Argentina’s Congress has just approved a bundle of agreements that set the terms of a “strategic integral alliance” with China.
As MercoPress reports, the two countries will be cooperating on infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, mining, technology, and agricultural projects, with China supplying financing and Argentina committing to buying Chinese technology and awarding contracts to Chinese companies in a no-bid process. The alliance is not without Argentine critics, but the country’s need for cash overrode objections.
Another cash-strapped country, Venezuela, recently reported obtaining $20 billion in investment credits from China.
It appears that China is well on its way to keeping President Xi Jinping’s promise of $250 billion in new investment in Latin America over the next decade.
Speaking to the leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), convened in Beijing for a two-day ministerial forum January 8-9, Xi also forecast China-LatAm trade rising to $500 billion over the same period.
Last year, China’s imports from CELAC’s 33 members totaled US$126.5 billion (CIF value); exports came to US$134.9 billion (FOB), according to Datamyne’s Chinese trade data.
We’ve been following Chinese trade with Latin America for some time. You can compare the 2014 LatAm import trade data below with the data in first-quarter 2011 and full-year 2012 from our blog archives.
We’ve added the 2014 data on China’s imports originating in Latin America.
We’ve also provided quick snaps of the top five products China imports from top LatAm COO Chile, and the top five products it exports to top LatAm market Paraguay. These last underscore what some critics of China’s growing interest in the region fear: that China’s intentions are to extract LatAm’s raw materials and sell back value-added goods – an unsustainable trading strategy that is at the root of so many Latin American countries’ current economic woes.