Softbank stands up $5b Latam tech fund. But will it invest?

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Softbank, the iconoclastic multinational holding conglomerate led by Masayoshi Son, announced last week that it was setting up a $5b Latin America tech fund. The fund will be led by Marcelo Claure, a long-time Softbank executive who has led the company’s turnaround of the US telecom operator, Sprint. $2b of the fund is committed from Softbank, while another $3b will be raised externally. This is similar to the model used for Softbank’s $100b flagship Vision Fund, which has $60b in external funding, mostly from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

While the size of the fund is a game-changer for the region, Softbank’s interest in Latin America is nothing new. Softbank was an initial investor in Brazil’s 99, and sold its stake to China’s Didi Chuxing when the latter expanded into Latin America. Last year, it led a $111m investment round in Loggi, a Brazilian start-up that specializes in last mile logistics. Loggi levered Softbank’s relationships to establish a joint venture with Didi in Mexico. And earlier this year, Softbank led a $500m investment round in Brazil’s Gympass, “the Netflix of gyms."

The fund is an indication that Softbank is betting big on Latin America. “There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in the region, and I believe the business opportunities have never been stronger,” Marcelo Claure said in the announcement. This kind of interest could be a sea-change for the relatively sheltered Latam start-up universe — Softbank is not known for being soft. “You think they can’t eat anymore,” said one VC leader in Silicon Valley last year, describing Softbank’s style. They “cram it in, put it in their pockets, take doggy bags, whatever.”

The real test for Softbank’s new fund might actually be dealflow. Plenty of tech investors have looked at Latin America and been frustrated by the fact that there are few attractive firms that operate in multiple countries. Will Softbank have the patience to do the diligence required across all the countries in the region? Or will the headline $5b not get put to work?

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Viene Bank of China e invertirá u$s 50 millones— El Cronista 
El Bank of China desembarca en Argentina— Impulso 
Bank of China continues its expansion across Latin America, starting the process of setting up shop in Argentina.

每经专访上海大学拉美研究中心主任江时学:站在3000亿美元经贸新起点 成都“纽带”将带动西部深化与拉美合作 | 每经网— NBD
NDB interview with Jiang Shixue, Director of the Latin American Studies Center of Shanghai University setting the stage for this month’s IDB meeting in Chengdu.

Consorcios internacionales pujan por primera línea de Metro de Bogotá por 4.500 mln dlr— Reuters
Estos son los consorcios que aspiran a construir el metro de Bogotá— W Radio
China Railway and Power China are among the consortia bidding to build Bogotá’s $4.5b first metro line.

Four Minute Foreign Policy— Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS
SAIS’ Benjamin Creutzfeldt talks about how he looks for the signal against the noise in China-Latam relations.

China’s Growth Rebalance with Downslide— LinkedIn
Otaviano Canuto’s analysis of the impact of China’s growth rebalancing on Latin America and the world.

Bolsonaro confirma viagem à China neste ano— EBC
Brasil deixa de usar fundo bilionário da China por cegueira política— Brasil 24/7
Bolsonaro diz que vai fazer visita oficial à China este ano— Globo
Ataques de Bolsonaro fazem China travar financiamento ao Brasil, diz jornal— O Antagonista
Retórica anti-China trava financiamento ao linhão— Valor
Brazil’s China policy continues to confound. President Jair Bolsonaro announces he’ll make a state visit later this year, but activity of the China-Brazil Cooperation Fund has ground to a halt in response to “anti-China rhetoric."

Jorge Faurie reveló que el Grupo de Lima iniciará negociaciones con China, Rusia y Cuba para acelerar la salida de Nicolás Maduro— Infobae
Crisis de Venezuela: qué significa el veto de Rusia y China a la resolución de EE.UU. en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU— BBC
Venezuela crisis: Who is buying its oil now?— BBC
"EE. UU. debe persuadir a Rusia y China de rechazar a Maduro": Duque— El Espectador
China asegura que las sanciones extranjeras solo empeorarán la situación en Venezuela— Notimérica
Brasil quer convencer Rússia e China a abandonar governo Maduro— UOL Online 
Crise na Venezuela: Quais são os interesses da China no país latino-americano?— BBC
Brazil Foreign Minister Calls on Russia, China to Oppose Venezuela’s Maduro— WSJ
China warns of repeating history's mistakes with Venezuela— Reuters
EEUU presiona a India para dejar de comprar crudo venezolano: enviado— Reuters
Venezuela continues to sit on a powder keg, with China playing a key role, whether it wants to or not.

