Brazil’s Dilma eyes China

Ms. Dilma Rousseff plans to continue the political, social and economic policies of the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, especially as the majority of the population of Brazil liked Lula’s policies.  She will also push for greater state control of the economy, just as the former President was doing.

Continuing Lula’s policies will equally mean working very closely with member countries in the BRIC bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), with a special eye on China as a giant economic partner. The legacy left behind by the former president in relations with the BRIC bloc will be a huge determinant of the new female president’s international policy if success is to be guaranteed.


Rousseff, until her election had remained an insider of Lula’s workers’ party ever since she joined it on the eve of Lula’s election, after serving as energy secretary in Rio Grande do Sul.

Since the establishment of BRIC in 2001, economic cooperation between these countries is becoming more and more widely discussed.

President Lula da Silva’s administration aimed at diversifying Brazil’s trade and having more influence in the international arena.  In the process of reaching this goal, Lula’s administration always looked at China as a key business partner. Some analysts argue, however, that in recent times, the general situation has changed, because the Brazilian economy might have to face stronger Chinese competition. Trade between China and Latin America has grown ten-fold over the past decade.  Now it is worth over US$ 100 billion.


 However, China is much more significant to Latin America than the region is for China: Brazil, the largest exporter in the region to China, ranks fourteenth amongst China’s suppliers, while no other country in the region is in the top twenty import sources. Despite this fact, however, we should note that Brazil accounted for about 42 percent of China’s imports from Latin America.

To look at the big picture, over the past few years, Brazil and China’s macroeconomic developments have been interconnected.  The cooperation of two rapidly expanding economies in the world is very important.  This is, especially taking into account the increasing important role China’s economy plays in the world.

 Considering that Ms. Rousseff is planning to continue the current economic policy, and have quite strong government control of the economy, we can predict that the importance of economic connections between the countries will continue to play an important role.  China’s recent economic rise and its impact on Brazil have allowed Lula’s administration to raise Brazil’s status to that of a privileged partner.  This will happen especially in the case if there is greater diversification of Brazil’s export agenda to that company.  Continuing the existing economic policy will help further strengthen and develop ties between the two countries.

Ms. Rousseff is a former Marxist Guerilla who was tortured during the military dictatorship in Brazil in the 1960s. In electing Rousseff, voters sent a message that they support the governing Workers party, and want to give the current administration more time to broaden the existing policies which were set out by Silva’s administration. The economic policies implemented by the former president lifted many Brazilians out of poverty.

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