Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva met with Chinese leaders in Beijing. He said that Brazil plans to begin moves to recognize China as a market economy. The announcement came during talks with President Hu Jintao, during which the two leaders agreed on a joint communiqué ¡imed at boosting cooperation in a range of trade, political and technological research fields. China is rapidly becoming one of Brazil's most important trading partners, especially in its consumption of iron ore and other raw materials. In 2003 bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US$6.68 billion.