BCR: Guerra comercial entre EE.UU.-China sería un riesgo para el crecimiento del Perú— El Comercio 
Goldman Sachs recortó su expectative de crecimiento para América Latina— El Cronista 
Central Bank: US-China tension could benefit T&T— Trinidad Express
Por que um acordo comercial entre EUA e China pode prejudicar o Brasil— Exame
U.S. Trade Policy in North America, China, and Beyond— Center for American Progress 
Guerra comercial entre China y EU, oportunidad para México: Citibanamex— El Sol de Tampico
Canada, Argentina displace US as soybean supplier to China in January— agriCENSUS
Colheita no Brasil limitará compra de soja dos EUA pela China, diz corretor— Globo 
El libre comercio aceleró el PIB de Perú en el 2018— El Tiempo 
Acordo entre EUA e China pode prejudicar soja brasileira— O Antagonista 
Mexican vendors eye gains from U.S., China tariff tiff— Furniture Today
China ainda não faz novas compras de soja nos EUA apesar de possível acordo— Notícias Agrícolas
China importa menos soja em fevereiro, mas ainda foca demanda no Brasil— Notícias Agrícolas
China reduz compras mundiais de soja, mas importa o dobro do Brasil— UOL Online
Trade war.

Chile se prepara para un fuerte incremento de la inversión china— Expansión 
Para Uds. que lo perdieron la semana pasada, nuestro socio Mike Derham habló sobre la conexión entre China y Chile. La versión en español:

"China podría comenzar a mirar más hacia dentro de sus fronteras a causa de la desaceleración de su economía", augura Mike Derham, socio de Novam Portam, una consultora especializada en las relaciones entre Asia y América Latina.

China — LAC

¿Xiaomi llega oficialmente al Perú? La compañía china busca gerentes de ventas en LinkedIn— RPP

Como será a segunda tentativa da Xiaomi no Brasil— Exame

Gigante chinesa na fabricação de celulares volta ao Brasil— Estado de Minas

Entra en vigencia internacional la modernización del TLC entre Chile y China— el Economista América 

Aduanas de Chile y China inician negociaciones de reconocimiento mutuo en programas de Operador Económico Autorizado— Portal Portuario 

Barbados Signs MOU with China— TV6 TNT

Coca Codo Sinclair: los problemas de la multimillonaria represa que China construyó en Ecuador — BBC

Argentina compra 200 vagones eléctricos a China para renovar línea ferroviaria— Xinhua 

China finances rolling stock in Argentina— LatinFinance

Australia alerta por competencia de frutan chilena en China— Revista Capital 

Australia warned of growing Chilean threat in China— AmericaFruit

Argentina: Puerto de Concepción del Uruguay embarcará su quinto cargamento de madera con destino a China— Portal Portuario

“Le recomiendo a Bukele que no se pelee con China”— El Faro

Brasil continua refém das commodities – e da China— Diarinho 

China visa acordos de longo prazo no setor alimentício do Brasil, diz embaixador— Notícias Agrícolas

Trasnacional china de energía renovable tiene en la mira a México para invertir— Diario de Mexico 

China podría importar harina de soja argentina por primera vez en la historia— Impulso 

In Jujuy, China is building Latin America’s largest solar plant: Cauchari— Buenos Aires Times

China, país invitado de honor en ANDICOM 2019— Canal Trece

Tráfico de buche de totoaba, afectado en México y China— Televisa

Marfrig espera novas habilitações fábricas do Brasil para exportações à China— Reuters

Exportaciones no tradicionales a China sumaron US$ 477 millones en 2018— Agencia Andina

Chinese miner MMG to delay copper shipments as Peru community blocks road — Nasdaq

"La Franja y la Ruta es una propuesta global que resume la política internacional de China", destaca embajador argentino— Xinhua

Finance minister says Jamaica owes China $79 billion— St. Lucia News

Editorial | Chinese Business Group Is A Start— The Gleaner

China eyes long-term food processing deals in Brazil: Chinese official— Reuters

Viento de frente para Argentina: China gana protagonismo y golpea a la región— BAE Negocios

Franco Macri, un pionero en el vínculo con China— Grupo La Provincia

New cherry variety will extend Chilean cherry season— FreshPlaza

China Harbour Monopoly— The Gleaner

Por primera vez el banano colombiano es enviado a China— RCN Radio

China Railway’s road in TT— TT Newsday

Puerto de Ilo, Perú: Bolivia proyecta exportar gas natural a China— Mundo Marítimo

Argentina: Jujuy y China impulsan gigantesca planta solar más grande América Latina— Energia Limpia XXI

Latinoamérica, nuevo escenario de la pulseada diplomática entre China y Taiwán— Total News

China ampliará presencia en México en 2019 con fábrica de autos eléctricos— Méxicoxport 

