10. China has become Brazils biggest economic partner nq

Of that sum just three acquisitions two of oil stakes

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making China the largest single foreign investor in Brazil that year. Of that sum, just three acquisitions (two of oil stakes, and one in electricity distribution) accounted for more than $11 billion. But Chinese firms are also starting to build manufacturing plants in Brazil. The second emollient is that the real has depreciated by 17% against the dollar since its peak in late July. That is partly because investors fled emerging markets but also because of government intervention, in the form of taxes on short-term capital inflows. At the same time, the Central Bank has taken advantage of the economy's soft patch to cut its benchmark interest rate, from 12.5% in August to 11%. With inflation at 6.5%, the real interest rate is much lower than at any other time in the past decade. But industry also wants to see fewer taxes, cheaper energy, less bureaucracy and better transport networks, says Paulo Skaf, FIESP's president. On these things the government is moving far more slowly, if at all. However narrowly targeted, protectionism will not only raise prices in Brazil but risks sending the wrong message to businesses. Across Latin America, trade with China is growing but partly at the expense of intra- regional trade in manufactures. Brazil should lead a move to tear down all trade barriers within Latin America, thus turning the Chinese challenge into an opportunity, says Mr Amaral.
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