Thriv­ing mar­ble busi­ness is built with the help of BRICS

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

XI­A­MEN — Young Brazil­ian busi­ness­man Mar­cos Caldeira is filled with an­tic­i­pa­tion as the 2017 BRICS Lead­ers Sum­mit draws near.

Caldeira runs a mar­ble busi­ness in China and knows how im­por­tant the coun­try’s ties are with the Latin American na­tion.

“The BRICS Sum­mit will fur­ther strengthen trade be­tween Brazil and China and is a great op­por­tu­nity for me to ex­pand my busi­ness,” he said about next month’s sum­mit.

Caldeira came to Xi­a­men City in east China’s Fu­jian Prov­ince from Vi­to­ria in eastern Brazil two and a half years ago to learn Man­darin.

He found the Chinese coastal city very fa­mil­iar since it is sim­i­lar in cli­mate and en­vi­ron­ment to his home­town.

In­spired by the pro-busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in the city, Caldeira soon started his own busi­ness for ex­port­ing Chinese stone prod­ucts to South Amer­ica.

Xi­a­men, a ma­jor trade port in Chinese his­tory, is China’s largest stone im­port cen­ter, while Brazil is a ma­jor stone ex­porter. But Caldeira imports pro­cessed mar­ble prod­ucts from Xi­a­men, and sells them to Brazil and other overseas mar­kets.

“Brazil is rich in stone, but the prices are high. The qual­ity of China’s ar­ti­fi­cial stone is very good and much cheaper, and is very pop­u­lar in Brazil,” he said.

In only two years, Caldeira’s busi­ness has grown into one of the largest com­pa­nies in China that ex­port mar­ble to Brazil. Its ex­port value reached more than $10 mil­lion in 2016.

The BRICS coun­tries — Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa — have be­come a ma­jor driv­ing force in the global econ­omy. With 44 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, the five ac­count for nearly onequar­ter of global eco­nomic out­put and half of the world’s eco­nomic growth.

Caldeira said the BRICS coun­tries are play­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in trade, not only driv­ing regional growth but also help­ing to lift the global econ­omy.

“I hope the BRICS Sum­mit can fur­ther pro­mote trade be­tween Brazil and China and reach more re­cip­ro­cal deals,” he said.

In ad­di­tion to find­ing suc­cess, Caldeira has also found love in China. He and his wife have just moved into a new house dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val.

“China is my lucky place, and Xi­a­men is where my happy life un­folds. I love Xi­a­men,” Caldeira said. “I be­lieve my busi­ness will be even bet­ter this year.”

In ad­di­tion to the grow­ing share of the BRICS econ­omy as a part of global gross do­mes­tic prod­uct, or GDP, trade be­tween the coun­tries is also ex­pand­ing rapidly.

In the first half of this year, China’s imports from the other four BRICS coun­tries ex­ceeded $70 bil­lion, 33.6 per­cent higher than the same pe­riod last year.

Chen Tanx­i­ang, a gen­eral man­ager of a tex­tile com­pany in Xi­a­men, has ben­e­fited from the close ties be­tween BRICS coun­tries.

In 2010, he switched from mak­ing plas­tic bags to man­u­fac­tur­ing non-woven fab­ric, a then-emerg­ing in­dus­try. But the sec­tor be­came blighted by over­ca­pac­ity, so he de­cided to ex­pand his busi­ness to Africa.

Chen en­tered the South African mar­ket in late 2012 at an ex­hi­bi­tion in Jo­han­nes­burg, and his com­pany has de­vel­oped steadily in the coun­try.

He built a sales net­work with lo­cal stores, whole­salers and agents, pro­vid­ing prod­ucts, in­clud­ing dis­posal and shop­ping bags, and stor­age sup­plies. The an­nual sales vol­ume of his com­pany grew from $100,000 in 2012 to more than $2 mil­lion dol­lars to­day.

For him, the BRICS Sum­mit be­tween Sept 3-5, means more busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The BRICS Sum­mit to be held in Xi­a­men is a great chance for South Africans to know the city and will bring trade ties be­tween Fu­jian and the BRICS coun­tries even closer,” Chen said.

“Many African coun­tries have lim­ited the use of plas­tic bags, so I hope I can repli­cate my busi­ness model in South Africa in other coun­tries of the re­gion,” he said.

the pop­u­la­tion of BRICS coun­tries ac­counts the to­tal world’s

SONG WEI­WEI / XIN­HUA

Two vis­i­tors take pho­tos at the BRICS Sum­mit theme park in Xi­a­men, Fu­jian prov­ince.

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