Las seis apuestas de inversión de China en Argentina— La Voz del Interior

Didi Chuxing publica informe sobre sus conductoras en China y América Latina— Xinhua

China en América Latina: ¿el inicio de una nueva Guerra Fría?— El Orden Mundial

El impacto de las inversiones de China en América Latina— La Prensa 

Korea — LAC

Habilitação de frigoríficos brasileiros mostra confiança da Coreia do Sul— UOL Online

Brasil avança no mercado de proteínas da Ásia— Folha

Citibank otorga financiamiento de USD 42 millones a Savia Perú— LexLatin

Corea y Costa Rica aprueban nuevo TLC— Forbes México 

RD puede ser centro de producción de Corea para América Latina, América del Norte y Europa— El Caribe

Japan — LAC

Los hidrocálidos que mexicanizan la industria japonesa— Innovacíon Económica

“Corazón hidrocálido, mente nipona”: Ximena Fukawa, la líder mexicana de CK Japón— Innovacíon Económica

El arroz orgánico argentino busca entrar al mercado japonés— Agritotal

Tras cerrar acuerdo con Sushiro, Cacao Hunters empezó a vender en Japón— Agronegocios

Los resultados de la Gira por Japón del gobierno estatal— Innovación Económica 

India — LAC

India to tap growing tractor market in Latin America— Financial Express

Procitrus: mandarinas peruanas llegarían este año a Japón y la India— Gestión 

India and Venezuelan Oil— Two Weeks Notice

ASEAN & Oceania — LAC

Perú y Chile unirán fuerzas para agroexportación al Asia— Expreso

Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement will deliver investment and jobs for Australia  — Mirage News

Vietnam an ideal market for foreign fruit exporters— VietnamPlus

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How long will India be Venezuela’s buyer of last resort?

阅读更多关于此新闻的文章,请点击链接: 印度何时会成为委内瑞拉最后的买家?

The US has increased pressure on the long-troubled government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. While it continues to work with regional and global allies to recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president, the government of US President Donald Trump has unilaterally imposed sanctions on senior members of the Maduro regime, as well as the country’s most valuable asset, PDVSA.

The response from Latin America’s trading partners has been mixed. China has hewed to its support for Maduro, with the Foreign Ministry saying today that:

中方希望委内瑞拉保持和平稳定,呼吁遵守国际法和国际关系基本原则,反对外部势力干涉委内政。

The Chinese side hopes that Venezuela will maintain peace and stability, calls for the observance of international law and basic norms governing international relations, and opposes intervention by external forces in the internal affairs of Venezuela. 

Japan has taken a more cautious approach. In the wake of Juan Guiadó assuming the interim presidency, the government took a “vague,” noncommittal stance. However last week they shifted — after Maduro rejected calls for new elections — saying their support for Guaidó was “clear:”

"We express our clear support for interim President Guaido," Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a press conference. "Japan hopes a free and fair election will be held swiftly,"

China's perfunctory response has allowed India step in as a key player. With many partners stopping trade with PDVSA, in effect to be able to continue their US operations, India’s Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy (formerly known as Essar Oil) have significantly increased their purchases of Venezuela crude. With India still recognizing the Maduro government, that means the proceeds go to Maduro, and not to a US Treasury escrow account. Venezuelan Oil Minister and PDVSA head Manuel Quevedo flew to India two weeks ago to shore up that lifeline.

Our good friends at IPD Latin America tell us that between them the two companies loaded 5 cargos of Venezuelan crude (or the equivalent of 387,000 barrels per day) in the first 20 days of February. By comparison, the two firms were averaging a monthly load of 60,000 b/d prior to the PDVSA sanctions. With another 156 b/d loaded in February with no destination that IPD was able to confirm, that means that most of the 4-500,000 b/d that used to go from Venezuela to the US Gulf Coast is now headed to the Indian Ocean. Now as a big purchaser, you can bet they’re getting a good deal. 

So how long can they keep this going? Already the Indian government is advising one buyer of Venezuela crude “to move away from the U.S. banking and institutional mechanism.” And certainly Naraya — 49% owned by Rosneft — has to be well aware that Russia’s Gazprombank froze PDVSA’s accounts to avoid US sanction. IPD expects India and Venezuela to settle deals in rupees, RMB, or even rubles (what no Petro?).

India was one of the countries able gain an exemption last year from the US’ reimposed sanctions on Iran, by saying those sanctions would impact the port of Chabahar, a vital chokepoint for supporting the US in Afghanistan. As the only one of those countries with a refinery that can process Venezuelan heavy crude, will this be the lifeline Maduro needs?

