SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Monday that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Brazil in November, as the two nations seek to strengthen political and economic ties at a time of global trade tensions.

The visit is expected to take place during a summit of BRICS countries, a grouping of nations including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Mourao said during a conference in Sao Paulo hosted by the Brazil-China Business Council.

The BRICS summit this year, scheduled for Nov. 13-14 in Brasilia, will be hosted in Brazil for the third time. It came to Brasilia in 2010, and the northeastern city of Fortaleza also hosted the summit in 2014.

“China recognizes in Brazil a key regional partner,” Mourao said, noting that trade between the two countries reached $100 billion in 2018. Trade should remain around these levels this year as China increased imports of meat from Brazil following an outbreak of African swine fever, he said.

Also on Monday, Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry said Beijing had authorized 25 Brazilian plants to export meat to China, bringing the total up to 89.

China has been Brazil’s top trade partner for a decade, Mourao said, adding that Brazil’s government will keep the channels of commerce open with a number of projects in mining, Oil and logistics for private investment.

“The Chinese have interest, capital and experience to expand and diversify investments in Brazil,” Mourao said.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who is recovering from a surgery in Sao Paulo, was likely to visit China in October, Mourao said.

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