Study analyzes the main lessons from the Belt and Road Initiative for Brazil

September 2019

Catavento aims to identify the main takeaways for infrastructure and energy investments in Brazil.


CEBRI’s – Brazilian Center for International Relations- Energy and Infrastructure Working Group, in partnership with Catavento, elaborated the white paper – “Belt and Road Initiative: Opportunities and Lessons for infrastructure and energy investments in Brazil”. The study is part of a broader document entitled “The state of the relationship, Belt and Road, and lessons for the future”, which also includes an article written by Ambassador Marcos Caramuru, Brazilian former ambassador in China and partner at KEMU Consultancy.

The study conducted by Catavento has benefited from interactions with specialists and desk research. Structured in four chapters, the study begins its analysis by focusing on China’s international expansion, as well as to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) development stages. In this context, the main criticisms faced by the initiative were identified: (i) the investments decision-making governance, (ii) the country members’ debt levels, and (iii) the environmental and social impacts of the Initiative.

The second chapter analyzed the critical aspects for Chinese investments in Brazil: the recent business environment reforms, the energy resource availability and competitiveness, and the opportunities in infrastructure sector. Taking into consideration the Chinese performance through the BRI, the next chapter identified potential aspects capable of influencing a new phase in Brazil-China relations, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. These aspects highlighted the existence of a solid capital market, which makes the country less dependent on external financing and the opportunities that may arise from Chinese technological expertise.

The fourth and last chapter promotes a reflection regarding the study and reaches the conclusion that there are multiple pathways for the relationship between the two countries, which do not necessarily require Brazil formally joining the BRI. China may seek a new international position making use of its expertise in innovation, technology, and sustainable development. As a result of the strengthening of the partnership, Brazil can leverage new investments in critical sectors, such as energy and infrastructure, as well as promote the country’s international insertion.

The full document can be downloaded here.



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