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2019年2月22日 阿根廷第21天:中国因素成阿根廷应对危机及发展的正能量— 21财经 

According to Argentina's Sub-secretary for International Financial Relations Félix Martín Soto is talking with the China Development Bank about financing two railway projects, China Exim on expanding the Cauchari II solar plant, as well as funding transmission power lines and gas pipeline projects. He says they’re hoping to bring in Silk Road Fund financing, as well.

王毅会见巴巴多斯外长沃尔科特-国家国际发展合作署— 国家国际发展合作署
China, Barbados will sign cooperation documents on jointly building the Belt and Road— Belt and Road Portal
Barbados, China agree to deepen cooperation— Barbados Today
México sí se puede subir a la nueva Ruta de la Seda— Manufactura
Barbados and China have announced the former is joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Mexico is trying to figure out if it can be next under the terms of NAFTA 2.0’s Article 32.10.

Huawei y Alibaba se suman a Amazon y analizan instalar sus data centers regionales en Chile— La Tercera
Subtel inicia roadshow para acelerar fibra óptica a Asia en medio de interés por data centers en Chile— La Tercera 
Huawei y Alibaba ponen los ojos en Chile para un posible data center: competirían codo a codo con Amazon— Fayer Wayer
The head of Chilean Sub-secretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel), Pamela Gidi, is headed to China, Korea, and Japan to promote the development of data centers related to the proposed fiber optic cable to connect Chile with Asia. Despite concerns raised by the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies, Huawei is on Gidi’s agenda.

Huawei instalará fibra óptica submarina en BC— El Sol de México
In other Huawei news, the company has been awarded contract for a $14m fiber optic line between Topolobampo, Sinaloa and La Paz, capital of Baja California Sur. Unclear the impact this will have on strategic Casamigos reserves.

Sube la fiebre del litio en Argentina. Minera china se suma con inversion de US$ 180 millones— Diario Financiero
Auge del litio en Argentina: una minera china invertirá u$s180 millones en un salar salteño— iProfesional
Weeks after one company from an Autonomous Region of China invested in Bolivian lithium, another —  Tibet Summit Resources — has announced investment of $180m in the Diablillos lithium flats in Argentina.

Mourão diz que coordenará relações bilaterais com China, Rússia e Nigéria — Poder 360
Com Bolsonaro submisso a Trump, Mourão assume relação com Rússia e China— Brasil 24/7
Bolsonaro subordina o Brasil aos interesses do Governo Trump, por Dilma Rousseff— GGN
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão says that President Jair Bolsonaro has made him the point person on relations with China. As Mourão has been more conciliatory, this should bode well for the bilateral relationship. 

Cautious Capital: Chinese Development Finance in LAC, 2018— The Dialogue
Exclusive: China to Combine Africa, Latin America Investment Funds— Caixin
A note of caution on Chinese financing from the Inter-American Dialogue, whose annual report on its China-Latam Finance Database says official sector lending from China "was among the lowest on record” and “relatively low rates of Chinese lending to LAC governments are possible in the near-term.” Relatedly, in a cost-cutting measure China has announced that operations of the China-LAC Industrial Cooperation Fund will be merged with those of the China-Africa Fund for Industrial Cooperation.

Nuevo gobierno decidirá si es viable un TLC con China— El Salvador.com
El Salvador: productores a capacitación para vender café a China— El Economista 
Gobierno de Bukele deberá analizar TLC con China: Minec— Forbes México 
The new government of El Salvador under President Nayib Bukele is going to look into the viability of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.

BREAKING: Softbank avalia investimento no C6; Fonseca deixa seu papel executivo | Brazil Journal— Brazil Journal

Japan’s Softbank is looking away from Tesla and evaluating an investment in Brazilian bank start-up C6.


Preços da soja no Brasil ainda dependem das relações comerciais China x EUA para definir direção— Notícias Agrícolas
Guerra comercial: China perjudicada; Argentina, ¿favorecida?— Ámbito
Guerra comercial dos EUA à China se aproxima do fim— Folha 
China y EEUU, guerra de titanes por Latinoamérica— El Tiempo Latino
China sinaliza US$ 30 bi em compras dos EUA e ameaça exportações do Brasil— Globo
México: Nuevas reglas del T-MEC afectaría a China como principal proveedor de partes automotrices— América Economía 
T-MEC, China y comercio retoman reflectores— El Mañana
Ahead of President Trump’s planned extension of the tariff deadline next month, the trade war continues. 


Pese a incertidumbre automotriz, Toyota seguirá en México— 24 Horas
Posible arancel de EU derivaría en autos más caros: Toyota— El Economista 
Descarta Toyota México nerviosismo— Zócalo
Toyota recommits to manufacturing in Mexico, despite nerves about US protectionism.

