Opinion

There is no Chinese “debt trap” in Brazil

As China increases its economic presence in Brazil, some fear it may have negative consequences for Brazil’s sovereignty

china debt trap brazil
Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil during a bilateral meeting in 2019, during the BRICS Summit in Brasília. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

China has become an important economic partner for Brazil over the past 10 to 15 years, particularly in funding infrastructure development. Brazil is China’s second-largest borrower in Latin America, behind only Venezuela. 

Since 2005, Brazil has received around USD 30 billion in loans from Beijing, mainly directed towards energy and infrastructure, while at the same time being the destination of over USD 60 billion in investment, primarily in electricity, oil, and gas projects. This Chinese financial presence can be seen in almost every state of the union. 

But is this increasing partnership detrimental to Brazil’s development and sovereignty?

The...

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