Panama and China come out of State Visit very happy



Up Front

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela’s state visit to China did not disappoint, either for the Panamananians or the Chinese.

As expected with a well-managed state visit, while there were lots of events, there were few surprises.  President Varela described the trip as “an intense agenda, but extremely productive,” and the agenda shows it. Panama formally opened its embassy in Beijing. The two parties signed 19 cooperation agreements, including: agriculture, international trade, investment, electricity and tourism. Air China will begin flights to Panama (via Houston) in March of next year. And the Colón Free Trade Zone (ZLC) signed a cooperation agreement with the Zhuhai Latin America Industrial Park. This all done with the hopes of attracting more Chinese business and investment to Panama, and making the country the trade hub for China in Latin America.

While the commercial impact redounds to Panama’s benefit, China got what it wanted, as well. President Varela spoke out strongly in favor of China’s foreign policy goals in Latin America:

“Undoubtedly, our decision would serve as a model for other countries to follow – which is that other countries will follow our example of supporting the one-China policy.

“I believe that the one-China consensus would be strengthened in other countries in the region.”

And Varela instead that the decision to establish recognition with China was national, not political, and will last long after he leaves office:

"When our government made the decision, it received the support of 100% of the population, and from all political parties. I have to recognize that it was a decision of state that will have continuity."

No doubt China would welcome such stability and commitment in all it’s government-to-government relations in Latin America.

Top Stories

Japan Urges TPP Partners to Sign Pact Before Elections — Bloomberg
Learning the lessons from the UK, US — and maybe Germany? — Japan is agitating for a quick signature to the revived Trans-Pacific Partnership, ahead of contentious elections in Malaysia and Mexico in the middle of next year:

"Next year various countries have elections, there’ll be movements in governments," Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday in an interview in Tokyo. "Considering this, we ought to get it signed quickly before then.”

Chineses firmam acordo para melhorar fornecimento de energia no RS — O Globo
Chineses vão investir quase R$ 4 bilhões na rede de energia gaúcha — Jornal do Comércio
China’s investment wave in Brazil continues. Eletrobras, Eletrosul, Shanghai Electric and the China-Latin America Investment Fund have agreed to a R$3.9b ($1.2b) deal to build 1,900km of transmission lines, eight new substation, and expand 13 existing substations in Rio Grande do Sul over the next four years. Details are still to be worked out, according to Eletrosul chief Gilberto Odilon Eggers: “We are discussing the capital structure and contribution from each firm. The balance will come from financing we’ll look for in China and probably BNDES."

Latin America: During January/September, the volume of steel imports from China decreased 4%, while the average price increased 32% — Hellenic Shipping News
Interesting deep dive into the trend in steel prices across Latin America — and the impact of the decline in Chinese exports — summed up in this chart:


Grupo de Alto Nivel México-China: relación más allá de los negocios — El Economista
Empresarios de México y China acuerdan incrementar cooperación — Expansión
Bancomext y el Banco de desarrollo de China renuevan Acuerdo — Jornada UNAM
This week was the fifth meeting of the Mexico-China High-Level Business Group, chaired by ProMéxico and the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA). Participants from the private sector included from Mexico Aeroméxico, Alfa, Banobras, Bimbo, CFE, Citibanamex, CNA, Comce, GIA, Gruma, Kaltex, Katcon, Pemex and Softek. From China CBD, CCC, CNOOC, COFCO, CREC, Golden Dragon, Huaneng, Huawei, ICBC, Jinchuan, Sinochem, Sinomach, SINOPEC and ZTE participated. As part of the event, Bancomext and the China Development Bank renewed their 2014 Strategic Cooperation Agreement.

Ecuador president: Manafort pitched deal for China investors — Fox News
Proof that there is no escaping the weirdness that is US politics: Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno says he met with Paul Manafort — former campaign chairman for US President Donald Trump and current money-laundering indictee — this year together with a group of Chinese businessmen interested in acquiring a stake in the nation's power company. Moreno says in a statement Monday that the proposal from the delegation that included Paul Manafort to privatize the state-owned company was rejected because it would have violated Ecuador's constitution.

Em 2018, Bolsonaro viajará a Hong Kong, Japão e Coreia do Sul — Política ao Minuto
Tropical Trump Jair Bolsonaro, presidenciável who is leading in polls ahead of next year’s election in Brazil, has announced plans to visit Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea early next year. Lucky them.


Ecuador presentará portafolio de inversiones en cuatro países — W Radio
Roadshow, Ecuador: Foreign Commercial Minister Pablo Campana goes on the road next week, to the UAE, Russia, South Korea, and Japan. He will be bringing with him potential projects totaling $33b, including investments for petroleum, aeronautics, and fisheries companies.

Brasil negocia base de Alcântara com muitos países — O Globo
Brazil’s defense minister Raul Jungmann confirms that the country has been looking to get other partners who would be interesting in using the star-crossed launching station at Alcântara in Maranhão. China, Russia, Israel, and France are said to be interested, and Jungmann traveled to Washington last week to pitch the Americans.

ENTREVISTA: Huawei aspira a potenciar conectividad mundial desde China con tecnología e innovación — Xinhua
An interview with David Moheno, PR Director for Huawei Consumer Business Group — Latin America, where he talks about the Chinese’s company’s plans for the region, albeit at a very high level.

Chinos interesados en desarrollar el tren conurbado en el Sur de Tamaulipas — El Sol de Tampico
Coming off the Zhuhai expo last week, the head of local business chamber Canaco Madero Marco Antonio Cortés Salazar says there is a lot of interest from Chinese companies in building an urban rail line for the southern sections of Tamaulipas, connecting Tampico, Ciudad Madero, and Altamira. No companies are named.

Rowley: Stop embarrassing Chinese govt — Trinidad Guardian
Chinese checkmate Rowley-style diplomacy — Trinidad Express
While Panama basks in the glow of a successful state visit, the China contretemps in Trinidad gets ugly.

Piñera asegura que de ser elegido, China sería una tremenda prioridad — People’s Daily
Chile's former President Sebastián Piñera, in the lead for a second term headed into the December 17th runoff, says that China would be a “tremendous priority” if he were elected: “We want to strengthen relations. Not just in the trade of goods, but also in that of services, investment, and all types of collaboration."

Peru: Blueberry exports up 30.7% between Jan.-Sept. — Fresh Plaza
Blueberry exports have benefited from increased demand in Hong Kong, which imported almost 300% more over the previous year, according to the Peruvian Association of Exporters (ADEX). With exports to China allowed this year, Peru is now working to lift sanitary barriers for blueberry in South Korea, Japan, India, and Taiwan.