China’s Latin American ambitions on display in Chile— FT
Our own Mike Derham talked with the FT’s Benedict Mander about how Chile is a focus of China's investment in Latin America:
“As China’s investing and trading relationships have matured and become more commercialised, Chile and China are a natural match,” said Mike Derham

China — LAC

Chinese company BYD to build surface metro in Salvador, Brazil— Macau Hub

Mayor mercado mayorista de frutas y verduras de China estrecha lazos con exportadores chilenos— El Economista América

Empresa China interesada en establecerse en el país— La Gente

Cooperación entre Atlántico y Jiangsu— El Heraldo

China allows corn, barley imports from Uruguay— Business Recorder

Crecen exportaciones de langostinos de Argentina a China— 20 Minutos

China construye la planta solar más grande de América Latina (y no estará en Chile)— El Mostrador

Exportações para a China devem crescer menos neste ano— Agência Brasil

Empresa china construirá hoteles en México bajo la firma Radisson— Expansión

Perú busca facilitar mecanismos aduaneros con China actualizando su TLC— Gestión

Perú busca actualización del TLC con China y Argentina— Infomercado

“China mantiene interés de importar productos colombianos del sector agropecuario”: Minagricultura— El Informador 

Política comercial china en América Latina: ¿Y Colombia?— La República

Comunidad indígena de Perú y minera china sin acuerdo en medio de bloqueo de vía transporte de cobre— América Economía 

Los productos chinos, cada vez más presentes en Latinoamérica— CNN

Korea — LAC

“Corea busca unirse como Estado Asociado a la Alianza del Pacífico”— El Peruano

Japan — LAC

Bolo de frutas típicas brasileiras faz sucesso no Japão— Gazeta do Povo

Mexican avocados seek expansion onto Japanese market— Fresh Plaza

Gigante japonés de la innovación digital cuenta su estrategia para la Argentina— iProUP

Japón contraataca— El Heraldo de México

Buscará MOS más inversión para Aguascalientes en visita a Japón— Newsweek

Indústria siderúrgica do Japão vê reação do Brasil ao desastre na barragem da Vale— O Petróleo

India — LAC

Argentina compartirá información geológica de litio con la India — Minería en línea 

Agriculture, energy and technology on Argentine president's agenda during India visit — The Times of India 

‘India, Argentina complement each other’— The Hindu

ASEAN & Oceania — LAC

Perú ratifica su acuerdo comercial con Australia— El Economista

Presidente argentino Macri dice en Vietnam que busca una asociación integral con ese país— El País

Palta peruana llegará este año a Corea, Filipinas, Malasia y Tailandia, prevé Senasa— Gestión

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Didi says winter is coming, but Latin America is its spring

阅读更多关于此新闻的文章,请点击链接: 滴滴宣布寒冬将至,却在拉美喜迎新春?

You could be forgiven for thinking that senior management of Didi Chuxing, China’s largest rideshare app, were Game of Thrones fans waiting for the final season. The way they announced at the company's monthly company-wide meeting that Didi was cutting headcount 15% was as grim as a horde of white walkers: "winter is coming" ("全员会宣布过冬”). But the loss of those employees in China — as Didi focuses more on core business lines — will be offset by job growth elsewhere as international becomes a more important part of Didi’s growth strategy:

澎湃 新闻记者获悉,在“关停并转”和裁员的同时,2019年滴滴将在安技术、产品和线下司机管理及国际化等重点领域加大投入,继续招聘2500人

News reports say that while there will be “shutdown and transfer” and layoffs, Didi will also increase investment in key areas such as security technology, product and offline driver management, as well as and internationalization, recruiting 2,500 people.

Key to the internationalization strategy is Latin America. After buying Brazil’s 99 last year, working with Brazil’s Hub Fintech, and launching operations in Mexico, Didi has confirmed it is now expanding into the Pacific Alliance, Chile, Colombia, and Peru:

根据对滴滴出行在职业社交网站领英上的招聘公告分析,滴滴出行已从中国派出高管负责智利、秘鲁等市场的扩张,近几周开始在这些国家投放司机运营、危机管理、营销以及业务拓展人员的招聘广告。

According to the analysis of the recruitment announcement on Didi on LinkedIn, Didi has sent executives from China to be responsible for the expansion of markets in Chile and Peru. In recent weeks, job advertisements about drivers’ operations, crisis management and marketing and  business development positions have been released in these countries.

And indeed, just today Didi posted seven jobs in various places in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Over the last four weeks it has recruited for more positions in Latin America than it has in the United States or mainland China.

