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Brazilian farming association to open office in China
by Staff Writers
Sao Paulo (AFP) April 27, 2012

Brazil's main farming association will open an office in Beijing next year to attract investment and boost exports to the Chinese market, the group said Friday.

Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) president Senator Katia Abreu, who is visiting China this week, said the office would be inaugurated in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

Abreu's visit is aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation in the farming sector for logistics, infrastructure and research.

"China's investments in ports and logistics in general will allow Brazil's agricultural products to reach the Chinese market at lower prices," CNA quoted Abreu as saying.

She met with China's Vice Minister of Agriculture Zhang Yuxiang on Wednesday.

China is Brazil's largest trading partner in the farming sector, importing $14.6 billion of agricultural products from the country last year.

The two sides also discussed prospects for increased Chinese investment in the Brazilian forestry sector.

A CNA statement said Abreu assured her hosts that Brazil's new forestry code, adopted by the Brazilian Congress this week, would provide legal guarantees for Chinese investment in forestry and other agricultural activities.

The new code, which must be approved by President Dilma Rousseff, would allow landowners to cultivate riverbanks and hillsides that were previously exempt, and would provide amnesty from fines for illegally clearing trees before July 2008.

Brazilian farmers, whose industry represent more than five percent of GDP, argue that the existing legislation is confused, putting economic development at risk and costing valuable investment.

But Rousseff is under intense pressure from environmentalists to veto the new code amid fears that loosening the severe environmental restrictions under current law would speed up deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest.

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