BYD signs green bus deal with Argentine province — China Daily
Chinese automaker BYD will provide 50 electric buses to the Argentine province of La Rioja. The fleet of buses are part of a series of energy deals BYD inked with La Rioja at the China Hi-tech Fair 2017 in Shenzhen. Under the agreements, BYD will provide La Rioja with electric vehicles, solar module products, and battery energy storage systems.

Brazil and China sign PPH agreement — IP Pro Patents
China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has signed a patent prosecution highway (PPH) agreement with the Brazilian National Institution of Intellectual Property (INPI). PPH agreements allow patent offices to request fast-track examination in the partner country after a patent application has been granted in the home country. A pilot program will be launched in February.

Chile designa a Jaime Chomalí Garib como nuevo embajador en China — Xinhua
Chile has tapped career diplomat Jaime Chomalí Garib — current ambassador to Ethiopia — as it’s new ambassador to China.

Fortifican lazos con Chile y llegar a China por el Pacífico — Provincia de Tucumán
The interior Argentine provinces of Salta, Tucumán, and Jujuy are looking to use the Chilean Iquique Free Zone to export goods like lemons and cranberries to China.

Oceana: Peru’s second anchovy season won’t cause fishmeal supply shock — Undercurrent News
A discussion on how strong Peru’s second anchovy season of 2017 will be. Of note, 50% of Peru’s season has already been pre-sold to Chinese buyers, limiting price shocks.

Peru to soon start shrimp exports to China — Undercurrent News
Peru should soon start to export frozen vannamei shrimp to China, following a deal between the two countries that Peruvian Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros signed last week.

"Last week Mr. Ferreyros signed [a deal] in China," one source close to the matter told Undercurrent News.

"So, we will see how quick [the Peruvian health authority] Sanipes can have everything set to start export vannamei shrimps from Peru to China," the source added.

He told Undercurrent he hoped it would be a "matter of weeks".

Peru: Chinese canned fish pulled from market due to anisakis worms — Outbreak News Today
Yikes. Peru’s fisheries regulator SANIPES has decided to pull all food from Tropical Food Maniufacuturing (Ningbo) Ltd. until China’s AQSIQ can guarantee the safety of their products.

Rio Tinto, China's private equity prepare to bid for lithium producer SQM — Reuters
In the ongoing quest for lithium, Rio Tinto, Canada’s Wealth Minerals and Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital are considering a bid for a stake in Chilean lithium producer SQM. This follows last month’s rumors that Sinochem was in the hunt

Uruguay tries fashion route to boost wool sale in China — Fibre 2 Fashion
Uruguay wants to boost its sale of wool to China by expanding into fashion and design, its ambassador to China Fernando Lugris recently said while meeting designers from his country in Beijing.

Chile puts on a show in China — America Fruit
ASOEX (the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association) put on a show at the Food and Hotel China (FHC China) 2017 trade exhibition in Shanghai this week.

Think Tanks de América Latina se enfocan en experiencias de China — China Radio International
A summary of the Beijing International Think-Tank Symposium last week, with a focus on comments from some Latin America think tanks.


Samsung Pay officially launches in Mexico — Neowin
Samsung Pay launched in Mexico this week. However, details are sketchy, so it’s unclear who exactly is going to be using it.

América Latina celebra la primera expo de la ola coreana — Yonhap
São Paulo hosted the "Expo hallyu 2017” this week, showcasing Korean goods and K-pop.


K Line ramps up its auto-logistics business in Chile — Seatrade Maritime News
Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha — better known as K Line — is ramping up its auto-logistics business in Chile through KAR Logistics, a joint venture with Agencias Universales (AGUNSA). The company offers logistics services throughout Latin America, and auto-logistics in Santiago, Chile since August.

Japan to offer dollar-denominated loans to developing nations — Nikkei Asia Review
Japan's government will start offering dollar-denominated development assistance loans. While this helps with exchange risk borrowers have with dealing with Yen, this doesn’t solve the "original sin” of emerging markets borrowing that has contributed to crises in the past.

ASEAN & Oceania-LAC

Peru: FTA with Australia will boost Asparagus exports — Fresh Plaza
Put another asparagus on the barbie? The newly-inked FTA between Peru and Australia will be a boon for Peruvian asparagus and quinoa growers, according to the Foreign Trade Research and Development Institute (IDEXCAM) of the Chamber of Commerce of Lima (CCL). Sugar-free cocoa powder and mango exports will also see a boost.


CFEnergia Snaps Up $100M NatGas Supply Contract for Chihuahua Power Plant — Natural Gas Intel
CFEnergia, the fuels marketing arm of Mexico’s state power utility, the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), has secured a $100 million, 10-year contract to supply 22 MMcf/d of natural gas for a power plant to be built by a consortium of Emerging America and The Abraaj Group. The plant is to be built in Aquiles Serdan, Chihuahua, and will be up and running late next year. The gas will be sourced from the Permian basin in the US.

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala seeks to invest in Mexico’s oil drilling, refining — Zawya
According to Pemex chief José Antonio González, Mubadala Petroleum is keen to invest in Mexico both in the upstream in oil production as well as downstream sector in petrochemicals. The two companies signed an agreement last year to provide the basis for discussions between the two companies and their affiliates about potential opportunities in Mexico’s energy sector. On his trip to Abu Dhabi, González also met with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

CVC, Emirates want Brazilians to go to Dubai — Brazil Arab News Agency
The Brazilian tour operator CVC and the UAE-based carrier Emirates struck a deal earlier this month to get more Brazilians to travel to Dubai. They’re looking to leverage the A380 Emirates now flies between Dubai and São Paulo.

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Panama's Varela begins state visit to China

Up Front

All the action between Asia and Latin America is in China this week, where two events are defining relations - the state visit of Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, and the Zhuhai China-Latin America and the Caribbean International Exposition.

The state visit is still ongoing — with Presidents Varela and Xi set to meet on Friday — so we will have more next week. But the opening of the Panamanian embassy in Beijing will be a “decade-long dream come true.” Panama is also looking to significantly increase Chinese investments, which were $250m last year. China is expected to agree to build a rail line between Panama’s capital and Chiriquí, on the border with Costa Rica (which is the other country that recognizes Beijing in Central America). The meetings in Beijing will be followed by a trip to Shanghai, where Varela will open a consulate.

But the trip is seen in bigger than commercial terms, with Panamanian observers noting that it comes at a moment when the global balance of power seems to be tilting away from an inward-looking US towards a surging China.

