May 1, 2009
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).
However, the country has been slow to invest in the region despite repeated promises to do so. Many Latin Americans have been disappointed by the level of Chinese participation and believe it should play more of a stakeholder role instead of just enjoying the fruits of vast amounts of trade. Five year
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.