Panama, Dominican Republic… Who's Next?

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And then there were 10...

Ok, it sounds a little dramatic when you put it like that, but the news Tuesday night that the Dominican Republic (DR) is switching bilateral diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China (中华人民共和国和多米尼加共和国关于建立外交关系的联合公报) certainly caught many (but not all, including readers of this digest) China-LAC watchers by surprise. That is not to say that the Dominican Republic wasn't on the shortlist. Prior to Tuesday, of the 11 (now 10) countries in the Americas with diplomatic ties to Taiwan, the DR represented the nation with the largest GDP, second largest population, and China's second most important trade partner in the Caribbean.

Details on what caused the change of heart are still unclear. Taiwan is crying foul, saying that Santo Domingo was offered a $3.1 billion package of investments and loans to secure the switch. Beijing vehemently denies the claim, saying the move was “natural, perfectly justified, and fair." (理所当然,天经地义,光明正大). The move has received wide support from the Dominican business community, as well as from experts in Latin America, and a tepid response from the US government.

With 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with ties to Taiwan remaining, the question is not if others may switch, but who will be next? As China dangles the carrot of the Belt & Road Initiative in Latin America with increased frequency, expect the diplomatic tit-for-tat between China and Taiwan to continue, driven by two priorities: securing economic and commercial relations, and diplomatic strength on the global stage (such as at the United Nations).

Looked at from a commercial and economic standpoint, Paraguay remains one of the frontrunners. Surrounded on all sides (literally) by countries with strong formal ties with China, Paraguay is somewhat of an anomaly. China ranks as its largest source of imports, ahead of both Brazil and Argentina. And while exports have lagged behind, Paraguay is the world's fourth-largest exporter of soybeans, a longtime priority for a China that is looking for other sources now that it has cut back purchases from the US. Incoming Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Alberto Castiglioni says that the new government will try to have its cake and eat it, too, by establishing relations with China through the World Trade Organization, while maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan. 

An often overlooked contender is Guatemala. By far the largest population and GDP in Central America — and larger in population and GDP than Paraguay — Guatemala shifting diplomatic recognition would be a bell weather that the other countries of Central America (Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua) might soon follow, and that China was more concerned about compromising Taiwan’s influence at the UN. As China dangles the carrot of the Belt & Road Initiative in Latin America with increased frequency, the ability to resist the call of the world's second-largest economy presumably will be harder and harder.

From our standpoint, one of the biggest questions in the short to medium term is: How will this impact on Panama-China relations? For the last twelve months, Panama has been the darling of China, receiving a level of attention that far outweighs countries of similar size. Granted, Panama is home to one of the most important pieces of trade infrastructure on the planet, which gives it a strategic economic importance that outweighs its direct economic value. Is Panama the new norm? Or the exception to the rule?

But maybe the real question is, will the Pope beat Paraguay, Guatemala, and the rest to the punch?

Top Stories

Chile hails success of Chinese cherry campaign — Fruit Net
Chile launches first ever kiwifruit campaign in India — Eurofruit
Chile’s $5m cherry marketing campaign in China yields results: not only did Chinese imports increased by 108% compared to last season, but global exports also increased by 96%. Consequently, in light of increased demand for kiwis, Chile’s fruit industry will launch its first promotional campaign in India.

综述:拉美国家期待中国国际进口博览会成为中拉贸易纽带 — Xinhua
Apertura de China, exigencia para empresas que se aventuren — El Cronista
Guyanese businesses urged to sell more food, tourism to China as exports recover — Demerara Waves
China Int'l Import Expo to boost free trade, says embassador [sic] — Xinhua
As part of its charm offensive in highlighting how it can be a great export market, as well, China is drumming up interest from Latin America in the first China International Import Expo, to be held in November in Shanghai. More than 30 Mexican companies in technology to agriculture have confirmed their participation. The Chinese Ambassador to Argentina calls it: "an unrivaled initiative in the history of international trade."

Bitran responde a embajador de China: “Nosotros no politizamos, simplemente lo que hicimos es preocuparnos de que se respeten la leyes en Chile” — Pulso
Embajada china en Argentina presenta Exposición Internacional de Importación de China — Xinhua
The Chile-China lithium contretemps continues: former Chile’s Economic Development Agency CORFO) chief Eduardo Bitran, responds to Ambassador Xu Bu’s statements about the politicalization of Tianqi’s interest in SQM: “we are not politicizing, all we did was become concerned about how Chile’s laws are being respected.” The dispute is expected to continue, but will China escalate?

中国大工程打脸 “掠夺拉美”谬论 未来的生意在中国 — Huanqiu
Is China “plundering” (掠夺) Latin America? An article that looks at China Gezhouba’s work on the $4.7b Néstor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic dams in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz tries to argue that despite pause due to environmental concerns, there are benefits for Argentina. The project — 85% funded by Chinese banks — is projected to create 5,000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs, promote the development of local technology and other related industries (steel, concrete transportation, etc.). We’ll see.

U.S. postpones steel tariff decision for U.S. allies until June 1 — Reuters
Dispatches from the coming trade war 1: US President Donald Trump postponed imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, among others, for a month.

China Shunning U.S. Soybeans on Trade Tensions, Bunge CEO Says — Bloomberg
Dispatches from the coming trade war 2: Bunge CEO Soren Schroder says China is looking elsewhere for soy: "“Whatever they’re buying is non-U.S. They’re buying beans in Canada, in Brazil, mostly Brazil, but very deliberately not buying anything from the U.S.” The numbers are stark:

In the two weeks ended April 19, China canceled a net 62,690 metric tons of U.S. soybean purchases for the marketing year that ends Aug. 31, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. At this time of year, South American countries typically complete their harvests and become the dominant shippers for several months. Brazil’s lead on global exports is expected to widen to a record in the 2017-2018 season as it sells 73.1 million tons abroad versus 56.2 million from the U.S., the USDA estimates.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank comes knocking on Latin America’s door: is anyone home? — The London School of Economics and Political Science
LSE Global South Unit’s Álvaro Méndez writes on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and its growing relationship with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), saying it’s an ideal match for Latin America’s needs. Seven countries in the region have been accepted as prospective members; only Chile has become a full member of the AIIB.

China busca inversiones extranjeras para ser el 'rey de la tecnología' — El Financiero
The Chinese government has established the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment fund to attract foreign investment for their efforts in the semiconductor industry.

Asia ranks as one of Bolivia's top minerals markets — Xinhua
Asia leads in mineral imports from Bolivia, importing over 60% of the country’s mineral exports last year. Mining is Bolivia’s fastest growing sector.

China — LAC

Empresarios chinos exploran abrir planta de autos eléctricos en México — Xinhua
José Manuel López, president of the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services, and Tourism (Concanaco-Servytur) says a group of Chinese investors will be heading to Mexico this month to evaluate options for an electric vehicle plant. The Confederation has also signed an agreement with Shanghai International Automobile City (SIAC) to expand collaboration.

Spotlight: Chinese hi-tech security firms eager to explore Mexico market — Xinhua
The 2018 Mexico Security Expo in Mexico City attracted several Chinese manufacturers of hi-tech security systems hoping to capitalize on the nation’s dangerous environment. Hikvision Digital Technology, responsible for over $6b in sales, opened several offices in Mexico and Latin America last year.

Luis Torres (Promperú): “La moda peruana tiene grandes expectativas con el mercado chino” — Modaes
Luis Torres, Director of Peru’s export promotion agency PromPerú, notes Chinese demand for Peruvian fashion has grown 50% over the past year, especially in Alpaca-made garments.