Didi’s focus on Latin America is indicative of two trends we have highlighted for this year:

  • Tech — and in particular tech services — is an area of growth in the Asia-Latin America relationship; and

  • As concerns about the slowdown in the Chinese economy continue to rise, Chines companies will look to Latin America as an area of growth.

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¿La china CNPC con el lote 58 en problemas?— El Comercio

CNPC is rumored to have run into environmental issues in its $4.4b exploration of a natural gas reserve in Peru. Deforestation concerns have been raised, and the question is whether CNPSC will ask the government to declare force majeureto allow for a new timeline for exploration.

Japón fortalece las exportaciones de México: SE— El Economista

Ven fortalecimiento de relación México-Japón con acuerdo TPP-11— El Universal

Japón prevé más inversiones para México en autopartes— El Economista 

Armadoras japonesas invertirían en México para poder cumplir con las reglas del T-MEC: presidente de Honda Motors— El Financiero 

Cámara de Japón pide a AMLO mitigar efectos del T-MEC— Opportimes 

Guanajuato refrenda alianza comercial con Japón— El Heraldo

Japan sent a big commercial delegation to Mexico this week to meet with the new governing team there. One highlight: investment expected to be driven by the content requirements of NAFTA 2.0.

Mourão diz que Brasil e China precisam demais um do outro— Exame

Brasil quer menos China e mais Índia— Exame 

Bannon diz que Bolsonaro irá afastar Brasil da China— Brasil 24/7

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (and Steve Bannon) keep saying that Brazil and China will go their separate ways. Vice President Hamilton Mourão says the two countries “need more of each other."

China anuncia tarifas antidumping ao frango do Brasil por 5 anos— Estado de Minas

China isenta de tarifas 14 empresas do Brasil que exportam carne de frango— Globo

China to exempt some Brazilian chicken importers from anti-dumping tariffs— SCMP

BRF and JBS Group are among the 14 Brazilian companies that will not be subject to Chinese chicken tariffs as long as they sell above an undisclosed floor price.

Presidente da Colômbia diz que China será mais forte na América Latina se apoiar Guaidó na Venezuela— Observador

Qué intereses tiene China en Venezuela (y por qué es uno de los que tiene más que perder)— BBC

China ratificó que mantendrá relaciones económicas con Venezuela— VTV

A China já tem um plano B na Venezuela— Terra

China calls report of talks with Venezuela opposition 'fake news'— Reuters

China Talks With Venezuela Opposition to Protect Investments— WSJ

China continues to walk a fine line in Venezuela

Un alto jefe militar de Estados Unidos advirtió que la base china en Neuquén podría usarse para fines “no civiles”— Clarín

Los documentos secretos que revelan para qué se usará la base china en Neuquén que inquieta a EE.UU.— Clarín 

El misterio de la base espacial china en Neuquén: la Argentina no "puede interferir" en sus actividades— TN

Estados Unidos pone la lupa sobre la estación espacial china en la Patagonia— Yahoo

US SOUTHCOM head Admiral Craig Faller tells the US Congress he’s nervous about that Chinese space tracking station in Neuquén, Argentina.

Análise: Brasil se beneficia da guerra comercial entre Estados Unidos e China— Paraná Portal

¿Por qué México es el gran beneficiado en la guerra comercial entre EEUU y China?— Notimérica

Kevin Whitaker calificó de “nefasta” la presencia de Rusia y China en Latinoamérica— Radio Santa Fe 

Onde o Brasil pode ganhar na guerra comercial entre EUA e China— Gazeta do Povo

China considera irracionais críticas dos EUA à sua presença na América Latina— Diário de Notícias

Bolton speaks to El Salvador president-elect about 'predatory' China— Reuters

Trade war. US National Security Advisor John Bolton calls China “predatory”, and US Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker calls it “nefarious."

China — LAC

Pera chilena podría ingresar al mercado chino— Economía y Negocios

Seu próximo celular virá da China; Huawei e Xiaomi avançam para o Ocidente— UOL Online

Minério de ferro sobe na China com receios sobre oferta do Brasil— Extra

América Latina exportó a China un 24% más el año pasado— Expansión 

Una Franja, Una Ruta: oportunidades para el Perú— Expreso 

Relaciones diplomáticas México-China— El Universal

¿Por qué cuando China estornuda, el Perú se resfría?— RPP

Peru must develop new markets for avocados and stop relying on the EU and the US— Fresh Plaza

Colombia envía a un gran abogado como embajador a la China— Canal 1

China quiere participar en el Tren Maya y otros proyectos de AMLO— Alto Nivel

Las cerezas chilenas logran un gran éxito durante el festival— People’s Daily

Firma de amoblamientos para oficinas líder en China llega a la Argentina— iProfesional

