Soy grains are seen on the floor of the Alvorada agricultural industry in the city of Primavera do Leste, in the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

A China-sponsored, US$20 billion fund is ready to receive investment pitches, the Brazil Planning Ministry’s foreign affairs secretary, Jorge Arbache, said on Monday.

The fund agreed on last year is expected to help finance the construction of railroads. This will link Brazilian soy- and corn-producing areas to ports, potentially boosting Brazil’s economy as it slowly emerges from a deep recession.

China also stands to gain because it is a large buyer of Brazilian grains. The fund’s investment decisions will be made by a committee composed of Brazilian and Chinese officials, taking into account both countries’ priorities, Arbache said.

The fund’s resources will primarily be allocated toward infrastructure, but will also accept financing requests related to manufacturing, agriculture and technology, the secretary said.

China will finance three quarters of the projects accepted by the fund, or US$15 billion. The rest will come from Brazilian banks such as development lender BNDES, Caixa Economical Federal and private banks.

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