WASHINGTON, DC – China’s investment in Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, has been growing by the year, largely under the radar of the United States, according to two experts.

Chinese foreign direct investment in Brazil grew 37 percent between 2010 and 2016, said Andre Soares, counselor at Inter-American Development Bank, at a discussion at the George Washington University’s Elliot School on Monday.

Soares said Chinese companies initially had difficulties entering the Brazilian market but learned it was much easier to do with Brazilian partners.

“After six years, China was able to learn how to navigate Brazilian bureaucracy,” he said.

David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program and professor of political science at the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs, said: “FDI is flowing into Brazil like a tsunami.”

He observed that, on a recent trip to Brazil, his flight was filled with Chinese businessmen.

“Chinese companies and state-owned enterprises are now acquiring Brazilian companies,” likely in sectors that reflected China’s own indigenous development strategy, he said.

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