La Ruta de la Seda llega a las Américas— Estudios de Política Exterior 

EPV y empresarios chinos estudian instalar hub alimenticio en Valparaíso— Portal Portuario

Medellín Colombia con nueva flotilla de buses eléctricos de China BYD— Energia Limpia XXI

El fantasma de la chino-dependencia— La Tercera

Hay avances para exportar aguacates de Jalisco a China— Opportimes

Perú inicia investigación sobre presunto dumping en importación de tejidos desde China— Reuters

Exportaciones mexicanas de aguacate a Canadá, China y Japón aumentan significativamente— Portal Frutícola 

Mexican avocado exports rise sharply to Canada, China and Japan— Fresh Fruit Portal 

El desafío de venderle a China— Clarín

Chinese companies compete for Brazilian bridge project— Reuters

China Builds Hydroelectric Plant with Cracks in Ecuador — Diálogo

Chile: Delegation from Jiangnan's wholesale market meets with Asoex— Fresh Plaza

China’s Belt And Road Initiative And Its Two Latin American Gateways— Clyde & Co

Korea — LAC

Itaipu apunta innovación tecnológica con apoyo de Corea— Ñandutí

S. Korean Banks Accelerating Entry into Latin American Market — Business Korea

Japan — LAC

Aeroméxico y Japan Airlines amplían oferta de vuelos— La Jornada

India — LAC

Venezuelan Oil Finds Home in India as U.S. Shuns Shipments— Finance Yahoo

Exclusive: India advises refiner to avoid U.S. system for Venezuela oil buying - source— Reuters

Venezuela doubling oil exports to India - minister— BN Americas

GCC — LAC

Saudi ban spoils outlook for Brazil chicken exports— JOC

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Bolivia gets in the lithium game

As we noted last week, Germany has had a bigger stake in Bolivia’s lithium reserves than China, ever since ACI Systems was awarded a partnership to develop the Uyuni salt flats. Well this week, everything changed.

On Wednesday, government-owned Yacimientos de Litio Boliviano (YLB) announced that it will hold a 51% stake in a joint venture with China's Xinjiang TPEA in $2.3b worth of lithium projects in the Coipasa and Pastos Grandes salt flats. The investment split is unclear: "The Chinese firm will provide initial investment and YLB will pay its share with future lithium production, YLB’s executive manager Juan Carlos Montenegro said.” YLB says it may also invest in a lithium battery plant in China with TBEA.

TBEA — relatively unknown in the Americas — is a privately held company based out of China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. TBEA and its head Zhang Jianxin have become strong proponent of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), with Zhang saying that "TBEA’s business is focused on BRI, a comprehensive and continuous developing strategy” (张建新表示,特变电工的业务也是围绕着“一带一路“战略全面的、持续的展开,这是我们既定的发展战略。). Worryingly, TBEA has been involved in a BRI project that has sent two Prime Ministers to jail in Kyrgyzstan.

Chinese coverage of the news has been colorful: 155亿元,中企终于啃下玻利维亚锂矿这块“硬骨头” (“With ¥15.5 billion, Chinese firm finally gets a bone to chew on in Bolivian lithium mine.”). And local press crows that — on the heels of Tianqi’s increased stake in Chile’s SQM, as well as Argentine investments — China has successfully entered the Bolivian lithium market (中国成功进军玻利维亚巨大的锂资源市场). But the BRI remains notably absent from the news, even though Bolivia was one of the first Latin American countries to join.

Bolivia is a country that deserve to benefit from its natural resources, and has struggled to do so in the past, such as with the natural gas fields in Eastern Bolivia. While this investment has the potential give Bolivia a boost, the lack of investment in the value-added lithium chain — like that in Chile— means the upside is limited. With lots of financing in natural resources and not as much oversight, we are left asking the question: is Bolivia the next Ecuador?

Top Stories

CNBV autoriza operar en México al banco coreano KEB Hana— El Economista 

Bancos asiáticos ganan terreno en México; KEB Hana iniciará operaciones— El Heraldo de México 

Regulador autoriza nuevo banco en México: el coreano KEB Hana— El Financiero

Korea’s KEB Hana gets the green light to open its doors in Mexico. 

GoPro traerá producción de China a México— Eje Central

Digital camera-maker GoPro is moving production from China to Mexico.

Chinese firm to build new PoS hospital block— TT Guardian

Shang­hai Con­struc­tion has been awarded a contract to build the $1b new central block of Port-of-Spain’s General Hospital.

