RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Brazil will continue to expand the benefits of their economic complementarity with China, the country's Vice President Hamilton Mourao has said, calling for more investment and cooperation in strategic sectors.
"For more than 10 years, China has been our largest trading partner and an important source of investment for Brazil, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Brazil, in turn, is a stable and reliable supplier of safe food for China," he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
On wider China-Brazil relations beyond trade, the vice president said "the year 2019 was very productive for bilateral ties between Brazil and China."
Last year saw the two presidents visiting each other's nation, and the successful holding of the fifth meeting of the China-Brazil High-Level Commission for Coordination and Cooperation (COSBAN) at the vice-president level, he said.
"We firmly believe that the COSBAN is a model of bilateral cooperation between two large developing countries such as Brazil and China," he added.
"Unfortunately, the schedule of bilateral meetings was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the diplomatic dialogue continued via video conferences," Mourao said.
Given the current pandemic, he said "it is even more important to strengthen the ties of dialogue, cooperation and solidarity between our nations."
"The Chinese (side) cooperate with Brazil on various fronts to combat the pandemic, either by supplying materials, equipment or in the development of a vaccine," the vice president noted.
Mourao also said that the bidding for the construction of Brazil's 5G network will be based on technical criteria, not politics.
For the tender scheduled for the first half of 2021, he said "we will not differentiate companies based on their country of origin, but rather on their ability to offer products and services that are reliable, safe and, obviously, at competitive prices."
"I am making it very clear that our decisions in this matter, and any other, will be sovereign and responsible," he said.
One of the firms participating in the bidding is China's Huawei, which Mourao has acknowledged as "a major supplier of equipment" and with "a wide presence in the Brazilian market."
He also noted that the two countries "exercise increasing influence in discussions and forums, such as the G20 and BRICS."
The vice president said he is hopeful about Brazil's accession to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the opening of the BRICS New Development Bank office in Sao Paulo, saying they are "important developments that will surely increase the flow of finance for Brazil" as well as "very important source of resources for the construction of sustainable infrastructure of the Amazon."
"Brazil and China can work side by side, shoulder to shoulder, to bring the global community closer together and to understand that tackling the pandemic will be more effective if we are all united and spreading the positive results we are achieving," Mourao said.