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China plans to invest more than US$4.5bn in Brazil's IT sector this year, Brazilian development, industry and foreign trade minister Alessandro Teixeira was quoted as saying by news agency China Daily.
The announcement is seen as a shift from more traditional areas of investment such as agriculture and mining.
According to the report, Brazil has been urging Chinese companies to invest in non-commodity sectors to help balance its economy by allowing tax breaks to companies that make computers and tablets in the country.
"Seventy percent of the trade between Brazil and China is basically commodities," Teixeira said. "But we are keen to improve commercial relations in medium and high-end technology."
ZTE has set up an industrial park in Hortolândia, close to São Paulo. The company recorded US$600mn in sales revenue last year and is expected to reach US$1bn this year, China Daily said.
"The Brazil market accounts for about 9% of ZTE's overseas revenue. The country is crucial for our company's development in Latin America," Yuan Lie, president of ZTE's South America region, told China Daily. Products from the industrial park will be shipped to other Latin America countries, he said.