Another sign of that tilt was seen at the Zhuhai Exposition. It started off with a bang, with RMB3.2b ($482m) in projects signed, and the inauguration of the 244,000 square meter (2.6m SF), RMB2.5b ($378m) China-Latin America Economic & Trade Cooperation Park. Both sides of the conference recognized that e-commerce is going to be the biggest driver of the relationship going forward, being described as the “Digital Silk Road” between the two areas. Mexico sees the need for closer ties, with the National Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (Concanaco) pushing for e-commerce with China as an alternative to an ever-more tenuous NAFTA. Brazilian observers noted that political instability in their country is seen as an obstacle to investment (although as we discuss below, it hasn’t held everything back).

On the sidelines, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) met with Chinese counterparts in order to foster trade and investment with the region. And we were happy to see Welsh teahouses [and the Peninsula Valdés] get the attention they deserve, with MOUs to promote tourism and commercial exchange.

It was also announced that Zhuhai will host next year’s China-LAC Business Summit.

Top Stories

Caoa compra 50% da chinesa Chery e anuncia investimento de até US$ 2 bilhões no Brasil nos próximos 5 anos — Época Negócios
Licenciado de Hyundai se asocia al fabricante chino de autos Chery en Brasil — W Radio
Chery inks strategic cooperation with Brazil CAOA Group — Just Auto
Following last month’s rumors of Chery’s plans to sell half it’s Brazil operations, it has inked a 'deep strategic cooperation’ agreement with CAOA — assembler of Hyundai, and distributor of Ford, Subaru, and Hyundai in Brazil. The $60m deal gives CAOA 50% of the Chinese brand's Brazilian operations including the Jacareí plant. CAOA intends to invest $2b over the next five years to help Chery capture 5% of the Brazilian market.

Chineses investiram US$ 9,5 bilhões no Brasil em agosto e setembro — Diário Pernambuco
O voraz apetite chinês por investimentos no Brasil — Opinião & Notícia
Brazil’s vulnerability is a big opportunity for Chinese investors — FT
Several pieces about Chinese investment in Brazil, all noting that the investment is driven by the weakness of the Brazilian economy over the past several years. With $10.8b in investments so far this year, China has the potential to best it’s 2010 record of $12.5b. But it may not be the salvation Brazilians hope for. Per Reinaldo Guang Ruey Ma, China head at law firm Tozzini Freire:

“We joke that in the Brazilian popular imagination there are two ideas about China: ‘The Chinese have a lot of money and the Chinese will buy anything.’ The first is true. The second is not.”

Países del Asia-Pacífico sientan las bases de un TPP sin EE.UU. — El Comercio
After some last minute fireworks, the 11 members of the TPP agreed to move on without the US. The now-Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership has received agreement on central elements of the text from all the Trade Ministers, and is expected to move towards signature.

COFCO to nearly double soy sourcing in Brazil's Mato Grosso state — Reuters
COFCO plans to nearly double the volume of soybeans it sources in top Brazilian grains state of Mato Grosso during the next five years, according to Governor Pedro Taques, on his trip to China this week. According to a report by Mato Grosso’s official news agency, COFCO Vice-President Jingtao Chao told the entourage traveling with Taques that he plans to increase soybean sourcing in Mato Grosso to 7.2 million tonnes from 4 million tonnes currently.

China says Venezuela can 'appropriately' handle debt load — Reuters
As Venezuela begins what looks to be a protracted and difficult renegotiation with private-sector bondholders, China — unlike Russia — looks to keep its distance from the morass. Says Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang: "“We believe the Venezuelan government and people have the ability to appropriately handle their affairs, including the debt issue."

Dr. Rowley is headed to China — Daily Express
PM not off to China, yet — Newsday
In what has heads scratching around the Caribbean, the government of Trinidad and Tobago announced that Prime Minister Rowley was headed to China at the beginning of December to participate in a summit with 10 other leaders from around the world; five days later — after a visit from the Chinese Ambassador — the government said the trip was off.

El embajador argentino en China entregó langostinos argentinos en el Día de los Solteros — La Prensa
A nice little touch from last week’s Single’s Day story about the Argentine Embassy turning itself into a supermarket: Ambassador Diego Guelar selling live lobster to a family.


PPK y Xi Jinping buscan afianzar relaciones entre Perú y China — El Comercio
PPK wheeling and dealing: Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski met with China’s Xi Jinping on the sidelines of APEC. Both sides agreed to work towards deepening and improving relations between the two countries, but nothing concrete was unveiled.

China y Chile firman acuerdo de actualización del TLC de 2005 — América Economía
Also at APEC, Chile and China signed their “FTA 2.0” agreement, modernizing the Free Trade Agreement the two sides signed in 2005.

China quiere iniciar conversaciones y un estudio para posible TLC con Colombia — Blu Radio
Chinese Ambassador Li Nianping says his country is ready to begin looking at a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia, driven by China’s demand for agricultural products.

China dispuesta a avanzar en el TLC a pesar del rechazo de Brasil — El Observador
Uruguay does what it does best - finessing it’s position despite it’s two large neighbors. Uruguay and China are beginning to discuss a Free Trade Agreement, despite Brazil turning one down. The ball is now in Montevideo’s court to get out from under Mercosur to move it forward.

Brasil y Argentina se unen para aumentar el flujo de turistas en China — W Radio
Embratur and Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism are teaming up to promote both countries in selected Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Totoaba, 10 veces más cara que el caviar en el mercado negro chino — Televisa
Putting August’s agreement between the Mexico, China, and the US on totoaba/drum fish in perspective, a report that the fish is worth ten times it’s weight in caviar on the Chinese black market.

Chile se convierte en principal proveedor de aguacate para China — Xinhua
Chile’s commercial attaché in Beijing Andreas Pierotic is pleased to announce that his country has displaced Mexico as the king of avocado exports to China.

Shrimp industry needs to invest USD 1 billion to increase productivity — Fish Information & Services
Langostinos: Perú gana mercado potencial de $ 500 mlls. en China — Diario Correo
The Peruvian shrimp industry should invest close to USD 1 billion to change its production matrix in order to increase its productivity, said the president of the fishing and aquaculture committee of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), Henry Quiroz. This investment is in anticipation of an increase in demand following the expected April start of exports to China. That increased demand could total $500m annually.

Em seu último dia de viagem à China, Crivella faz saldo positivo — Jornal do Brasil
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella made a deal on the last day of his trip to China - Feilo Sylvania has agreed to look into a PPP to replace Rio’s 450,000 streetlights with LED lights and install security cameras and wifi.

