Volume 43, Number 168,
January-March 2012
Threats and Opportunities for Brazil's Trade
with China: Lessons for Brazil
Fernando Augusto Mansor de Mattos and Marcelo Dias Carcanholo

From the point of view of the destination of China's exports and the origin of her imports, recent eclac data14 reveals the increasing importance of Latin America and the Caribbean. According to this data, the growth rate of Chinese exports to Latin America and the Caribbean is greater than the growth of Chinese exports to the whole global economy from 1990 to the present day, which is evidence of the strong and stable demand for Chinese products in the countries of our continent. 15

These eclac figures16 also show that, since the second half of the 1990s, Chinese imports of products from Latin America and the Caribbean have continually shown a higher growth rate than the average global rate, and at the beginning of this century, a higher rate than other regions of the world.

Taking this trend and China's structure into account, the question is how this situation affects Brazilian exports, particularly the export of manufactured goods.


Table 3 compares the profile of Brazilian exports by destination and product type in 1990 and 2008. There is evidently a radical change in the profile of Brazilian trade with China, compared to that of other regions.18 The data shows that only 1.2% of total Brazilian exports in 1990 were destined for China, whereas in 2008 the percentage was 8.3%.

14 Cf. eclac (2010: 08)

15 In the first decade of this century in particular, the annual average growth of Chinese exports to Latin America and the Caribbean was twice that of Chinese exports in the global economy.

16 Cf. eclac (2010: 08)

17 Tables 3 and 4 can be found at: http://www.eclac.org/cgi-bin/getprod.asp?xml=/comercio/noticias/paginas/2/21312/P21312.xml&xsl=/comercio/tpl/p18f.xsl&base=/comerico/tpl/top-bottom.xls

18 We decided to leave the year 2009 out of this study as this atypical year was at the height of American's subprime crisis, resulting from the collapse of the real estate financing system. The figures for 2010 are still not available in this database. However, this does not prevent us from examining changing trends from the beginning of the 1990s.

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 48, Number 191, October-December 2017 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Alicia Girón González. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: Nov 13th, 2017.
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