Sunday arrival of Galleons Passage in Mexico — Newsday TT
The Galleons Passage was expected to arrive in Acapulco on April 29 where it will remain docked for 5 days until it continues to make its way to Port of Spain.

Venezuela’s oil decline reaches new depths — Financial Times
Venezuela’s oil production reached 30-year lows, slashing government revenue, and is predicted to continue faltering. The country remains heavily indebted to China and Russia.

Increase in the number of Chinese tourists in Brazil under analysis in Brasilia — Macau Hub
Marcelo Lima Costa, President of the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur), met with Chinese ambassador to Brazil, Li Jinzhang, to discuss increasing Chinese tourism in the country, through visa-free travel, increase in investments, and air travel.

Argentina profundiza el rojo comercial con sus dos socios estratégicos: Brasil y China — Clarín
Argentina has increased its deficit with both China and Brazil this first quarter. Bilateral trade with China increased by 94% compared to last year.

CRRC de China producirá 200 vagones de tren para Argentina — People Daily
CRRC will be producing 200 train wagons for the Argentine government in its third request, and are expected to be delivered next year.

Inauguran parques fotovoltaicos con colaboración de China — Bohemia
Two China-financed solar farms were inaugurated in Cuba.

China aproveita crise para investir e ganhar força no Brasil — Exame
Exame takes the opportunity to highlight recent Chinese investments in Brazil, which peak last year at a 7 year high.

Balance comercial China-Colombia — La Republica
A columnist highlights Colombia’s dire need to improve its logistical infrastructure to be able to support commercial activity with countries like China and the US.

Campaña de marketing digital promueve el aguacate mexicano en China — Marketing 4 eCommerce
Mexico’s national avocado producer association (APEAM) has launched its Avocados from Mexico (AFM)) campaign on Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat to attract consumers. China is now the fifth largest avocado market.

Perú tendrá por primera vez un pabellón en la feria tecnológica más grande de China — El Economista America
Peru will take part in the China Hi-Tech Fair — China’s largest — in November.

Panamá seduce a China y EEUU ante caída del turismo con Colombia y Venezuela
The Panamanian Tourism Authority (ATP) is having to look elsewhere now that Venezuela's strife has stifled tourism to Panama. Because of this, the ATP has launched a campaign to attract Chinese, European, and North American tourists.  

ITB China sells out ahead of 2018 show in Shanghai — Breaking Travel News
ITB China, a 3-day travel fair held in Shanghai, is fully booked one month ahead of the show; participating countries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Japan — LAC

Japan-bound VLCC laden with Brazilian crude likely looking for home: sources — Platts
Whither the VLCC Baltic Glory? The BP cargo ship holding 100,000 mt of crude oil in Qingdao,is now on its way to Nagasaki, due to an oversupply of crude in China. If the shipment is received by the Japanese — which many refiners have denied purchasing — it will be Japan’s first receipt of Brazilian crude since 2010.

Brazil ethanol sales to Japan to sputter as Tokyo woos Trump — Reuters
Japan has loosened emissions requirements after negotiations with the US, affecting Brazil’s sugar cane-based ethanol producers who used to have most of Japan’s market share. Sugar cane based ethanol releases less greenhouse gases, making them a greener option.

Áreas industriais do Brasil estão na mira de japoneses e árabes — Diário de Comércio, Indústria & Serviços
Thaíse Dutra, Executive Secretary of the National Council on Free Trade Zones of Brazil, says attracting foreign investors to invest in such zones is the order of the day. In the past year, the most productive conversations have been with Japanese and Arab firms.

Korea — LAC

Samsung to Supply Onyx Cinema LED Solution to Latin America — Korea Biz Wire
Korea’s Samsung will begin supplying Mexican cinema chain Cinemex with new LED display solutions.

GCC — LAC

United Arab Emirates, Mexico to increase cooperation in tourism — The Gulf Today
The UAE Ambassador to Mexico, Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali, met with Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, to discuss improving bilateral relations, including a new airline route connecting Dubai and Mexico City and reciprocal visa-free travel.

India — LAC

Venezuela offers India 30% discount on crude but with cryptocurrency rider — Business Standard
Cryptocurrency fever hits India? Venezuela has offerred India a 30% discount on crude oil purchases, as long as India uses the country’s new blockchain tech-based currency Petro. 

India signs deals with 8 countries for farm exports, looks for more markets — Hindustan Times
India has come to new agreements over agricultural exports with Chile and Ecuador.

Bolivia wants India to ink pact for gaining access to its lithium — LiveMint
Bolivia’s ambassador to India, Sergio Dario Arispe Barrientos, said Bolivia is seeking an agreement with India for extracting lithium from the country. Bolivia is part of South America’s Lithium Triangle, but lags in production due to a government monopoly.

ASEAN & Oceania — LAC

Kadin Sets Up Committee to Boost Trade Ties Between Indonesia, Brazil — Jakarta Globe
Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Kadin, has set up a special committee tasked with boosting trade relations with Brazil. Anderson Tanoto, the youngest son of Indonesian tycoon Sukanto Tanoto, was appointed as chairman of the Brazil Committee. The Tanoto family owns a pulp and paper factory in Bahia, Brazil.

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What Do 130 Million Chinese Tourists Mean for LAC?

阅读更多关于此新闻的文章,请点击链接: 中国1.3亿游客对拉丁美洲和加勒比地区意味着什么?

Between 2005 and 2017, the number of Chinese tourists taking international trips jumped from 31 million to 122 million.  Emblematic of the country's rapid economic ascension and growing middle class, Chinese tourists are reshaping the landscape of global tourism.
 
Like the expansion of commercial interests in the region, growing Chinese tourism in Latin America is a priority for Beijing. This week Cheng Hong (拉丁美洲:世界旅游的新兴力量), EVP of the World Tourism City Federation (full presentation here: 2018世界旅游城市联合会拉丁美洲旅游会议在波哥大举行) said that the Belt & Road Initiative is an opportunity to increase the tourism profile of Latin America in China.
 
This echoes the 2017 Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean, which singles out Tourism Cooperation as one of the points of focus for engagement, stating: 

China will encourage tourism authorities and enterprises on both sides to introduce tourism resources and products to each other and expand tourism cooperation. China will explore and issue more facilitation policies to promote two-way tourism and support the negotiation for more direct flights between aviation authorities of the two sides. China will strengthen dialogue and cooperation with consumer protection departments of Latin American and Caribbean countries, with priority given to the protection of consumer rights of international travelers.

 
That’s not only a significant number of tourists, that’s also a significant amount of money - those tourists spent $261b. And that money is not just big in aggregate, it’s also big compared to other countries: travelers from the US, the second outbound tourist market according to the UNWTO, spent $122b, or less than half. 
 
Countries across Latin America have taken notice and made considerable efforts to engage with the opportunity. In 2016 Colombia, through ProColombia, opened an official WeChat account to promote the country's tourism sector; in late 2017 Promperu launched a Chinese language website with the goal of increasing tourism; last month Argentina's Nacional de Promoción Turística (Inprotur) partnered with Alibaba's Fliggy; and in a rare show of solidarity, Argentina and Brazil have banded together to promote Iguazu Falls during a roadshow in China this May. Just this week, ITB China, one of the largest industry gatherings, noted “a rising interest in China on both American continents” demonstrated by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, and Peru attending for the first time.
 
And this is to say nothing of the large Caribbean projects we have talked about. While Bahamar was developed with the U.S. and European population in mind, future projects like the Pearl of the Caribbean in St. Lucia, may end up being a true barometer of Chinese tourism in the region.
 
