Representatives of a group of Chinese and Brazilian Cities discussed ways Tuesday to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.

“The China-Brazil Partnership has a promising future,” said Yan Yuqing, China’s Consul General in Recife, Capital of Brazil’s Pernambuco State, during an online forum on “exchanges between the municipal governments of China and Northeast Brazil.”

“The relationship has always been guided by mutual respect, equality, transparency and openness, as a great model of partnership between developing countries,” Yan said, adding that the ties are “deepening in the northeast of Brazil, with regional governments wanting to expand their relationship with China in different areas, such as trade and agricultural products, infrastructure, and new energies.”

China has been Brazil’s largest trading partner for many years, and their trade volume increased in 2020 despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, according to Yan.

The deputy mayor of Recife, Isabella de Roldao, said that the state capital aims to expand the partnership with its twin city Guangzhou in south China’s Guangdong Province in such areas as emission reduction.

The official also said there will soon be educational exchanges between the twin cities, which will provide youth in Brazil with opportunities to learn more about China.

Zhan Decun, Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangzhou Municipal Government, said that the city is ready to expand cooperation with Recife and other Brazilian Cities under the Belt & Road Initiative.

Officials of other Chinese and Brazilian Cities, including Dalian in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, and Fortaleza, capital of Brazil’s Ceara State, also addressed the online event and shared their views on expanding exchanges and cooperation.