Agroquímicos: qué cambia para la industria local con los mayores controles ambientales en China — La Nación
Chinese efforts to improve local environmental conditions can impact agrochemical exporters like those in Argentina, according to Red Surcos’ Sebastián Calvo. Both the tightening of environmental standards and the closing of Chinese companies that can’t meet them will weigh on demand for certain fungicides and insecticides.

Inicia gira de trabajo de Silvano Aureoles en China; se reúne con el embajador de México — El Despertar
Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo is in China this week, pushing the Lázaro Cárdenas Special Economic Zone and other opportunities for investment in the state. 

Los vinos argentinos de cuatro provincias ya se venden en la tienda on line de Alibaba — iProfesional
Wines of Argentina has been busy on Alibaba’s platforms, getting wines from four provinces — Mendoza, San Juan, Salta and La Rioja — on the company’s websites. Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly Malbec.

Huawei quiere unir China y Chile con un cable submarino de fibra óptica: ¿Qué tan factible es el plan? — Fayer Wayer
A brief analysis of the last week’s proposal by Huawei to lay fiber optic cable between Chile and China. Unclear how much more it is than merely a PR push.

Relación México-China, en “el mejor momento” — El Universal
Mexico’s Ambassador to China, José Luis Bernal Rodríguez, says that bilateral relations are in their “best moment,” but doesn’t tip his hand on an FTA timetable.

Argentina aprueba el préstamo chino para la financiación del mayor parque solar de América Latina — PV Magazine
Following Jujuy’s $210m issuance in September, China EXIM has extended $332m in credit to finance 85% of the 300 MW Cachauri solar park. Work on the park began in October.

Uruguay seeking to boost air connections to China — ECNS
"Hopefully, in the context of the 30th anniversary of the start of relations between the two countries, which will be celebrated in 2018, Uruguay and China will sign an agreement (to open flights),” says deputy tourism minister, Benjamin Liberoff.

Latin America is fragmented – countries must improve China relations bilaterally — China Dialogue
Latin America "must articulate a strategy for partnering with China, experts said at the second international conference organised by the China-Latin America: Multidisciplinary Focuses network (REDCAEM) in Santiago, Chile, last week."

Latin America's Two Trade Blocs Get a Little Closer — Stratfor
Are Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance getting cosy? They’re taking small steps on the path to convergence, according to Stratfor, as the US’s lukewarm attitude on NAFTA and the revival of the TPP have reoriented interests in both blocks toward the Pacific.

New markets lift Peru’s blues exports — Fruit Net
Slight delays but similar volumes for Chilean blueberries in 2017-18 — Fresh Fruit Portal
Frutacloud’s first charter fight carrying Chilean cherries lands in China — Fresh Fruit Portal
Chile braced for cherry lift-off in China — America Fruit
Ahead of the Southern Hemisphere growing season, both Chile and Peru are looking to China to drive strong demand for their specialty berry and fruit production.

Ties with Dominican Republic stabilized: MOFA — Focus Taiwan
After the rumors that mainland China was looking to capture bilateral diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic from Taiwan, Taipei says that diplomatic relations have been “stabilized" following a series of two-way high level official visits over the past month.

China's Jisco set to ship first Jamaican alumina cargo — NASDAQ
China's state-owned Jiuquan Iron & Steel Group (Jisco) will ship the first cargo of alumina from its Alpart refinery in Jamaica to China next week. 


KPX Transfers Korea’s Knowledge of Operating Power to Latin America — Business Korea
The Korea Power Exchange (KPX) hosted the World Bank's "Green Growth Knowledge Exchange Project” on November 2 for electric industry experts from seven countries of Latin America, including the ministers of energy of El Salvador and Panama, and others from Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico.

México exportará más a Rusia, Sudamérica y Corea del Sur si TLCAN llega a su fin — SDP Noticias
In the event of a collapse of NAFTA, the president of Mexico’s National Agriculture Council feels that the ongoing negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea — expected be finalized in the coming months — will be one of the tools the industry will use to diversify exports.

Corea, un mercado potencial para México: Embajador — El Comentario
Bruno Figueroa Fischer, Mexican Ambassador to South Korea, took advantage of the fifth International Academic Day on Korea at the University of Colima to extol the virtues of the Asian country as an export market for Mexican firms.


Kuczynski: eliminación de la doble tributación con Japón permitirá atraer inversiones — Andina
PPK wheeling and dealing, con’t: Also at APEC, PPK sat down with Abe and agreed on a double-taxation treaty with Japan, which is expected to drive investment to Peru.

México y Japón deben ampliar más su relación comercial: Peña Nieto — El Sol del Centro
President Enrique Peña Nieto met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and said that Mexico needs to deepen it’s relations with Japan, in case the US decides to overturn the NAFTA applecart.

Comisiones del Senado aprueban nuevo acuerdo aduanero con Japón — Televisa
The Mexican Senate has moved forward on a customs agreement with Japan, with the Commissions on Foreign Relations and on Asia-Pacific Relations both voting unanimously on the measure. The agreement now goes to a floor vote, where it is expected to pass.


Venezuela's PDVSA to tap oil customers to pay $449 million to ONGC — Reuters
ONGC to deepen cooperation with Venezuela despite US and EU sanctions — National Herald
The Venezuelan crisis is being felt everywhere. India’s top oil producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has an investment in a Venezuelan energy project and has so far received only $88m of a $534m dividend payment. PDVSA has not made payments to ONGC for six months and has previously turned to Russia’s state-owned Gazprombank and Indian refiner Reliance Industries for help to make payments. Now PDVSA will use existing crude oil customers or new Indian state buyers as intermediaries to settle the $449m owed.

Cabinet approves 'JID' b/w India & Colombia — United News of India
India’s cabinet approved a Joint Interpretative Declaration (JID) between India and Colombia on the existing Investment Promotion Agreement signed in 2009, clarifying many terms of the agreement.


Colombian president chases more investment from UAE firms — Arabian Business
President Juan Manuel Santos was in Dubai this week, pushing on investment from UAE businesses on tourism, agri-business and renewable energy. Santos and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, presided over agreements between the two countries on double taxation and investments.

Dubai Airshow: Made in the UAE — Arabian Aerospace
Gulf firm Calidus is to unveil its new B-250 light attack aircraft and advanced armed trainer. The B-250 is claimed to be “the first military fighter ever developed in the UAE”, but has been co-developed with Brazil’s Novaer, and is understood to have been designed by that company’s Hungarian-born chief designer, Joseph Kovács, who had previously led the design of the Embraer T-27 Tucano.

UAE Ambassador hosts dinner for Mexican officials — MENA FM
Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali, UAE Ambassador to Mexico, hosted Antonio Echevarria Garcia, Governor of the State of Nayarit.