Stumbling blocks like distance, connectivity, and language are omnipresent. Currently, the only non-stop flight between China and Latin America is the newly establish Hainan Airlines Beijing to Mexico City which stops to refuel in Tijuana (a connection that was strengthened by HNA’s alliance with Interjet). Beyond that, there are a hand full of "direct flights" including the Aeromexico CDMX-Shanghai route with a stop in Tokyo, the China Southern Airlines CDMX-Guangzhou route with a stopover in Vancouver, Canada, the newly established Beijing-Panama City route with a stopover in Houston, and a handful of more established flights between China and Cuba with stopovers in Canada. Nevertheless, flight times that range from a best-case of 14 hours to an average of 28 hours, present a major hurdle that will only be overcome with advances in technology.
 
As Latin America works to court Chinese tourism, understanding consumption trends of the population they're looking to engage is critical. For example a survey conducted by Neilsen shows that that 65% of Chinese tourists paid for travel expenses via mobile payment during their most recent trip, compared to 11% only of non-Chinese counterparts; and 77% of Chinese tourists spent more via mobile payments than they had on previous trips taken over the past two years. Therefore, engagement of platforms like Alipay and WeChat pay are critical components in the overall strategy.
 
At present the number of Chinese tourists to Latin America and the Caribbean remain low — about one percent of that 122 million come to the region. Most Chinese tourists visit destinations in Asia, Europe and North America. But even a small increase of those China tourists to consider Latin America, will have an outsized impact on the sector in the region. Especially for places in the Caribbean that are disproportionately dependent on the sector for their livelihood.

Top Stories

El embajador de China advierte: “Bitran ha convertido el proceso de Tianqi en un asunto político y puede dejar influencias negativas en las relaciones comerciales” — Pulso
Chinese Lithium Acquisition Spree Shifts from Chile to Argentina — PR Newswire
Camus y polémicos dichos de embajador de China: “No hay una política ni prejuicios respecto de ninguna actividad o país” — Pulso
Embajador de China en Chile se mete en polémica por posible ingreso de Tianqi a SQM y pide no politizar el tema — El Mostrador
China warns Chile against blocking $5bn SQM lithium deal – Financial Times
In his first interview in Chilean media, Chinese Ambassador Xu Bu expressed his grievances over former Chilean Public Works Minister Eduardo Bitrán’s criticism of Tianqi’s interest in acquiring part of SQM. Xu says Bitrán “shifted this purely commercial action into a political matter and could leave negative influences on the development of economic and commercial relations between both countries.” In response, Juan Andrés Camus, president of the Santiago stock exchange, tried to appease things by saying: “you need to look at each investment in its own merit.” While in Chile thing remain up in the air, moves are afoot next door in Argentina. China’s Nextview New Energy Lion Hong Kong Ltd. has just snagged an all-cash deal worth $265m for a stake in reserves in Salta. 

Desembarco chino para fabricar buses eléctricos que no contaminan — Clarín
La automotriz china ByD finalmente elige la provincia de Buenos Aires para la fabricación de buses eléctricos — iProfesional
Relatedly, Chinese bus manufacturer BYD (fun fact: stands for 'Build Your Dreams') is investing $75m to build an electric bus manufacturing plant in Buenos Aires Province. Is BYD eye ing Argentina’s lithium reserves?

China Didi Chuxing lanza servicio de transporte en México — Reuters
¡Cuidado, Uber! La china Didi Chuxing arranca prueba piloto en México — CNET
Didi Chuxing has launched ridesharing services in the Mexican city of Toluca, head to head with Uber in its first venture outside of Asia. It plans to expand to the rest of  Mexico this year.

Cómo pueden beneficiarse los países de América Latina de la disputa comercial entre China y Estados Unidos — La Nación
América Latina puede beneficiarse de la disputa comercial entre China y Estados Unidos — La Opinión
País pode fortalecer parcerias com ‘isolacionismo’ dos EUA — Diário Comércio
Latin America and the US-China trade spat – Global Times
Who benefits from the brewing trade war between China and the US? In Latin America, soy and pork meat producers, overall Mexican exports, and potentially the aerospace industry. Professor Fernanda Magnotta at the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) says that Brazil cannot rely on the US and should take the opportunity to strengthen and expand its commercial relations, noting Mercosur is already in talks with Europe and Canada.

To Professor Lucas Leite, however, improving trade relations only goes so far and Brazil should focus on gaining competitive advantage by reducing bureaucracy, increasing juridic security, and massively investing in infrastructure.

Senado de México ratifica acuerdo comercial con región Asia-Pacífico — Reuters
Mexico's senate ratifies sweeping Asia-Pacific trade deal — Reuters
Mexico’s Senate has ratified the TPP — becoming the first country to do so —  despite opposition from the domestic textile and footwear industries, claiming 250,000 jobs will be lost.

El Ejecutivo busca abrir más mercados para productos agrícolas — MDZ
Argentina’s Ministry of Agroindustry is trying to open the American, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican markets to its production of meats, lemons, and sorghum — the latter based on increased Chinese demand derived from its squabble with the US.

CHINA-LAC


La automotriz china Baic Prepara 2,000 MDD para su primera planta en México — Expansión
BAIC is close to announcing a $2b investment for the construction of a plant in Mexico, to avoid a 21% tariff on each imported unit. Samuel Echeverría, director of operations for the Picacho group, a BAIC distributer, expects they will be able to reach 4% market share in key segments with a local plant.

中国跨境电商交易今年有望突破9万亿 拉美成最受欢迎新兴市场 — nbd.com.cn
According to the China Institute of International Electronic Commerce’s “World E-Commerce Report 2017” Latin America is the most popular e-commerce emerging market.

'China is just as important to South America as the US’: why Argentina is keen to start talks on free-trade agreement — South China Morning Post
Diego Guelar, Argentina’s ambassador to China, defends the scope of the Asian giant’s ambitions in Latin America, especially as critics question the long term viability and success of its projects: 
“Infrastructure or construction companies in China want to do business in the world, that’s not charity … China is not doing us a favor. It is doing business and they want to do business with us and we are happy with that.”

Los países de la Alianza del Pacífico buscan en China su "gran oportunidad" — La Vanguardia
The Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile) is eager to make China a strong and lasting partner. The bloc’s promotion agencies celebrated the 7th Pacific Alliance Investment Forum in Nanjing this week. “We need to make our countries aware of the great opportunity China gives us in term of market growth,” said José Luis Bernal, Mexican ambassador to China, who also added “we will never see China as a threat” in response to recent rhetoric from the US.

China llama a México a atreverse a cerrar un tratado comercial — Sexenio
China pide negociar un Tratado de Libre  Comercio con México — El Universal
“I don’t understand why Mexico doesn’t propel itself to get a commercial agreement with China,” said Qiu Xiaoqi, Chinese Ambassador to Mexico.

China's Ambassador visits San Fernando — Daily Express
Chinese Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Song Yumin, visited the city of San Fernando to inspect a building planned to be restored, potentially by a Chinese company.

China Comemora Exportação de 197 Milhões de Pneus Em 2017 — Transporte Express
China exported 197 million car tires in 2017, a 9.4% increase from the previous year, worth around $3.1b. We’re rolling in excitement.

China pisa fuerte en Argentina: una empresa oriental vestirá a Lanús — Doble Amarilla
China is trying to reach the hearts of Latin Americans as it focuses on one common passion: soccer. It recently made an agreement with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) for training programs for Chinese youth in Argentina, and, just recently, Chinese sportswear company Peak Sport has announced providing the kit Buenos Aires-based soccer club Lanús.

