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Latin America and China: Fear of Commitment?

May 1, 2009

Chinese companies see a window of opportunity to scoop up LatAm businesses and are poised to invest much greater sums. However, the region demands firmer commitment.

by Jason Mitchell  Argentina turned heads in March with a $10 billion equivalent yuan-peso swap line, which was seen as boosting Chinese influence in the region. Sino-LatAm trade has shot up by 40% a year since 2001 hitting a record $143.3 billion in 2008, against $102.6 billion in 2007, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). “They are less interested in value-added manufacturing or the knowledge economy, or some LatAm countries’ proximity to the US market. They can carry out that kind of manufacturing back in China,” says Ortuzar. He notes that the Chinese experience in LatAm is free of the “antagonism” encountered in the US. China prefers Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago, because they are seen as offering good assets at reasonable prices, as well as the potential for growth.CDB Funds TelecomsChinese corporations have embarked on a spending...

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