Local integration
  ·  2023-08-16  ·   Source: ChinAfrica


Fish release by CTG Brasil (COURTESY OF CTG) 

China and Brazil are important economic and trade partners, and their cooperation in this area is becoming increasingly close. According to People’s Daily, China is the main source of foreign investment in Brazil, with an investment volume of around $100 billion. In recent years, many Chinese companies have entered the Brazilian market, contributing to the country’s economic and social development.

In addition to consolidating their cooperation in traditional areas, China and Brazil are seeking to create new growth opportunities in emerging sectors such as clean energy. Brazilian Ambassador to China Marcos Galvão said that Brazil is committed to building a low-carbon future, and Chinese technology and ideas play a crucial role in achieving this goal. According to him, the two countries will work closely to deepen their cooperation in the energy sector, focusing on renewable energy such as solar and wind power. 

At the same time, Chinese companies operating in Brazil are actively fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities by protecting local biodiversity, integrating into the community, building long-term friendly relationships and helping to improve people’s lives. 


Group photo of the Maré do Amanhã Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 7 April 2017 (XINHUA) 

Seizing green opportunities 

In recent years, Chinese investment and technology have been increasingly going to Brazil’s renewable energy sector, helping to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the field of sustainable development. 

In Rio Grande do Norte State in northeast Brazil lies João Câmara, a small, arid city with harsh natural conditions. But in the desert on the outskirts of the city, where the hot winds blow fiercely, is an oasis of renewable energy. 

This oasis is a wind power project built by Chinese company State Grid Brazil Holding following its acquisition of Brazilian company CPFL Energia in 2017. The wind project, which was completed and commissioned in September 2021, is capable of generating around 360 million kwh of clean electricity annually. This corresponds to a saving of 129,600 tonnes of standard coal and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 358,900 tonnes. 

At the end of 2022, CPFL Energia employed more than 15,000 people in Brazil and was recognised with several important local awards for its commitment to employee welfare, sustainability and customer satisfaction. 

Protecting biodiversity 

Biodiversity breathes life into Earth and is the foundation for humanity’s survival and development. Chinese companies have been widely praised for adhering to the concept of green and sustainable development when building overseas projects, and for actively taking responsibility for environmental protection, and for taking measures to protect biodiversity at project sites. 

Founded in 2013, China Three Gorges Brasil (CTG Brasil) is the third-largest power producer in Brazil and currently employs over 900 people, of which approximately 98 percent are Brazilian. Brazil is known as the “world kingdom of flora and fauna.” CTG Brasil is striving to protect the local ecological environment. 

Dozens of projects are being carried out around the Jupiá and Ilha Solteira hydropower plants, which have been modernised by CTG Brasil, including forest restoration, water quality monitoring, artificial breeding and release of local fish, fauna and flora protection, education and environmental protection in an area of around 1,922 square km. 

Artificial breeding of native fish and their release is one of the most important methods to ensure the stability of fish populations in the reservoirs of the hydroelectric power plants. Fish farming has been carried out since 1976 in the rearing stations upstream of the Jupiá and Ilha Solteira hydropower plants. Since 2017, the company has released a total of about 3.6 million juvenile fish into the Paranapanema and Paraná rivers each year, including Leporinus obtusidens and Astyanax mexicanus. 

In addition to releasing fish, the local team responsible for operating the hydroelectric plants has also made technological changes to combat the invasion of Limnoperna fortunei, an invasive species, in order to clean up the local aquatic environment and preserve biodiversity. 

The company also operates a local wildlife reservation centre, which hosts 410 animals in 55 different species, including pumas, macaws, toucans and anteaters. To protect the aquatic environment and biodiversity, the company monitors aquatic plants and their reuse, established a database of aquatic plant information, and converts excess aquatic plants from rivers and reservoirs into biofuels through bio-thermolysis, transforming waste into valuable resources. 

Other Brazil-based Chinese companies are also committed to biodiversity conservation. Back in 2016, COFCO International Brazil launched a pollination programme around its sugarcane plantations in Catanduva, São Paulo State, to minimise the harmful effects of pesticide use on bees through scientific means. Currently, the programme has been expanded to several other COFCO International sugarcane plantations in the state, and in the future, it will be extended to sugarcane, coffee and soybean production areas in the states of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais. 


A man drives an electric bus developed by BYD, a Chinese company, in a designated lane in São José dos Campos, Brazil, on 12 July. According to BYD, each electric bus can reduce 184 tonnes of carbon emissions per year (XINHUA) 

Improving the standard of living 

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s second-largest city and a famous tourist destination in South America. According to conservative statistics, more than 1.4 million Rio residents live in poor neighbourhoods located on more than 700 hills in the city, representing about 22 percent of the city’s total population. Maré Favela is the largest poor neighbourhood in north Rio. In this context, the community music school sponsored by State Grid Brazil Holding has changed the destiny of thousands of children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. 

When the Maré do Amanhã Orchestra was founded in 2010, the school had fewer than 30 children. Throughout 2011, no company was willing to fund the orchestra until State Grid Brazil Holding learned of the project. This company has always been committed to local social aid and wanted to make a positive contribution to the development of Brazilian society. 

Thanks to the company’s financial support, the Maré do Amanhã Orchestra quickly took off. Initially, the orchestra only had flutes, violins and cellos. But after purchasing instruments such as violas and basses, a real orchestra was formed. 

The orchestra became more and more professional and actively participated in all kinds of major events, and its fame grew steadily. At a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Brazil in 2014, it performed for Chinese President Xi Jinping and was applauded by the two heads of state. 

Thanks to these remarkable changes, living conditions in Brazil’s poor communities have improved, and children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods have a promising future ahead of them in the field of music. Some 6,000 children have benefitted from the orchestra’s training, 32 of whom have become music teachers or professional musicians, and six of whom have been admitted to study music at college. They were able to change their own destiny and that of their family step by step. 

CTG Brasil also strives to integrate into local communities. So far, CTG Brasil has achieved 100 percent carbon neutrality for three consecutive years. In addition, the company implemented more than 20 social responsibility projects in 2021 in the region around the power plants, including the “Guri” music programme for young people, the “Happy Reading” programme and the therapy programme for children. 

Starting in 2022, several charging stations for new energy vehicles have been built along the highways of the Jupiá and Ilha Solteira hydropower plants, directly supplying local electric vehicles with the energy generated by these power plants. In the future, the power plants will also be used to develop green hydrogen technology, which will allow the water of the Paraná River to be used as a constant source of energy for the local population. 

Gree Electric Appliances is one of the first Chinese companies to establish factories in Brazil. The company is committed to promoting its own brand and actively fulfilling its social responsibilities, while achieving rapid growth and serving the Brazilian population. The company participates in the Brazilian government’s aid programme for the needy on its own initiative and organises donations and volunteer activities for schools every year. 

Gree has directly created more than 1,500 jobs in Manaus over the years and indirectly encouraged tens of thousands of people to work, bringing real benefits to the local population. Francesca Silva, a local employee who has worked at Gree Brazil since the plant began construction, told ChinAfrica that the arrival of Chinese companies in Brazil has created many jobs and improved the living conditions of the local population. 

Cheng Mingwei, sales manager of Gree Brazil, said that enterprises have the obligation and responsibility to take care of the poor, and the development of Gree in Brazil cannot be separated from the love and trust of the Brazilian people. In his opinion, Gree Brazil’s local social support activities must continue, and the company will be more involved in charitable activities in the future to give back to society what it has received.  



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