Brazil exports cattle and technology to the UAE — Brazil-Arab News Agency
The United Arab Emirates are importing a herd of 210 head of cattle from Brazil. São Paulo's Agro Betel is also coordinating the setting up of a bovine genetics lab in the emirate of Fujairah.

ASEAN & Oceania-LAC

El Perú y Australia firmarán tratado de libre comercio — El Peruano
PPK wheeling and dealing, further con’t: as expected, PPK and Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull inked a free trade agreement on the sidelines of the APEC summit. Bilateral trade has nowhere to go but up - last year it was $363m; 70% of Peru’s exports were metallic ores.

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Latam-Asia trade fest at APEC

Up Front

The APEC Summit in Vietnam this weekend will be a turning point for Asia-Latin America relations, where they will deepen and - more importantly - begin to disconnect from the United States.

Last minute Canadian tantrums aside, the eleven remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are set to announce a revived version of the trade pact. As a result, bilateral trade between (East) Asia and Latin America will no longer be anchored by a US whose government is increasingly turning in on itself. The TPP has the potential to connect Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam in a free trade area operating under trade rules that will not be driven by the world’s two largest economies - the US and China. 

Chile, who kicked off the TPP 2.0 process by hosting a ministerial meeting in March and sees itself as an evangelist for the free trade agenda, isn’t stopping there. This weekend will also see the signing of what their Ambassador to China is calling a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) 2.0 between the two countries, bringing services into the discussion.

Mexico has also been looking for new partners on fear that the US will break up NAFTA, with producers in that country pushing for FTA with Korea and elsewhere. China has seen its opportunity and moved in, driving an agenda that may lead the two countries to negotiate a FTA.

Peru and Australia, not wanting to be left out of the action - and not wanting to wait for the TPP - are also signing an FTA this weekend.

While there are those in Washington questioning the benefits of free trade, the countries of the Pacific basin are wasting no time. But Argentine President Mauricio Macri tells the US it needs to get with the program

“I think at this time it wouldn’t be very intelligent of the US, that has been the principal partner of Latin America for so many years, to leave this role to China, to Japan, or other regions."

We’ll see if Washington listens.

Top Stories

Chinesa Cofco vende negócio de sementes na América Latina à Syngenta — Terra
China's COFCO sells Latam seeds business to Syngenta — Times of India
After a troubled three years, COFCO has sold its Nidera subsidiary to Syngenta. Financial terms were not disclosed but a Syngenta spokesman said it hoped to have regulatory approvals completed by the end of the year or early next year. Selling the business to Syngenta means it will remain under Chinese ownership following ChemChina's takeover this year of the Swiss crop chemical and seed group.

The geopolitics of Venezuela’s debt — FT
China's Dagong Places Venezuelas Credit Rating on Negative List — Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela faces epic default as China and Russia pull the plug — The Telegraph
How Long Can Venezuela Count on Russia and China? — WOLA
Venezuela will restructure its debt 2 — Bloggings by Boz  
The ongoing imbroglio of Venezuelan bond payments is driven in large part by China’s decision to stop throwing good money after bad at the Maduro administration. China has been willing to countenance the Maduro regime because it sits on 300 billion barrels of oil; but they also want to have a good relationship with whoever will be sitting on those barrels of oil in the future.

Chineses querem investir ainda mais no Brasil — R7
Trelew participará de la primera feria global de China para América Latina — Diario Jornada
Brazilian federal deputy Fausto Pinato heads to this weekend’s Zhuhai China-LAC International Expo looking for more Chinese investment in Brazil, and he thinks he’ll find it. The expo will also have participation from the Argentine city of Trelew. We expect lots of Welsh tea house paraphernalia.

Peter Gordon: China's Latin America ambitions highlight 'silver way’ strategy — Nikkei Asian Review
Academic Peter Gordon warns that Washington should brace for Beijing's Belt and Road in its own ‘backyard’:

Now no less a figure than Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that Latin America is a "natural extension" of the maritime Silk Road, and that the BRI is a model for the way in which China-Latin America cooperation can be structured.


La embajada argentina en Pekín, supermercado por un día para Alibaba — EFE
Prueba piloto: Alibabá ya vende productos argentinos en China — Clarín
Alibaba ya vende productos argentinos en China — Cadena 3 Argentina
Ahead of Single’s Day (11/11), Alibaba and the Argentine embassy in Beijing set up an Argentine “supermarket” in the embassy, selling steak, wine, prawns, fresh fruit, olive oil, sweets and herbs.

Chineses criam fundo de US$ 3 bi para financiar projetos no Brasil — Paraná Cooperativo
The Chamber of Commerce for Brazil-China International Development (CCDIBC) has announced a $3b fund for Brazilian companies looking to do business with China. The fund is supposedly underwritten by the Chinese government and the Huayang Group, which is purported to be the owners of Xiamen International Bank.

Empresas de productos del mar participan en feria China Fisheries & Seafood 2017 —PortalPortuario
Twenty Chilean companies went to the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo this week in Qingdao.

Para Guelar, exportar a China "es una oportunidad que Argentina no debe perder” — Télam
Argentina Ambassador in China Diego Ramiro Guelar calls China “an opportunity that Argentina cannot miss"

China estudia formalizar un TLC con Colombia — RCN Radio
China’s Ambassador to Colombia Li Nianping says his country is doing a pre-feasibility study to evaluate an FTA between the two countries. And, yes, China loves avocados.

China ties open opportunities, Panama vice president says — Nikkei Asian Review
Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado says that Panama's establishment in June of formal diplomatic relations with China will help expand opportunities in tourism and trade for the Central American country.

Chilean avocados to grow in volume and scope with China campaign — Fresh Fruit Portal
Last year Chile accounted for around 80% of avocados in the Chinese market. These interviews with two major Chinese avocado importers and the head of Chile’s avocado industry shed light on the state of play heading into the winter high season.

Chinese oil giants win Brazil offshore auction — ECNS
Consortiums comprising China's three major oil giants, China National Petroleum Corp, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp, won three blocks in Brazil's deepwater oil auction. The three blocks include Peroba - with an estimated 5.3b barrels of oil - Alto de Cabo Frio West, and Sapinhoa with 350m barrels of oil, all in the Santos basin.

Time for a new Sino-Peru multidisciplinary matrix — Global Times
Juan Carlos Capuñay, Peru’s Ambassador to China, talks up his country’s potential to his hosts, talking about the China-pushed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and wanting to share in efforts to project the Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America through a Digital Silk Road.