Cochilco mantiene proyección del precio del cobre de US$3,06 la libra para 2018 — Mundo Marítimo
The Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco)’s Trends Report on the International Copper Market sees price support and low deficits on stable demand, especially from China — barring any complications risen from international trade and ensuing Chilean and Peruvian contracts.

China sigue siendo el primer destino de vino chilenos — Xinhua
Wines of Chile announced China continues to be its biggest destination, with the $263m in exports over the past 12 months, 30% higher than the previous year.

Agenda entre China y Panamá seguirá acelerándose — Panamá América
Panama isn’t holding back. Panamanian Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Luis Miguel Hincapié highlighted the results from a FTA viability study that showed both countries could benefit from further cooperation. Minister of Commerce Augusto Arosemena is expected to start negotiations this year.

Detienen en el AICM a ciudadano chino que transportaría 408 buches de totoaba a Corea del Sur — Animal Politico
A Chinese citizen was caught by Mexico’s Federal Police trying to travel to South Korea while carrying 408 dehydrated innards of Totoaba, a drum fish that can fetch $10,000 per kilo in Asia that Mexico, China, and the US agreed to protect last August.

China impulsará en argentina el Corredor Bioceánico Ferroviario NOA – Centro — Segundo Enfoque
China tendría interés en corredor ferroviario bioceánico entre Argentina y Chile —Portal Portuario
Argentine and Chilean provincial representatives and Chinese authorities from the state of Hunan signed a MoU on a bi-oceanic corridor, a project connecting Argentina to ports on the Pacific through Chile. Representatives from the Argentina provinces of  Santa Fe, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, La Rioja, Catamarca and the Chilean region of Atacama signed a deal which would allow China Railway Group Limited (CREC) to build, and coordinate the project’s financing on behalf of China’s Ministry of Commerce and Export-Import Bank of China. Bi-oceanic trains have had trouble elsewhere - will this one gain traction?

中国与拉美国家关系日益紧密 西媒:激发中国人学西语热情 — Cankaoxiaoxi
Next semester, 126 secondary schools in China will start Spanish courses, and it will also begin to be included in middle and primary school course schedules. 

Los autos chinos se imponen en la Argentina: hay 11 marcas activas que ya venden más que las premium — iProfessional
Argentina is already home to 11 Chinese car firms, who collectively increased sales by 90% compared to last year.

China Expands Brazil Frontier as Investment Grows During Crisis — Bloomberg
Brazil is rolling out the red carpet for China, with FDI reaching a 7-year level high at $24.7b last year. Before Lava Jato, China couldn’t compete in the construction and services industries — now, things are different.  China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) has already begun work on a port in the state of Maranhão for an investment of $520m, and is expected to purchase an infrastructure investment fund to build a second in the state of Santa Catarina. Unclear if this will continue after October’s presidential elections.

Más de 40 fabricantes chinos de mecánica y autopartes en feria — Perú21
A Chinese commercial delegation of 43 auto manufacturers will be joining the 6th International Show of Autoparts, Mechanical Implements and Automotive Service in Peru next month.

Sunday arrival of Galleons Passage in Mexico – T&T Newsday
In the latest installment of what seems like the never-ending voyage of the Galleons, the ship is scheduled to arrive on Mexico’s Pacific port city of Acapulco this Saturday.
 
Guyanese businesses urged to sell more food, tourism to China as exports recover– Demerara Waves
As a Guyanese delegation gears up to attend the inaugural China Import Expo in Shanghai later this year, the country is being encouraged to attract Chinese tourists and sell food into the Chinese market.
 
Chile hails success of Chinese cherry campaign – Fruitnet.com
The Chilean Cherry Committee outlines the success of their recent “Enjoy your red moment” campaign in China. The 2017/18 campaign was extended from 35 to 64 cities.

KOREA-LAC

Vacuna argentina para una emergencia sanitaria en Corea de Sur — Agritotal
The company Biogénesis Bagó, Argentine leader in the manufacturing of vaccines for swine foot-and-mouth disease, has received a temporary license to sell products into South Korea in response to an outbreak there.

Corea del Sur y el BID firman un MOU sobre proyectos energéticos en América Latina — Yonhap News
South Korea and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the construction of a more refined energy infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Para Corea, un acuerdo con el Mercosur potenciará su relación con Argentina — Télam
Firmas coreanas ya preparan sus inversiones — El Cronista
Lim Ki-mo, South Korean Ambassador to Argentina, expects the conclusion of a trade deal with Mercosur “possibly in May." Bilateral trade between Argentina and Korea peaked at $2.4b in 2012.

“Perú es el ingreso para inversiones de Corea del Sur a Sudamérica” — El Peruano
South Korean Ambassador June-Huck Cho sees a lot of potential for collaboration between his country and Peru on information technology and communications.

JAPAN-LAC

Colombia: Compas Aguadulce concreta embarque récord de carbón destinado a Japón— Portal Portuario
The Compas Aguadulce maritime terminal on Colombia’s pacific coast recorded a record number of 70,684 tonnes of metallurgic coal sent to Japan.

INDIA-LAC

Aeromexico and Jet Airways connect Mexico and India – Traveldailynews.com
Aeromexico and Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, will enable their codeshare sales today, which will allow passengers to travel to and from both countries by connecting via London to Mexico City, Delhi or Mumbai, as of May 1.
 
Antigua seeks India's assistance in developing health, other sectors  - Jamaica Observer
As part of a visit by an Indian delegation headed by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, C R Chaudhary; Antiguan and Barbuda’s Investment and Trade Minister, Asot Michael, requested that India help the island nation develop a FTZ and train doctors.

GCC-LAC


Masdar and Costa Rican Electricity Institute to Advance Renewable Energy Development — Albawaba
Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) signed a memorandum of understanding to share technical knowledge and project experience on renewable energy development, yielding “a number of promising clean energy opportunities,” said Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.

United Arab Emirates, Mexico to increase cooperation in tourism – The Gulf Today
The UAE Ambassador to Mexico Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali on Tuesday met with Mexico's Secretary of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid Cordero to discuss ways enhance relations, namely boosting bilateral tourism between the UAE and Mexico and economic and cultural cooperation. The officials also looked at ways to accelerate plans that will see the opening of a new airline route from Dubai to Mexico City via Barcelona, in addition to proposals on reciprocal visa-free travel for the citizens of both countries.
 
Dubai AI tech firm Flytxt expands in Latin America – GDB Online
Mexico’s America Movil has partnered with Dubai-based Flytxt’s flagship artificial intelligence, analytics and marketing automation product NEON-dX in six markets across Central America to analyse customer data in real-time.

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The Chinese Role in Renewables in Latin America

阅读更多关于此新闻的文章,请点击链接: 论中国在拉丁美洲可再生能源中的作用

While China is still heavily dependent on traditional sources of energy, its ascendancy in the renewable energy sector is nothing less than remarkable. True to form this is a perfect mixture of necessity, policy, and investment. What does this mean for Latin America and the Caribbean? Like most Chinese companies, China's renewable energy companies are fanning out into the world in order to export excess capacity and project China's soft power.

This week Huawei announced that it will supply 75MW of string inverters — to convert solar DC energy to AC energy — to AES Tietê, Brazilian subsidiary of AES. This news was followed by JinkoSolar’s announcement that it has secured a $108m loan to begin construction of the 130 MWLa Viborillas Solar Park in Jalisco, Mexico. The loan syndicate included Natixis, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BBVA Bancomer, Intesa Sanpaolo, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Société Générale.

This news punctuates the leading role that Chinese companies have established in the renewables space in Latin America. Setting aside traditional low-carbon footprint projects like hydroelectric dams — that firms like China Three Gorges, China State Grid, and China Gezhouba have actively pursued for years now — wind and solar projects have quietly become an area in which Chinese companies are leading in the region, and Chinese names are quickly leading the market.

