Interview: Brazilian mining giant wants closer cooperation with China -- senior executive

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RIO DE JANEIRO, March 9 (Xinhua) -- It has been 50 years since Brazilian mining giant Vale started to export products to China and the company looks forward to "continuing its close cooperation with China and embracing a carbon-neutral green future together with China," said Gustavo Biscassi, its head of External Affairs.

The outlook for China's economy in 2023 remains positive, as its long-term fundamentals remain sound and unchanged, said Biscassi in a written interview with Xinhua. "We believe that China will continue to play a significant role in the global economy as a growth engine."


During the pandemic, Vale's business in China remained steady with iron ore sales to China plateauing at 192 million tons, 197 million tons and 190 million tons in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively. These figures "reflects the continued demand for high-quality raw materials from China that are supported by the country's sound economic fundamentals," Biscassi said.

The Brazilian entrepreneur noted that China has maintained its position as the world's largest manufacturing hub since 2010. It is the only country in the world that has all the industrial categories listed in the UN industrial classification and is the world's largest producer of over 220 types of industrial products.

In 2022, China's annual foreign trade value hit a record high, as total goods trade reached 42.1 trillion yuan (6.04 trillion U.S. dollars), exceeding 40 trillion yuan (5.74 trillion dollars) for the first time. "All these make China an integral part in the global industrial and supply chain," Biscassi added.

He said that "for Vale, China is not only our largest market, but also a critical supplier for the mining, infrastructure and logistics equipment and services. We are honored to have been taking great advantage of the scale and technology that China's manufacturing industry has developed over the decades."


In recent years, Vale's cooperation with China has been deepening in the area of green development.

"Last year, we started up our Sol do Cerrado solar project in Brazil, which is one of the largest solar projects in Latin America. The photovoltaic modules and spare parts of the project are supplied by the leading Chinese solar module manufacturer JinkoSolar. Apart from that, we also received a 100-percent battery-powered electric locomotive and two 72-ton 100-percent battery-powered electric trucks from China, which are manufactured by Chinese CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive and XCMG respectively," Biscassi told Xinhua.

In his eyes, the business environment in China has been continuously improving in recent years, especially since the landmark Foreign Investment Law was enforced in January 2020.

For example, the General Administration of Customs introduced a series of reform measures such as further promoting the paperless customs clearance policy to continuously improve the customs clearance efficiency.

"We have benefited from these reform measures. At some ports, our customs clearance time has been significantly reduced from 2-3 days in the past to a few hours now, which enables us to deliver our high-quality iron ore products to our Chinese steelmaking clients in a more efficient way. The paperless customs clearance policy also helped us a lot during the pandemic, allowing our employees to submit the required materials online without leaving their home, which is safe, convenient and efficient," he said.


Fifty years ago, Vale sent its first iron ore shipment to China in 1973, establishing a partnership with China.

"We are very proud to have witnessed the entire process of China's reform and opening up that started in 1978 as both a beneficiary and a contributor," said Biscassi.

"On one hand, we have supplied China with more than 2.9 billion tons of high-quality iron ore products, which has contributed to the economic development of the country. On the other hand, China has been our largest market since 2006 and destination of more than 50 percent of our iron ore products since 2014. The growth of Vale has been closely connected with the development of China."

"As a partner of China for as long as 50 years and a reliable raw material supplier for the Chinese steel industry, Vale upholds a long-term commitment to the Chinese market and always puts China in the center of our business strategy. We are looking forward to continuing our close cooperation with China in the next 50 years and embracing a carbon-neutral green future together with China," Biscassi said. Enditem

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