UNCTAD: favorece a México “guerra” entre EU y China— El Universal

En la guerra comercial de EU-China, México se beneficiaría, dice Unctad— Tribuna

Brasil se beneficia com tarifas da China à soja dos EUA, diz Unctad— Estado de Minas

China compra dos mlls. de toneladas de soja estadounidense para facilitar negociaciones— El Comercio

Guerra comercial China - EEUU: por qué México y Chile podrían ser beneficiados— Teletrece

Colombia exportaría US$2.000 millones más por guerra comercial— Portafolio

A cuestas con la Doctrina Monroe— La Razón

Trégua comercial da China com EUA impacta exportação de soja brasileira— CGN

US sees China setback brewing in El Salvador— Washington Examiner

Why China wouldn't stop the US military in Venezuela— Washington Examiner 

The US-China Trade War Could Spread To Venezuela And Africa— Forbes 

South America Is a Battlefield in the New Cold War— Bloomberg

China says it will buy more soybeans, but American farmers see a bleak future— South China Morning Post 

Farmers celebrate China's plan to buy 5M tons of soybeans— UPI

Trade war.

No es solo Maduro, también es China— La Heine

Geopolítica y Venezuela— Mundiario

China e Rússia apoiam Bolívar contra Monroe na Venezuela— Brasil 24/7

“En Venezuela, China es la variable que lo cambia todo”— La Silla Vacilla

China pide un diálogo pacífico para resolver problemas en Venezuela— Forbes México 

Venezuela's PDVSA seeks to barter its oil with India— Reuters

Venezuelan opposition leader urges China to abandon Maduro— Guardian

Venezuela’s Guaido seeks talks with China— Malaysian Reserve

Japan's stance on Venezuela remains vague— Japan Today

The discussion over China’s role in Venezuela continues, while Japan remains non-committal.

China — LAC

Despojando para alimentar al gigante: China y el agronegocio en Chile— El Desconcierto

Cómo las cerezas de Chile conquistaron China y convirtieron a Hernán Garcés en el mayor exportador de esta fruta del mundo— BBC

El arándano chileno busca ser un sustituto de las palomitas de maíz en China— Tribuna

China amplía su ventaja como primer socio de Chile y ya abarca el 30% del comercio nacional— La Tercera 

Tevin Andrew: Carriacou laborers not benefitting from Chinese projects— The New Today

Carlos Alvarado viajará por América Latina, Caribe y China— El Mundo

Argentina recibe 1.000 toneladas de rieles provenientes de China para modernizar sistema ferroviario— China.org

China ‘aprende’ a tomar café e cria mercado promissor para produto brasileiro— Gazeta do Povo

Más de 300 buses eléctricos chinos rodarán por varias ciudades de América Latina en 2019— N más 1

Michael Reid: "América Latina ya no debe ser una región de dictaduras”— Diario Correo

Las exportaciones crecieron 10,4% por petróleo y compras desde China— La República

A China está crescendo menos. E isso vai ter impactos no Brasil— Gazeta do Povo 

Quinua peruana: Primer envío a China se realizaría este año— Gestión 

Negócios com a China ou Negócios da China?— Conexão Politica

FGV firma parceria com Conselho Empresarial Brasil-China— O Cafezinho

Empresa china HIKVision establecerá operaciones en Zona Libre de Colón— Panamá América

Cae producción de autos japoneses en México— El Sol de México 

Chinese-owned mine gets twin financing in Peru— Latin Lawyer

Embajador de China en Chile: “No tenemos ninguna intención ni posibilidad de controlar los recursos de Chile”— La Tercera 

Move over Chile, Norway wants a bigger slice of China's salmon market— IntraFish 

Korea — LAC

Empresas salvadoreñas buscan exportar a Corea del Sur— Equilibrium

Governador Romeu Zema recebe embaixador da República da Coreia— Jornal de Uberaba

Japan — LAC

Abertura do Japão para carne uruguaia pode beneficiar o Brasil— Portal DBO

Hitachi cierra su oficina en Buenos Aires y controlará la región desde Brasil— Cronista 

Hitachi cierra sus oficinas en la Argentina, pero seguirá produciendo en el país— La Nación 

Japón financia un proyecto de electrificación rural en Perú— PV Magazine

India — LAC

La firma india UPL tiene una vía para que México deje de importar maíz— Forbes México

With China slowing down, India’s burgeoning role in Latin America assumes significance — Financial Express

China’s slowdown is an Opportunity for India in Latin America Relation and Growth — Midway Chronicle

Final frontier: Why India’s booming Pharma companies are finding it tough to get into Argentinean Market— Financial Express 

India, Peru to hold next round of FTA talks in March in Lima— The Times of India

GCC — LAC

“Japón y Oriente Medio son mercados muy importantes para el mango mexicano para los próximos años”— Agroinformacion 

Brazil exports to Arab world hit $11.5bln in 2018— Reuters

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