[Overview] Rio de Janeiro (hereinafter referred to as Rio) is Brazil's second largest city after São Paulo and an important transportation hub of the country. Located in the southeast of Brazil and north of the Tropic of Capricorn, Rio is one of the top three natural ports in the world, with a 636-kilometer coastline along the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast. The city covers an area of 1,221 square kilometers and has a population of 6.75 million.
[Politics] Rio consists of 32 administrative regions (similar to districts in China) and 159 districts (similar to sub-districts in China). The city is governed by the municipal chamber and government. The municipal chamber consists of 51 members who are elected by the constituents directly for a term of four years, and the incumbent mayor Eduardo Paes, came into office in January 2021. The municipal government consists of such departments as education, insurance, environment protection, finance, household registration, municipal utilities, transportation and culture.
[Economy] Rio boasts advanced iron and steel, shipbuilding and petroleum industries, and its main industries include foodstuff, metallurgy, electric appliances, machinery, pharmaceutical and textile. There are more than 700 financial institutions in the city, 10 percent of which are branches of foreign banks. Tourism is booming, evidenced by a daily average of 23,000 visitors and 350 travel agencies across the city. Two of the Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Rio, namely Petrobras and Vale.
[Transportation] Rio has two airports — the Rio de Janeiro International Airport and the Santos Dumont Airport, as well as sprawling roads and railways connecting main cities across the country. There are 49 bus companies that operate nearly 9,000 buses on 449 routes, and 71 taxi companies that operate nearly 20,000 taxis. The subway has a daily ridership of 240,000. As one of the largest ports in South America, the Port of Rio de Janeiro is narrow at the bay mouth and wide inside, and has a 740-meter-long terminal. It is able to house large ships with an annual throughput of nearly 30 million tons.
[Culture and Education] Rio has 1,033 primary schools, 370 middle schools, 53 pre-colleges (equivalent to high schools in China), 6 universities and 47 private universities. It is also home to a raft of art, literature and research institutes, including the Brazilian Institute of Academic Research, Brazilian Institute of History, and Brazilian Academy of Sciences. The National Library of Brazil is the largest of its kind in South America. The Rio Carnival is a world-renowned cultural celebration that lasts three days in mid or late February every year. Rio is also the host city of the 20th FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the 31st Olympic Games in 2016.
[Relations with Beijing] Beijing and Rio officially became sister cities on November 24, 1986, and the two cities have maintained close ties in recent years.
Investment and Trade: In 2013, Beijing held a business cooperation fair in Rio, at which enterprises from the two cities signed agreements in such fields as automobiles and sports. In 2017, another promotion event was held in Beijing, during which the Rio delegation led by Mayor Crivella provided information about projects including a commercial complex in downtown Rio, as well as road lighting and urban development of the city. Representatives from about 30 Beijing-based enterprises attended the event and exchanged views with the Brazilian participants on strengthening business cooperation in key areas.
Olympic Games: In a move to celebrate the upcoming opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games and the 30 years of sisterhood between Beijing and Rio, the Rio Olympic emblem was lit at the National Stadium (dubbed Bird's Nest) in Beijing at 8 pm on August 4, 2016. The event helped spread the Olympic culture and spirit, and bore witness to the ever closer ties between the two sister cities.
Culture: In 2004, Beijing staged a tourism promotion event and art performances in Rio. In 2018, the Night of Beijing cultural event was held in Rio. Several troupes from Beijing presented brilliant performances, which were well received by international audience by demonstrating the "charm of China, features of Beijing" and blending traditional techniques and modern aesthetics. In 2019, Beijing and the Chinese Consulate-General in Rio De Janeiro co-hosted the 2019 Encounter of Audio-Visual Media Between Beijing and Brazil, an event that attracted nearly 100 representatives from the two countries' government departments and online audio-video companies.