China Telecom may spend up to $6 bln to control Brazil's Oi — Reuters
China ve en la brasileña Oi su ingreso a las telecom de América Latina — El Economista
“Sources” claim that China Telecom is willing to splash out $6b to control Oi after it comes out of bankruptcy. China Telecom has long been looking for an asset to allow it to enter Latin America. Today’s creditors assembly may determine whether China Telecom is allowed to move forward.

An interview with Peru’s Minister of Commerce and Tourism — CGTN America
An interview with Eduardo Ferreyros talks about his country’s FTA with China (which he literally signed in 2009), and the goals of the current government in Peru.

Chile salmon sales JV encounters ‘tough competition’ in China — Undercurrent News
Chile’s Multiexport will up output amid fast China growth — Undercurrent News
New World Currents (NWC), a sales joint venture between several Chilean salmon farmers, saw its sales growth slow in 2017 with competition in the market growing. Two other Chilean players with a presence in the Chinese market (Multiexport and Los Fiordos) have now offered fresh salmon, and Norway and China agreed to normalize their diplomatic relationship earlier this year, which will bring more competitors in. Multiexport — for it’s part — has doubled sales in China over the past year, boosted by access to the sales network of its Japanese shareholder Mitsui (which owns just under a quarter of the firm).

Crivella tenta negociar dívida do Rio na China — Jornal do Brasil
Em busca de recursos para o Rio — O Globo
Rio de Janeiro mayor Marcelo Crivella, looking for funds for projects for his cash-strapped city, has gone to the Chinese Development Bank to refinance the city’s debt with the Brazilian federal government. He defends "going and talking directly with Chinese authorities” by saying he is looking for investments in a public-private partnership sponsored by the World Bank to modernize the 430,000 light posts in the city, as well as the Operação Urbana Consorciada (OUC) to unite the Barra da Tijuca and Vargens neighborhoods with the rest of the city.

“Chineses estão sedentos por investimentos no agronegócio brasileiro”, diz João Doria — Infomoney
In other Brazilian mayoral news, São Paulo’s João Doria is pushing Brazilian ag companies to look to China for new markets.

Atfa y un proyecto entre Argentina y China — Sin Mordaza
The Argentina Soccer Coaches Association (ATFA) is working to help develop Chinese coaches and players.

Viceministro de Granos de China visita Argentina — Agritotal
The Chinese quest for agriculture and food continues, with Viceminister for State Grain Administration Lu Jingbo visiting Argentina.

China rejeita 26 frigoríficos do Brasil — Dinheiro Rural
China libera 22 frigoríficos para exportação e dois estão em MT; plantas podem gerar U$ 1 bi ao ano — Olhar Direto
China approved 22 meat refrigeration companies to export from Brazil, but rejected 26 others, saying their products did not match those on the bilateral export protocol. Another 36 were asked for further information.

“Este es el megaproyecto de fibra submarina de capitales chinos más grande y austral del mundo” — La Prensa Austral
Huawei Marine is teaming up with Chile’s Comunicación y Telefonía Rural (CTR) to pay fiber optic cable along almost 3,000 kms of southern islands in the Andean country. Huawei is also looking to lay fiber optic cable from Chile to China, with a pre-feasibility study suggesting that a route via Australia and New Zealand making sense.

China Fishery: Fijan precio mínimo para venta de activos en US$ 1,200 millones — Gestión
The trustee in the China Fishery Group case has set a minimum value for the assets to be sold: $1.2b. Interested parties have until December 8 to make a submission.

China: un desafío para América latina — Clarín
Former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos takes the long view on the challenge China shows to Latin America.

China’s new relations with Panama and Costa Rica are another step towards a Beijing Consensus in Central America — LSE Latin America and Caribbean
Sophie Wintgens from the Université Libre de Bruxelles writes that:

China’s strategy towards Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) fulfils four main interests:

1. securing energy, mining, and agricultural resources abroad to maintain domestic economic growth

2. getting political and economic support in regional and international forums

3. encouraging nations to recognise China instead of Taiwan

4. opening new markets for Chinese goods

And that Panama’s recognition of China is part of that strategy.


Korea's high-tech products a benchmark for Costa Rica — Korea Times
Alexander Mora, Costa Rica’s foreign trade minister, extols the benefits of the recently signed Central America-Korea FTA for both sides:

"Costa Rican exports of fruit, medical devices, vegetables, pork meat, beef, plants, flowers and electronic products may register the largest increases, while Korean exports of cars, electronic devices, machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, plastic manufactures and metal products would be the ones with the largest expected increases.”

Panamá y Corea comparten conocimientos en gestión de la inmigración — KBS
Korea is trying to learn from Panama’s experience in getting (rich) retirees to move there.


Brasil volta a ter autorização para exportar lácteos ao Japão — Valor
Lácteos: Ministério diz que Brasil teve aprovação do Japão para exportar — Dinheiro Rural
Brazil has received approval to export dairy products to Japan from areas free of hoof-and-mouth disease. Japan is the world’s seventh largest importer of dairy products.

Empresa busca nikkei en Perú para trabajar en Japón — Business Monkey News
Yutaka, a Japanese company is looking for nikkei (members of the Japanese diaspora) from Peru to come to Japan to work in construction, services, and production.


Oberoi to Expand to Latin America, Caribbean — Caribbean Journal
India’s Oberoi Group has signed a deal with Mexico-based Grupo GDI to develop Oberoi hotels and resorts in the US, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. GDI said it would be investing around $100 million in the first two properties, with more to be announced in 2018.

FIEO signs MoU to explore LAC, Caribbean export opportunities — SME Times
Indian exporters' body Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) has signed MoUs with Cuba Chamber of Commerce; Guyana’s Georgetown Chamber of Commerce; and Barbados Chamber of Commerce.

Trinidad & Tobago and Sri Lanka sign counter terrorism deal — Sri Lanka
The Attorney General of Trinidad & Tobago signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of Cuba and Sri Lanka to exchange information to track financiers of terrorism.


Brazil rejects Saudi Arabia's overtures on oil output cuts — Zawya
Brazil has rejected an informal effort by Saudi Arabia to coax Latin America's top oil producer into joining OPEC-led production cuts aimed at boosting prices that have been hit by oversupply.

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Latin America lucky on Singles' Day?

Up Front

Export agency Apex-Brasil has announced the "Programa E-xport Brasil”, a portfolio of services that will allow Brazilian firms to explore exporting via e-commerce. The services are designed to mirror traditional services offered by Apex-Brasil, such as capacity-building, market intelligence, strategic partnerships, and trade missions. China, the US, Mexico, and Argentina are the four markets that Apex-Brasil sees as its initial targets.

