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Premier’s S. American tour an effort to forge trade links

Wrapping up visit to Ireland on May 18, Premier Li Keqiang is heading to Latin America’s Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

As China’s economy has expanded, so too has its relationship with many South American nations.

They’ve been responding to China’s growing appetite for food, energy and mined raw materials.

In Brazil, whose second-largest trade partner is China, Premier Li Keqiang is expected to announce a series of deals. For example, the delivery of 40 aircraft made by Brazilian aerospace company Embraer, to the Chinese airline, Tianjin.

There are also likely to be various announcements on the funding of infrastructure projects.

Also on the agenda, the proposed construction of a massive railway project linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast to Peru’s Pacific coast. China’s motivated to fund the project by the need to transport grains and soy beans more efficiently.

China this year pledged $250 billion in investment in Latin America over the next ten years, signaling a long-term commitment to economic ties with the region.