Jinko has been in the region for a while, providing everything from large utility solar farms to smaller rooftop projects in countries like Honduras. Jinko’s commitment to supply 579MW of solar modules to Brazil after winning 2015 auctions led it to build a local factory, a move that was deferred by the country’s ongoing economic crisis.

China’s Envision Energy led the charge into Argentina’s renewables, securing 185MW of the 708MW in the first round of Argentina’s renewables promotion programme Renovar, including some of the largest wind farms in Neuquén and Rio Negro.

Sinovel, the world's second-largest wind turbine supplier, inked a deal two years ago with Desenvix, a subsidiary of the Engevix engineering group to provide turbines for a 34.5 MW wind farm in Sergipe, Brazil.

Goldwind — the largest wind power company in China — has been active throughout Latin America. The 270MW Penonomé I and II wind projects, on Panama’s southern coast, are some of the largest in the region. At the 33MW Bío Bío, Chile, project they provided preferred equity and non-recourse project financing. And the Goldwind turbines at Ducal-Membrillo and Huayrapamba wind farms in Ecuador are — at 2,900 meters above sea level — some of the highest in the world.

And Sky Solar has been active, with projects in Chile of and Uruguay. Its Chile efforts have been the recent acquisition of 24MW in existing projects, while the Uruguay work has been the development of up to 100MW in greenfield projects, to say nothing of the proposed 300MW of solar generating capacity in Chile's Atacama desert.

Like many its peers, Sky Solar has also been active in courting both private and multilateral financing. US-based private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners invested $50m in the projects in Chile and Uruguay. The Uruguay projects (in Paysandú, Salto and Río Negro) have also been supported by the IDB, along with the China Co-Financing Fund and the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector. Likewise, Goldwind has gotten $300m in International Finance Corporation (IFC) financing for the second phase of Penonomé, and last year IDB Invest provided $28m for Jinko’s San Juan Solar Power Project in Argentina.

And it’s not just Chinese sources looking to boost renewables in Latin America. The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) actively advertises its willingness to look beyond projects by Japanese companies for green projects:

In addition to supporting the business activities by Japanese companies, JBIC will continue to provide financial support for efforts aimed at global environmental preservation by making most of the GREEN operations.

What’s next for funding renewables in the region? There are efforts to try to finance rooftop renewable projects in Jamaica via the blockchain. Much like cell phones leapfrogged the incumbent landline gap 20 years ago, renewables should leapfrog the existing energy gap in Latin America? Chinese firms are set to play a key role in making that become a reality.

Top Stories

México abre la puerta del TPP a EU... pero Japón, Australia y Malasia se la cierran — El Financiero
¿Qué dicen países del TPP-11 sobre posible retorno de EE.UU.? — El Comercio
Japón celebra las palabras de Trump sobre el TPP pero rechaza renegociación — El Economista
Tras amagar con regresar, Trump vuelve a criticar el Tratado Transpacífico: “Tiene demasiados riesgos” — Univision
US trade policy continues to make headlines. The White House leaked that President Donald Trump asked his economic team to look into the feasibility of the US joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a year after he pulled the country out. Mexico says it's willing to engage a renegotiation of TPP — probably along the lines of the current NAFTA discussions — but Chile and Japan among others want the US to take it or leave it. Following a Mar-A-Lago meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump tweeted that he doesn’t "like the deal for the United States. Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient.” Oh well.

拉美被要求中美间选边站?中方:贸易是自由恋爱,非强迫婚姻! — Huanqiu
The winners and losers (mostly losers) in a U.S.–China trade war — Axios
Amid Rising Tensions With US, China Looks To LatAm For M&A — Forbes
México sería el ganador si China pone aranceles a soya de EU — El Financiero
Brazil pork sales to China soar as U.S. ties sour — ECNS
EUA indicam que vão exigir cotas do aço do Brasil — Folha
Problema é excesso de produção, afirma secretário de comércio dos EUA — Folha
“La colaboración China-América Latina es un modelo de éxito” — El Peruano
US trade policy continues to continue to make headlines. Brookings’ David Dollar points out that it’s mostly losers in a US-China trade war. Chinese Ambassador to Peru Gui’de Jia scores easy points by saying China thinks "trade is free love, not a forced marriage,” and doesn’t want to make Latin America choose a side. In addition to affecting trade flows, Itaú Unibanco’s  Ricardo Villela Marino thinks that US protectionism will boost China to be the biggest source of M&A for Latin America. Mexican soy consumers and Brazilian pork exporters (up 151.6% to China over last year already, thanks to China lifting a ban) think they’ll benefit. And Brazil finds itself debating whether or not it should set quotas on its steel exports in order to be exempt from the 25% steel tariff imposed by the US.

美国抛出的是“橄榄枝”还是“荆棘”? — People.cn
The perspective from China on this and the impact on Latin America is telling: People’s Daily asks if the United States extending an “olive branch” or “thorns” to Latin America? President Trump making the United States priority number one has put the relationship between the U.S and Latin America into the lowest level. People’s Daily says that this has broken the heart of the US’ friend, Latin America. It advises with the saying adapted from Confucius:

交友之道贵于相互尊重
交友之道贵于平等沟通
交友之道贵于以诚相待
The principle of making friends is all about mutual respect
The principle of making friends is all about equal communication
The principle of making friends is all about honesty treatment

At Summit in Peru, U.S. is the unpredictable one, while Latin America’s biggest countries are the voices of reason — Miami Herald
Wilbur Ross: América Latina não precisa decidir entre EUA e China — Exame
Cooperación China-América Latina concuerda con intereses comunes, dije cancillería china — Xinhua
U.S. seeks to outshine China at Latam summit, without Trump — Reuters
US seeks to outshine China at Latin American summit in Peru, without Donald Trump — South China Morning Post
Read-outs from last week’s Summit of the Americas in Lima. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims the US is not “making anyone choose between the US and China,” but reminds Latin America that it has a commercial surplus with the US, which imports higher-valued manufactured products, as opposed to China, with whom it has a deficit. Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, responded to Ross’ comments by saying: “China is a good cooperative partner to Latin America, and no one knows it better than the people of Latin America.” The IMF’s Alejandro Werner worries a potential US-China trade war would “depress the global economy and lead to a recession that would slow demand for Latin America’s exports.”

Chile dice que Canadá "prácticamente confirmó" su intención de unirse a la Alianza del Pacífico — Reuters
Finally, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera says Canada “practically confirmed” its intention to join the Pacific Alliance over the weekend at the Summit of the Americas. Let’s see where this goes.

Indian, Chinese oil companies look to invest in Ecuador, minister says — Reuters
Ecuador’s oil minister Carlos Perez confirmed Indian oil company ONGC Vinesh’s interest in buying a stake in Ecuador’s oil fields, stating a confidentiality agreement will be signed in the upcoming weeks. Perez also pointed out China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is interested in the development of an oil refinery at the Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputini (ITT) field.

China — LAC

Panamanian president advocates further boosting global trade — Xinhua
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela voices his support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a statement to Xinhua: “We are firm believers in connectivity … through our canal, our ports and airports. We support all initiatives which strengthen connectivity.”

Grupo chino Fosun prepara compra de administradora general de fondos chilena — Economia y Negocios
China’s Fosun Group continues to expand in Latin America. According to local reports, it is looking to acquire a pension fund manager in Chile, and it plans to do diligence over the next couple of weeks. Fosun does not plan to spend as much as it did in Brazil, and has a contingency plan if it fails: private equity investments in mining and energy.