A week before Singles' Day — a Chinese trend seized by Alibaba as an e-commerce marketing juggernaut  — the Apex-Brasil announcement could not better underline the growing importance of e-commerce in Latin America exports to China.

China now accounts for more than 40% of the world’s e-commerce transactions, up from less than 1 per cent a decade ago. E-commerce is growing as China’s online shopping population rose to 390 million in 2015 and is estimated to reach 500 million by 2018. 

Of that, fresh produce e-commerce is predicted to rise to $15b in 2017, a 350% increase over 2014 ($4.3b). Chinese consumers like shopping for fresh produce online because they think it’s fresher, more convenient, and gives them more choices. In particular they seek out imported food, which is seen as prestigious.

This demand has boosted the success of "Chile Week” and more recently Peru’s “Superfoods” marketing campaigns. More recently, half a million Mexican avocados were sold in two days in September after they were unveiled on Alibaba’s Tmall Fresh. And just this week Gruma announced that it will be selling tortillas and totopos via Alibaba, thanks to an agreement signed by President Enrique Peña Nieto and Alibaba head Jack Ma when the latter visited Mexico in May. And Alejandro Wagner of Argentina’s International Commerce and Investment Agency (AAICI) sees the e-commerce potential for his country next week:

“Like the whole world, [Argentina] looks to China. International commerce and ‘Singles Day’ are an enormous opportunity for our country."

Does Apex-Brasil waking up to the opportunity mean that we’ll be able to treat ourselves to pão de queijo in Shanghai on Singles' Day?

Top Stories

Los once restantes del TPP abordan en Japón una nueva ronda de renegociación — El Diario
Negociaciones de TPP sin EU se acercan a fase final — Forbes México
Fears that TPP renegotiations would be scuttled by New Zealand real estate price limits seem to have been avoided. The 11 TPP countries hope to unveil the revised agreement at next week’s APEC meeting in Danang, Vietnam. “The impulse (towards a deal) at the Danang meeting has grown significantly,” says lead Japanese negotiator Kazuyoshi Umemoto. 

Latin America and the Caribbean’s Foreign Trade Shows Signs of Recovery and Will Return to Growth in 2017 — ECLAC
Commodities Dominate Latin American Exports — Two Weeks Notice
China liderará las exportaciones de América Latina en 2017, según CEPAL — Xinhua
Com alta das vendas à China, comércio exterior da América Latina se recupera e volta crescer — Comex do Brasil
China to become top destination of LatAm exports in 2017: ECLAC — China Daily
Comercio entre China y América Latina recupera crecimiento rápido — Xinhua
Commodities continue to drive Latin American exports, and China continues to drive commodities. Latin American exports are up 10% for 2017; exports to Asia are up 17%; and exports to China up 23%. The challenge to diversify away from commodities remains:

According to ECLAC, the current high concentration in raw materials imposes the urgent challenge of “decommoditizing” the export basket, which is also true of other sectors related to natural resources. For this to occur, it is necessary to develop attributes that differentiate products, such as quality, brand, traceability, safety and international certifications (for organic production, fair trade or reduced environmental footprint, among others), which allow for fetching higher prices in global markets, the organization indicates. Furthermore, officials must generate conditions that are more favorable to processing those products that today the region exports almost exclusively in their raw form.

Iniciativa de la Franja y la Ruta promueve desarrollo sostenible de relaciones económicas entre China y América Latina — Xinhua
China quiere aterrizar la 'Franja y la Ruta' en la comunicación — El Telégrafo
Impulsan nexos entre medios de China y América — El Universal
China hosted a “China-Latin America Forum of Communications Media” with the goal of using Chinese culture as a media “Belt and Road” to connect with Latin America.

Chinese merchant opens grand shopping center in Chile's capital — Xinhua
The 40,000 square-meter Asia Pacific Shopping Center, owned by Chinese businessman Qian Jiugen, opened in Santiago this week. The complex is supposed to help other Chinese businesses by providing them with the services they need to establish themselves.


Exportaciones de Panamá hacia China crecerán 49.2% en 2017 — Forbes México
The ECLAC data confirms that Panama’s bet on diplomatic relations with China is beginning to pay off. Exports to China will be up almost 50% in 2017. The Colón Free Zone (ZLC) continues to be the  driver of bilateral trade, with one third of the ZLC’s imports coming from mainland China.

“Llegar a China con carne con hueso y enfriada será revolucionario” — Agrovoz
Más carne argentina para el mundo: China, a un paso; EEUU y Europa, a varios — Agrovoz
Argentina, más cerca de exportar carne con hueso a China  — Agritotal
Argentina is getting closer to exporting beef on the bone to China. Chinese authorities have sent a protocol to the National Service for Agriculture Health and Quality (Senasa), who will respond this month in hopes of getting approval to export in 2018.

Perú busca apertura al mercado turístico de Asia con China — Xinhua
Perú quiere atraer a un millón de turistas chinos — Notimerica
Promperú: Llegada de turistas chinos a Perú aumentó 32% anual hasta julio del 2017 — Mercados y Regiones
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Peru in the first half of the year is up 32%, thanks to concerted efforts by Promperú, such as launching a tourism website in Chinese. However, that is still only about 40,000 tourists annually. But Carlos Canales, President of the Lima Convention Bureau, is thinking big - he wants to attract a million tourists a year.

Promoverán en China sitios turísticos — El Sol de México
China-Latin America and Caribbean Expo the place to be — Jamaica Observer
Peru is not the only one looking to Chinese tourists. Representatives from Tamaulipas tourism sites Canaco Madero and Tampico are headed to the China-LAC International Expo in Zhuhai later this month. The Jamaica Observer encourages representatives from the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Jampro, and the tourism ministry to go, as well.

China firms in talks to bid in Brazil's grain rail auction — Reuters
Have Chinese SOEs caught Ferrogrão Fever? An unnamed group of state-owned Chinese firms plan to form a consortium to bid in an auction for the right to build and operate the R$12.6b ($3.89b) railroad known as Ferrogrão, according to Adalberto Vasconcelos, Brazil’s secretary for the government’s public-private partnerships program.

Peru’s Camposol boosts shrimp volumes amid China opening — Undercurrent News
Peru's Camposol boosted the volume of shrimp it sold this year by 22%, and expects things to grow further thanks to the deal inked last month by the Peruvian government to gain access to the Chinese market.

BOJ weighs use of Chinese renminbi as reserve currency — Jamaica Gleaner
The internationalization of the RMB continues to follow Chinese trade links, with senior deputy governor of the Bank of Jamaica saying the are eyeing the renminbi as an opportunity to reduce reliance on US dollar usage in the Jamaican economy:

“Given China's significant investments in Jamaica and Jamaican businesses' high trade volume with China, there may be opportunities to reduce the need for a third currency - the USD - for settlements of transactions".

