Brazil Opens Consulate-general in Chengdu

Brazil has opened a consulate-general in Chengdu to serve central and southwest China, the Brazilian embassy in Beijing announced, at a time when the two countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations.

This is the fifth Brazilian consulate in the Asian country and will cover the municipality of Chongqing and the provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Shaanxi, the first off the Chinese coast, where China’s main and most prosperous cities are concentrated.

The aim is to increase Brazil’s presence beyond the country’s coastline, both in terms of economic cooperation and consular assistance, facilitating the issuing of visas to Brazil, according to Brazilian diplomacy.

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With more than 20 million inhabitants, Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province and is particularly well known for its natural park which is home to more than 200 pandas, an animal that is a symbol of China and lives exclusively in this region.

The decision to strengthen Brazil’s diplomatic presence in China was taken in 2021, during the previous administration of Jair Bolsonaro, but the Chinese authorities approved it during the presidency of the current Brazilian leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

During Lula da Silva’s first two terms in office, between 2003 and 2011, the commercial and political relationship between Brazil and China intensified, marked in particular by the formation of the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, which also includes Russia, India and South Africa.

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Since 2009, China has been Brazil’s main trading partner, with bilateral trade rising from nine billion dollars (8.3 billion euros) in 2004 to 150 billion (139 billion euros) in 2022.

Brazil in particular plays an important role in China’s food security, making up more than 20% of the Asian country’s agricultural imports. China absorbs more than 30% of Brazil’s exports.

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