Ultiman acuerdo con China para exportar carnes congeladas y fruta — El Perfil
The deal on frozen and bone-in meat exports to China from Argentina will be signed next month. Fruit export discussions are also moving forward. Chinese Ambassador Yang Wanming assured China wants to “balance the scales” as Argentina currently has a commercial deficit with the Asian giant.

El grupo Car One importará la marca china Haval y Great Wall a la Argentina — iProfesional
Invasión china: 2 nuevas marcas de autos llegarán al país el mes que viene — Clarín
Argentine automobile dealership Car One will begin importing Chinese Haval cars, from the Great Wall Motors Company. Haval experienced 40% value growth in 2016 and is already present in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay.

China committed to helping Caribbean with poverty reduction — Jamaica Observer
In a meeting at China’s foreign affairs ministry, Hang Jing, Counsellor for the Department of Latin America and Caribbean, said China is prepared to keep supporting poverty alleviation in the region as they are aware of the common challenges and believe “no country can face up to these challengers alone, nor can they retreat to isolation.”

Piden a próximo gobierno mexicano fortalecer aún más relaciones comerciales con China — Xinhua
Mexico keeps getting grilled for greater relations with China. Ahead of national elections, José Luis de la Cruz, director of the Institute for Industrial Development and Economic Growth (IDIC), said in a press conference presidential candidates “will have to contemplate a strategy that can maintain a productive relationship within the NAFTA framework, while also building productive links with China” as they will inherit “contradictory commercial policy”.

China destacó el interés de invertir en Bahía Blanca — BAE Negocios
The Chinese Ambassador to Argentina, Yang Wanming, says the city of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, has “great potential” as it “constitutes a door for the exportation of many agricultural and oil products to China."

The World Wants Blueberries All the Time. Chile’s Excited — Bloomberg
Santiago-based Hortifruit is seeking to boost production to meet worldwide demand for blueberries. It is close to completing a deal to buy Peru's Grupo Rocio, the country’s largest blueberry producer, for $160m. Together with expansion plans in the US, Mexico, and China, Hortifruit expects to reach production of 200 million pounds, ideal for meeting Chinese demand where blueberries are sold for almost double the American rate.

Panama-China FTA Feasibility Study Concludes — Prensa Latina
Following the conclusion of a feasibility study, Chinese and Panamanian authorities foresee Free-Trade Agreement negotiations starting soon. Panamanian Minister of Trade and Industry, Augusto Arosemana, is expected to head to China in the upcoming weeks.

Panamá estudia construcción de tren hasta Costa Rica en coordinación con China — America Economia
Panamá estuda construir ferrovia até Costa Rica em parceria com a China — Época
Panama studies building train to Costa Rica with China — Reuters
Panama and China continue discussions for a passenger train to Costa Rica. The 450 km track would require a starting investment of $5b.

Barbados hosts high level Chinese business delegation — Barbados Today
A delegation from the China Chamber of International Commerce is in Barbados this week for a series of meeting aimed at expanding bilateral relations, attending a seminar organized by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC).

Argentina comprará 200 vehículos a China para potenciar red ferroviaria — Xinhua
The Argentine government announced the purchase of 200 electric passenger wagons from China’s CRRC to be added to the General Roca train line.

Gobierno mexicano dará apoyo financiero a inversores de Zonas Económicas Especiales — Xinhua
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the country has opened a $2.7m fund for companies interested in the country’s Special Economic Zones, to spur interest from foreign investors.

China Offshore inicia trabajos en aguas profundas mexicanas — El Economista
China Offshore Corporation will invest $289m over the next 4-10 years to explore a deep-water bloc in Mexican waters, hoping to prove almost 500 million barrels in the area.

"América Latina y el Caribe y China: condiciones y retos en el siglo XXI” — RED ALC CHINA
The Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City will be hosting the 4th International Seminar on Latin America and the Caribbean and China May 28-30.

Posible inversión china en el Bío Bío: embajador manifestó interés a intendente Ulloa — Bio Bio Chile
Chinese ambassador in Chile has voiced China’s interests in investing in the Bío Bío region of Chile.

Japan — LAC

Habría interés de Japón en invertir en minería y energías renovables — El Esquiú
Japanese Ambassador to Argentina, Noriteru Fukushima, met with Catamarca Governor Lucía Corpacci, to discuss possible commercial opportunities, including the region’s mining potential and financing for renewable energy projects.

Japón registró en febrero un superávit comercial de 6.000 millones de euros — El Diario
Japan registered a commercial surplus of $7.4b in February, with increased exports to China by 10.8% and to Brazil by 24.4%, and an 84.6% increase in its deficit with Chile.  

Miniso: el retailer oriental que llega al Perú con una innovadora propuesta comercial — Perú Retail
Japanese retail brand Miniso plans on opening 100 stores in Peru in the next 3 years.

Korea — LAC

Chile: Asoex requests improved FTA with Korea — Fresh Plaza
Ronald Brown, president of the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile (ASOEX), says bilateral renegotiation of Chile’s FTA with South Korea is paramount because subsequent Korean trade deals have given Chile’s competitors an edge. Aside from expanding Chile’s trade deals and relations, ASOEX seeks an overhaul of Chile’s agricultural export framework, such as by improving the work by agricultural attaches and increasing ProChile’s reach.

S. Korean delegation sent to Latin America to promote health care industry — Yonhap News Agency
A 34-member delegation from South Korea made their way to South America this week to promote health care companies’ inroad into the regional market. The delegation also plans to meet with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to discuss joint regional projects.

Coreia do Sul deve abrir mercado para carne suína brasileira, diz governo — Folha
Brazil pork exporters are pushing talks to resume exports to South Korea.

India — LAC

International Energy Forum: Mexico eyes strong energy ties with India — Business Standard
“Indian companies can participate in the full value chain,” says Mexican Deputy Minister for Hydrocarbons Aldo Flores-Quiroga, in regards to the country’s energy sector. Mexico hopes India will participate in its growing gasoline market, especially due to its petrol deficit. India is expected to take part in an auction round of onshore conventional blocks in July.

GCC — LAC

Emirates revives prospect of world’s longest flight to Panama — Arab News
The Emirates push to expand to Latin America continues. “We are still looking at Panama. We had some conversations recently with a delegation from Panama,” Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori told reporters in Dubai. Emirates has trumpeted the 8,590-mile (13,824km) route as the world’s longest, taking 17 hours and 35 minutes westbound.

Asean & Oceania — LAC

Brazil to resume meat exports to Indonesia — Xinhua
Brazil has also announced it will resume exporting meat to Indonesia, following the Asian country’s ban in March 2017 due to concerns about food security.

 

Latin America's digital economy beckons; will Singapore outfits go? — Enterprise Singapore
Singapore sees room for growth in Latin America’s emerging digital economy. Benedict Koh, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Enterprise Singapore, sees sufficient demand and a landscape that is “fragmented and large enough to accommodate more solution providers,” and not just regional ones. Huge consumer and untapped markets may see an influx of Singaporean startups soon.

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The Catch to the Caribbean’s China Connection

阅读更多关于此新闻的文章,请点击链接: 论加勒比地区与中国的联系

Overshadowed by the seemingly-imminent trade war and today's Summit of the Americas, reporters from the Caribbean have been on a month-long trip to China to better understand the country and its increasing presence in the Caribbean basin. The group is there to better understand China and its increasing presence in the Caribbean. This is not by chance.

China's interest in Latin America's larger economies makes headlines. From infrastructure to agribusiness, to raw materials, and even new markets, these investments have captivated the attention of politicians and investors throughout the world. What is often overlooked is the expanding presence China is playing in the economies of the Caribbean. Put simply, Beijing is paying outsized attention to the Caribbean in terms of trade and investment.

