Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva (right) with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete aftter a meeting in Dar Es Salaam, on July 7, 2010.

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Brazil seeks to establish partnership with Africa

Analysts say Brazil sees Africa as a means of diversifying its export markets

It also wants to internationalize the production of its big companies

Brazil and Africa have long historical ties, dating back to the days of slave trade

CNN  — 

Brazil has intensified its efforts to forge closer relations with Africa recently, as the sixth largest economy in the world tries to compete with other emerging giants like China and India to take a more central role in the resource-rich continent.

Last month, Brazil’s top investment bank BTG Pactual unveiled plans to raise $1 billion to create the world’s biggest investment fund for Africa, focusing on areas such as infrastructure, energy and agriculture.

The independent bank’s fund, which comes amid a government drive to establish a strategic partnership with Africa, is one of the latest moves signaling Brazil’s increasing interest to extend its economic footprint on the continent – trade between Brazil and Africa jumped from around $4 billion in 2000 to about $20 billion in 2010.

“It does represent a turning point where a lot of these investors and these entities for investments are recognizing that Africa is indeed the last frontier for growth,” says Lyal White, director of the Centre for Dynamic Markets at the Gordon Institute for Business Science in South Africa.