MoU on lobster export won't allow Chinese to fish in J'can waters, assures Gov’t — Jamaica Observer
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is defending the MOU signed last month allowing fishery processing establishments to export live lobsters to China, and says it will not allow Chinese vessels or fishers to fish in local waters.

The FinTech Boom: China vs Latin America — Ideas matter - IADB
While China and Latin America are similar FinTech markets in having high cellphone penetration and inefficient banking systems, the Inter-American Development bank notes some struggles. In Latin America it is hard for Fintech startups to operate in more than one country because of different regulations across borders.

As LatAm Boosts China Links, Panda Bond Market Opens New Doors — Bonds Loans
An interview with Martin Maciak, Head of Asia Cross Border Origination for the Americas at HSBC, about the potential for Latin American borrowers to issue yuan-denominated bonds. We’re not there yet, so Maciak says: "To catalyse the market, Latin America would need a pioneer to make a LatAm Panda bond issuance debut."

Traen inversiones de China y Corea a Coahuila — Vanguardia
Coahuila sent a trade mission including 22 firms to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Korea this week. Out of the trip two auto projects are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Cómo la pelea entre China y Taiwán ha 'regalado' estadios en todo el mundo — Univision
One of the side-effects of the ongoing struggle for diplomatic recognition between China and Taiwan is a bunch of new stadiums across the region. Nicaragua just received a new baseball stadium financed by Taiwan, while Costa Rica’s National Stadium was part of a cooperation agreement with Mainland China.

Chinese-Led Infrastructure Boom Mostly Bypasses Pakistan's Banks — Bloomberg
A cautionary tale from Pakistan for Latin American financial institutions looking to take a advantage of Chinese investment in infrastructure. While local banks in Pakistan want to offer financing, much of its has already been filled by the Chinese with Pakistani lenders getting little look in.

São Paulo pode sediar o primeiro hospital chinês da América Latina — Governo do Estado de São Paulo
São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) met with a Chinese medical mission this week, discussing the potential to build the first Chinese hospital in Latin America. The proposed hospital would combine traditional Chinese medicine with Western technology.

China potencia la explotación de hierro en Perú — Dirigentes Digital
Zhongron Xinda Group has announced it will invest €2.15b in it’s Peruvian subsidiary Jinzhao Mining to develop the Pampa de Pongo iron mine. The group is running against the clock, looking to complete engineering studies this month, so as to be able to begin developing the mine in May of next year.

Trendy Chinese brands heading west — Jamaica Gleaner
Nicole Nan, vice president of the bike sharing company, Ofo, toured Latin American and Caribbean journalists last week around the Ofo skyscraper in Beijing, and talked about their plans to one day expand to Latin America.

En el gobierno chino dicen que hay interés en un tratado de libre comercio con el país — La Nación
Shao Yingjun, economic councilor at the Department of the Americas and Oceania in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce reiterates interest in a FTA with Argentina: “We always have this interest. We have already raised it. It could be an FTA with Mercosur."

TPG, China Telecom Discuss Possible Oi Bid With Brazilian Official - Media — NYT
Exclusive: Shareholder in Brazil's Oi leans on distressed debt funds for support — Reuters
U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital Management LP and state-owned China Telecom Corp Ltd met with Brazil's solicitor general on Monday to discuss a possible takeover of debt-laden telecom provider Oi SA. As part of the deal, TPG would be the majority partner and China Telecom would take a minority stake. Oi is also being looked at by Nelson Tanure, who is teaming up with a consortium of other bondholders: Solus Alternative Asset Management, Attestor Capital, Centerbridge Partners, Silver Point Capital, and Davidson Kempner Capital Management.

Aguacate Hass colombiano busca el gigante mercado Chino — Radio Caracol
China continues its evaluation of Colombia avocados for import, with a second round of inspectors in Colombia this week. Local grower Juan Camilo Ruíz Pérez expects a positive announcement come March.

Minería: convertir la utopía en igualdad de oportunidades — Télam
Mario Osvaldo Capello, Argentina’s sub secretary for Mining Development, writes about the opportunities that open to Argentina with trade with China. 

Preocupa si China y América Latina "seguirán floreciendo en el mediano plazo” — Extra
A summary of a presentation of the growth of Argentina-China trade by the University of Rosario’s Sonia Durán at the Fudan-Latin America Consortium (FLAUC)


Proveedor de refacciones de Kia invierte 450 mdd en México — Economía Hoy
Mobis, distributor of Kia Motors in Mexico, unveiled a new $450m Parts Distribution Center in the State of Mexico. 

Samsung Pay llegará a México — CNET en Español
Samsung Pay has announced it is going to launch in Mexico, and will let us know when at an event next week (Nov 6) in Mexico City. 


Lanzan el Kaizen-Tango — La Politica Online
Japón invertirá US$ 6 millones en un proyecto que beneficiará a más de 100 pymes argentinas — Apertura
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Argentina’s National Insitute of Industrial Technology 9INTI) have collaborated to launch the Kaizen Tango project, that will dedicate $6m over the next five years to capacity building 100 Argentine SMEs.


Brazil to enhance strategic technological partnership with India in Agribusiness — Afternoon Voice
India’s MVIRDC World Trade Centre and the All India Association of Industries hosted a Brazilian business delegation representing the agriculture and processing industries.


UAE Consul-General and Mayor of Sao Paulo meet to discuss avenues for cooperation — Zawya
São Paulo Mayor João Doria (PSDB) hosted UAE Consul-General in São Paulo Ibrahim Salem Al Alawi; they discussed with him business and investment cooperation between the two sides.

Brazil's Mato Grosso lures UAE investors for road projects — Reuters
Mato Grosso hopes to attract around $458 million in private investments in the first phase of the road development program. Initially three contracts will be awarded to operate stretches totaling 525 kilometers (326 miles). “UAE is very interested in building a strategic partnership with Brazil, especially in the agriculture sector,” Ambassador to Brazil Hafsa Al Ulama told Reuters.

ASEAN & Oceania-LAC

Engie, Mubadala in race for Petrobras Brazil pipeline; Singapore’s GIC also interested — Deal Street Asia
Petrobras is looking to sell a 90% stake in gas distribution network Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG) by the end of November for at least $5.2 b. Abu Dhabi state-owned holding Mubadala Development Co., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), and private equity group EIG Global Energy Partners, are all rumored to be interested. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, which bought a minority stake in another gaspipeline network from Petrobras last year, is also looking at the deal.

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