A partial list of recently completed or underway projects driven by Chinese investment and construction in the Caribbean would include: the north-south highway, Goat Island/Portland Bight port, the Alpart alumina works, the Monymusk Sugar Factory, and the Government Oval in Jamaica; the Government House and airport expansion in Trinidad and Tobago; the storied Bahamar resort, completed by China Construction, the North Abaco Port Project, National Stadium, the Nassau Airport expansion, highway connecting it to Nassau, and The Pointe hotel. More ambitious projects include: St Lucia’s massive Pearl of the Caribbean resort and a national development plan for Grenada.

For many Caribbean-basin governments and decision-makers, China is seen as a new source of funding for critical infrastructure projects and an opportunity to push diversification of their economies.  Indeed, Jamaican PM Andrew Holness last year saw China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as something that "could be quite beneficial to Jamaica”:

“[BRI] a very beneficial, but very noble expression of not just the Chinese aspiration for development, but the development of economies right across the world through a cooperative and inclusive strategy.”

However, while lending from Chinese institutions may offer new sources of funding, on terms different from incumbent funders, it is far from an unlimited blank check. And while there is often talk of “win-win” projects, decision-makers should be mindful of China’s goals, not just their own.

One of China’s overriding goals in its “going out” policy during the two previous five-year plans, and now in the BRI, is exporting excess capacity. This includes financing, construction capacity, expertise and other factors. Caribbean countries, in particular, have learned that this includes the exporting of labor, to the detriment of the underemployed in host countries.

In addition to using foreign investment to address domestic policy concerns, China also sees the potential soft power gains to be made. These can include gains in its ongoing diplomatic recognition tussle with Taiwan, incentivizing smaller governments to vote along with it at the UN and in other fora, addressing global poverty, and generally stepping into a global economic leadership role at a time when traditional leaders are missing in action.

With all that said, decision-makers in the Caribbean basin would be wise to keep some lessons in mind:

  • Recognize that Chinese companies and government institutions will not fund all projects, but most often those that are seen as in-line with stated priorities: food and energy security, logistics and transportation.

  • It is not enough to sign covenants  — whether on local content, employment, or other issues — with companies and feel the issue is settled. Effective oversight of their compliance with the issue is important, as well (this is true for all foreign companies, not just those from China).

  • Finally, headline figures for Chinese funding in the Caribbean may not be all that they appear. As Brookings’ David Dollar noted last year: "within Latin America and the Caribbean, large amounts of China’s ODI go to the Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. These money centers are certainly not the ultimate destination for all of this investment."

Ultimately China's involvement in the Caribbean basin as a trade partner and investor is a good thing. Diversification usually is. What remains to be seen is whether China's willingness to address the region's infrastructure gap is a process that ends up being a sustainable "win-win" in the long term.

Top Stories

Latin America caught in middle as US-China trade war looms — South China Morning Post
U.S., China rivalry poses risks, benefits for Latin America — Reuters
Rivalidad entre EEUU y China impacta en comercio e inversión en América Latina — Swissinfo
Perú: ¿Por qué la disputa comercial China-EEUU es una oportunidad para Latinoamérica? — América Retail
La disputa comercial EEUU-China y sus consecuencias en la región — El Observador
Brazil soy exporters set to win big from U.S.-China trade spat — Reuters
China podría comprar más soya a Brasil y Argentina — El Economista
Brasil pode “aproveitar” tensões comerciais entre EUA e China — Portal N10
Why China Is Hungry For Brazilian Soy — Forbes / Stratfor
La guerra comercial China-EEUU abre oportunidades a la fruta de Chile — Marco Trade News
Disputa entre EUA e China poderá ajudar o Brasil pontualmente, diz Fazenda — IstoÉ
China assures Caribbean amid jitters over looming trade war with US — Jamaica Observer
Perú no se verá afectado por guerra comercial entre EE.UU y China — El Economista
Guerra comercial: Las implicancias sobre la economía peruana — RPP Notícias
As the China-USA trade war ensues, “the US is forcing countries in the region to choose between the US and China,” says our friend Margaret Myers at the Inter-American dialogue. Officially Latin American governments are keeping their heads down. Analysts are more positive, but caution that the region could not fully replace American production of products such as soy. Brazilian soy, in particular, is seeing record highs, but even if it were to reach 100% in exports, it would not meet China’s demand.

China Pide a EU no arrastrar a América Latina a una guerra commercial — Expansión
Chinese ambassador warns U.S. not to drag Latam into trade dispute — Reuters
Strong words from China. Ahead of this week’s Summit of the Americas, Jia Guide — Chinese Ambassador to host country Peru — warned the US not to keep Latin America out of their trade discussions, saying it would show “contempt not just for China but also Latin America.”

Japón inicia acciones para ratificar el CPTPP — El Comercio
Japón y México activan las gestiones para ratificar el CPTPP — Marco Trade News
Tratado Integral de Asociación Transpacífico en vigencia a fines del 2018, prevé Mincetur — Andina
The Japanese government has moved to begin the ratification process for TPP, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has already asked his senate for ratification. The treaty needs 6 nations for ratification, and Peru’s Foreign Trade Ministry thinks it’ll get done before the end of the year.

Brasil, China e Índia fazem mais da metade dos investimentos em energia limpa — Época
A UN report points out China, India, and Brazil were responsible for over half of investments made towards renewable energy in 2017, while investment in the developed world fell by 18% reaching its lowest level since 2006.

Latin America needs an infrastructure upgrade — The Economist
The Economist argues that setbacks such as Lava Jato, burdensome red tape, and abusive public private partnerships (PPPs), have left Latin America with dozens of unfinished projects. Despite higher global interest rates, the region should be encouraged to invest by realizing the cost-effectiveness of promoting sustainable projects and by China’s investment (as we discussed above), which has surpassed that of the World Bank and IDB combined.

Después de 20 años, la Argentina importará soja desde Estados Unidos
Argentina’s drought is hitting the country hard, exacerbating prices and changing flows. For the first time in 20 years, the country will import soybeans from the US. The 120,000 tons are expected to arrive late this year, during Argentina's off-season.

Marfrig compra fatia da National Beef e se torna 2ª maior empresa de carne no mundo — Folha
Brazilian Marfrig, the country’s second largest food processing firm, purchased 51% of American National Beef for $969m. Marfrig will now have access to National Beef’s markets in Japan and South Korea, markets that are currently closed to Brazilian meat exports.

China — LAC

Mercado Libre招商峰会将在深圳举办 — ebrun
Comercio electrónico tiene gran oportunidad de crecimiento en América Latina, según Mercado Libre — América Economía
Latam internet titan Mercado Libre is stealing a page from Alibaba’s book. They’re hosting an summit in Shenzhen next week, April 19, to promote the Latin American e-commerce market for Chinese sellers. Sean Summers, regional vice-president, says “the countries in Latin America are in different spots on the same curve for the development of e-commerce”. He further believes the industry can grow as it reacts against Chinese demand and the economy, seeking to increase the region’s e-commerce penetration, currently at 5% compared to China’s 20%. Sign up today.

