China and Brazil have signed a Rmb190bn (US$29.9bn) currency swap agreement to achieve a stronger bilateral trade cooperation between the two countries.

The deal was signed by China’s Premier Wen Jiabao and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro on the sidelines of the Rio 20 summit at the end of June.

Li Jinzhang, the Chinese ambassador to Brazil said the currency swap agreement will facilitate bilateral trade and investment, as well as other areas of financial cooperation, such as stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen with their Sao Paulo counterpart and two China-Brazil capital market forums.

Bank of China’s (BOC) Brazil subsidiary hopes to cash in on the partnership and has signed cooperation agreements with Brazilian companies including, machinery maker Sany Brazil, telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE, motorcycle producer Kasinski, electronic firm H-Buster and China Tobacco to establish a closer working arrangement.

“The emerging markets of Brazil and South America are strategically important to the Chinese bank, and the operation in Brazil is the bridgehead for BOC business expansion into South American nations, such as Argentina, Peru and Chile,” Bank of China’s vice-president Yue Yi said.