolsonaro-led government pushes ahead with reforms aimed at transforming the economy and boosting private investment.

After years of subdued growth since the 2015-2016 recession, the IMF has predicted that the structural reform agenda – which includes an overhaul of the tax and social security systems, a landmark pensions bill and measures to reduce the size of the government – could push GDP growth towards 2.4% in 2020.

A plan to privatize several state-owned companies, including power company Eletrobras, has also got investors bullish, while the stock market has been hitting new records amid a wave of initial public offerings.



209.3 million (2017)

GDP Growth 2019

(predicted): 0.9%

GDP Growth 2020

(estimated): 2.4%

China-Brazil bilateral trade

(2018): $98.9bn

Chinese FDI stock in Brazil

(2003-2018): $64.7bn

As Brazil’s most important trade and investment partner, China is set to play a major role in the nation’s economic transformation. Bilateral trade between the two countries hit a record $100bn in 2018, while Chinese investment, already estimated at over $60 billion, looks set to grow substantially on the back of Brazil’s infrastructure and privatization programs.

Major Chinese investors in Brazil include State Grid, which last year announced a $38bn investment in the power sector over five years, and construction firm CCCC, with many more set to follow suit as opportunities open up across the board.