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

As noted in the introduction, China's share in Brazilian imports has increased significantly in the last two years. In 1990, China's share was nearly 1.2%, and this percentage rose to 8.5% in 2008 and 14.5% two years later. More remarkable is the rapid, sharp change in the structure of imported products from China in recent years. A few decades ago, most Chinese imports that reached Brazil were labor-intensive goods. There has been a significant change in recent years, which has had particular effects on internal production in some sectors of domestic industrial activity in Brazil.

Table 5 shows the evolution of the value in dollars of Brazilian imports between 2005 and 2010, also highlighting the evolution of China's share in imports according to four product types and various activity sectors (Puga and Nascimiento, 2010). In the last column, the values of the variation in China's share between 2005 and 2010 are expressed in percentage points, for each product type.

It is important to highlight firstly, that in the period in question, Brazilian imports grew considerably for all products (natural resource intensive, labor intensive, scale intensive and technology intensive). In these four cases, the increase China's share was expressed markedly in labor intensive industrial sectors (in which the share of China's imports was greater than others) and in technology intensive sectors. In the case of labor intensives, the percentage rose 14.8 points, from 24.3% in 2005 to 39.1% in 2010 and in technology intensive sectors rose 11 percentage points, from 15.4% to 26.4% (Table 5).

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 193, April-June 2018 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,
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