China Tianqi responde a Bitran y asegura que “no controla ni controlará” la industria global del litio — Pulso
China Tianqi acusa “errores" en demanda para bloquear compra de parte en minera chilena SQM: medios — Swissinfo
Bitrán e interés de empresa china en comprar parte de SQM: El Estado debe preocuparse
Valente tras reunión con embajador Chino por SQM: “Chile es un país abierto a las inversiones” — Diario Financiero
Embajador de China se reúne con Ministro Valente en medio interés de Tianqi por minera SQM — Pulso
China’s Tianqi continues to look at the Chilean lithium sector. Lawyers sat down with Chile’s national competition authority (FNE) to “correct erroneous information espoused in Corfo’s request”. Eduardo Bitrán, former executive director of Chile’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO), points out the danger of the acquisition is control over the Atacama salt fields, as projections for Tianqi and American Albemarle say they could attain 80% of the lithium market by 2020. Despite Bitrán’s grievances, Minister of the Economy José Ramón Valente is supportive of the purchase; in a meeting with the Chinese ambassador in Chile, Xu Bu, Valente said “any company that comes to Chile and adheres to Chilean legislation will be welcome”.

联想2018誓师大会在美国罗利启幕 北美拉美亮眼业绩助力联想复苏 — ITtime
Latin America is driving Lenovo’s profits. In its annual report to shareholders, it notes that its PCs are in the top three in 11 countries including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru. In the tablet and smartphone segments it is top three in 9 and 4 countries, respectively, including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Peru. Annual sales growth in Latin America is eight times faster than the overall average.

La competencia china de Uber llegó a México — El Tiempo
Didi llega, finalmente, a México: inicia período de prueba en Toluca — Hipertextual
ACTUALIZA 1-Didi, el rival chino de Uber, arranca en México con recluta de choferes — Reuters
Didi Chuxing has launched a Mexican website website to start attracting drivers and consumers in Toluca. They’ll have to make smart moves in order to fight Uber’s 87% hold of the market.

KERUI Petroleum Wins the Largest UPGN Project in Brazil — PR Newswire.
Petrobas is back in the game. The Brazilian Petroleum Corporation held its first public oil project bid since 2014, signed by Chinese Shandong KERUI Petroleum Equipment Limited for $600m for a gas processing plant in Rio de Janeiro. KERUI is the first private Chinese company to reach such a deal. The project will be the largest natural gas treatment in Brazil.

Nuevo servicio de carga desde Hong Kong a Miami — Loginews
Southern Air inaugurated its first Hong Kong-Miami commercial flight last week, making it the the sixth airline to do so.

Why China should help solve Venezuela’s deepening crisis — Asia Times
Should, but will it? International Crisis Group’s Michael Korvig argues Beijing should join in backing the Lima Group to address the ongoing Venezuelan disaster.

Las marcas chinas llegan en masa a la Argentina: radiografía del nuevo mercado — TN
A survey of Chinese cars in the Argentina market.

Investimento chinês na América Latina é recorde — Estadão
Data compiled by the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University reports that China spent a record $17.5b in acquisitions in Latin America in 2017.

Comissão de Relações Exteriores aprova acordo aduaneiro entre Brasil e China — Senado Noticias
The Brazilian Commission of Foreign Relations approved an agreement between Brazil and China over cooperation between domestic customs authorities and information.

Brasil estuda abrir processo na OMC contra barreiras chinesas ao açúcar — Exame
The Brazilian government is looking into going to the World Trade Organization (WTO) with grievances over Chinese protectionist measures on Brazilian sugar. The tariffs, implemented last year, reduced exports by 88%. In light of the trade kerfuffle between US and China, Brazil will have to tread very carefully if it pursues this all the way to the WTO.

Galleons Passage leaves Hawaii tomorrow — Newsday TT
US coast guard inspects Galleon Passage — Newsday TT
Galleons Passage was scheduled to leave Hawaii on April 11 to head towards Mexico, but was held up by the US Coast Guard.

Nueva era para la cooperación China-América Latina — Excelsior
Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi pens an article extolling a new era of cooperation between China and Latin America.

Japan — LAC

Mexico raises longer-term yen funds via 4-part Samurai — NASDAQ
Mexico has raised ¥135b ($1.26b) through an issuance of Samurai bonds (yen-denominated bond issued in Japan), with maturities of five, seven, 10 and 20 years.

MUFG planeja vender fatia de US$ 435 mi no Bradesco: Font — Bloomberg
Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) plans to sell nearly half of its 2.5% stake in Banco Bradesco for $435m. MUFG has a commercial cooperation agreement with the Brazilian bank and serves as its main loan unit.

EVA, el brasier que detecta el cáncer de mama se venderá en Japón — Forbes
Sostén mexicano que detecta cáncer llegará a Japón este año — Excelsior
A Mexican bra designed to detect breast cancer early will start being sold in Japan by end of the year. Julían Rios, executive director of Higia Technologies, has been working on this project for 16 years, focused on cancer detection through artificial intelligence.  

Japan angles for space in Brazil with Mercosur deal — The Brazilian Report
Japan is focusing on Brazil, Mercosur’s laggard partner when it comes to free trade, to get an FTA with the Southern Cone done.

Empresários japoneses conhecem oportunidades de investimentos no Ceará — Governo do Estado do Ceará
Brazil’s northeastern state of Ceará received the Japanese ambassador to Brazil, Akira Yamada, together with Japanese businessmen to discuss invesment in Ceará’s Zone of Processing and Exportation (ZPE), the country’s first free trade zone.

Visita Sinaloa embajador de Japón en México — Linea Directa
Japanese Ambassador to Mexico Yasushi Takase visited Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel and a retinue of local businesspeople in Sinaloa.

Korea — LAC

Aumenta comercio con Corea del Sur — El Vigia
Más productos mexicanos con posibilidades de acceder al mercado coreano — Marco Trade News
A delegation from the Busán-Jinhae Free Trade Zone ministry met with officials from Mexico’s ministry of agriculture (SAGARPA). The free trade zone’s commissioner, Yang Hyun Jin, says Mexico’s focus on export capacity makes it viable for South Korea to increase imports of products such as avocado, mangos, oranges, limes, and papayas.

Asoex pide a Direcon mejorar acuerdos comerciales con Corea del Sur — PortalPortuario
Chile’s savvy fruit exporters association ASOEX is leaning on the country’s trade negotiator Direcon to revamp the FTA with South Korea. Chile signed an “FTA 2.0” with China last year.

India — LAC

Indian, Chinese oil companies look to invest in Ecuador, minister says — Reuters
Per Oil Minister Carlos Perez, Indian oil company ONGC Videsh is looking at buying a stake in oil fields in Ecuador and may also participate in an upcoming tender for the Intercampos blocks

India, Peru to hold next round of free trade agreement talks this week — Live Mint
India and Peru continue to move forward on Free Trade Agreement discussion. Bilateral trade between the nations increased to $1.77 billion in 2016-17 from $1.52 billion in the previous fiscal. Among the top ten commodities of India’s export to Peru are motor vehicle, cars, products of iron and steel, cotton yarn and fabrics. While the imports include bulk minerals and ores, gold, fertilizers crude and zinc.

ASEAN & Oceania — LAC

Why international investors are clamoring for multifamily real estate in Mexico — The Investor
JLL’s Hector Klerian argues that CCLA’s partnership with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, shows confidence in Mexico’s real estate sector. Klerian foresees more interest in Mexico’s rising multifamily home market due to advantageous investment conditions.

El atractivo de China para la carne ovina chilena — Economía y Negocios
Chile is looking to elbow New Zealand and Australia — who supply 98% of mutton imports to China — aside by revamping its sheep industry exports to meet increasing China demand.

GCC — LAC

Dubai Chamber to Open Argentina Office in 2018 — Business Wire
Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry will soon open a representative office in Buenos Aires, it’s second in Latin America. This is part of the Chamber’s “ambitious strategy to expand its presence in Latin America and identify trade and investment opportunities in the region”, says President and CEO Hamad Buamim.

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