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Brazil is Strengthening African Economic Ties, Investments

The race to clinch African investment is not for China alone as more Brazilian companies are moving into Africa to cement economic ties with the continent’s emerging markets.

A couple of years back, world No2 miner, Vale, pitched its tent in Africa by exporting its first overseas coal shipment from Mozambique. It started with the exportation of 35,000 metric tons of thermal coal from the port of Beira to the United Arab Emirates – now Vale is aspiring to double its capacity to 22 million tons of coal annually over the next few years. The company plans to spend more than $12 billion across the continent over the next five years.

However, according to a CNN report, Vale is not the only Brazilian firm eyeing a spot on the continent as the South American giant’s state and private firms have quietly made inroads into the continent, operating mostly in strategic sectors such as infrastructure, energy and mining.
Other Brazilian companies that have pitched their tent in Africa include Odebrecht, Brazil’s biggest construction company, and Petrobras, a state-controlled energy group.

The relationship between Africa and Brazil dates back to the era of slave trade, and Brazilian leaders are quick to use the country’s cultural affinity with Africa as an advantage in its competition.

According to Cristina Stolte, researcher at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies, “The fact that the majority of Brazil’s population is of Afro-Brazilian origin – making Brazil the world’s largest black population after Nigeria – is frequently quoted by the almost exclusively white governing elite of Brazil in order to stress Brazil’s cultural similarities with the African countries.”

“Brazilian officials as well as businessmen frequently stress the aim of contributing to the development of African countries by pointing to the fact that Brazil is hiring and training local workforce and offering social projects to foster local development.”

Trade between Brazil and Africa has jumped from around $4 billion in 2000 to about $20 billion in 2010…

Read more: Ventures Africa


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