Monday, May 18, 2009

There's Still a World Without the West ...

The global economic downturn may have taken some of the wind out of the sails of the "world without the West", but it is far from gone.

An interesting reminder ...

Brazil's oil industry is turning to China for cash in the latest sign of how Beijing's clout is growing amid the global economic downturn.

Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva was set to arrive in Beijing Monday to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is expected to unleash billions of dollars of credit to help Brazil exploit its massive oil reserves. Brazil will return the favor by guaranteeing oil shipments to Chinese companies.

The nations are being thrust together by the global financial crisis. Brazil's state-controlled oil giant, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, wants to spend $174 billion over the next five years to elevate Brazil into the major leagues of oil-producing nations. With international capital markets on life support, China is among the few remaining sources of cash.

Petrobras, as the company is known, is turning to China at a time when China's appetite for raw materials has lifted economies across commodity-rich Latin America, blunting the impact of the global downturn. In March, China passed the U.S. as Brazil's biggest trade partner.

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