China State Grid making a move for Latin America

Up Front

China State Grid has made it clear it is interested in Latin America.

This week, following a public solicitation, the energy powerhouse now owns almost 95% of Brazil’s CPFL Energia. CPFL Energia is the main non-state power producer in Brazil and the third largest in the country, with a market share of 14.3%. 

Not satisfied with it’s current share of the market, China State Grid also said it is interested in taking part in the power transmission line licensing round to be held on December 15th. The 11 projects to be auctioned will require R$9b ($2.76b) in investments.

Looking beyond, China State Grid is one of several Chinese companies eyeing the Chilean local market. Executives visited in September “looking for investment opportunities in Chile.” Expect to see them in an airport lounge near you, soon.

Top Stories

Chineses investem US$ 1 bilhão na compra de negócios de sementes de milho da Dow AgroSciences no Brasil — Globo
Chineses assumem 20% do mercado de sementes de milho no Brasil — Gazeta do Povo
China's CITIC closes $1.1 billion Brazil takeover, sees more ahead — Reuters
China’s search for food security continues apace. CITIC Agri Fund bought Dow Chemical’s corn seed business in Brazil for $1.1b, and is indicating that it’s looking for other targets in Latin America. Beyond seeds, the main areas the fund is looking at are animal genetics, veterinary products such as vaccines, and crop protection products.

Peru hydropower plant gets China funding — ECNS
Banco chino financia central hidroeléctrica en Perú — Xinhua
Gobierno peruano e Hydro Global Perú y China Development Bank firmaron convenio para Hidroeléctrica San Gaban III por US$428 millones — Radio Onda Azul
China Development Bank has agreed to finance the construction of the San Gaban III hydroelectric plant by China Three Gorges Corp. CDB will provide $365 million in 19-year loans for the project in southeast Peru, that is expected to be completed by 2021.

El Salvador y Corea del Sur firmarán el TLC esta semana — Noticias de El Salvador
El Salvador and South Korea will sign a Free Trade Agreement this coming weekend. This will leave only Guatemala in Central America lacking an FTA with South Korea.

China, Panama Sign Pact On New Free Trade Zones — Tax News
Panamá y China dan primeros pasos para crear un TLC — Forbes México
Moody's espera más comercio de China hacia Panamá — La Prensa
La Gran Conexión y la Ruta de la Seda (II) — La Estrella de Panamá
China and Panama have signed an agreement to work together on the development of new free trade and economic cooperation zones, likely with a focus on the Colon Free Trade Zone. This is all part of a greater effort by the two to establish an FTA, which is in feasibility studies. Moody’s sees this as all very positive for Panama’s services industry. And Panama sees it’s chance to cement itself in the Belt and Road.

China's Lifan eyeing electric car production in Uruguay — China Daily
Interview: China's ride-hailing giant DiDi eyes Latin American market — Xinhua
Para 'Uber chinês', carro será serviço, não um bem — Istoé Independente
Belt and Road Initiative to inspire LatAm, says IDB chief — China Daily
Mobike promueve economía colaborativa en ALC — Xinhua
Empresas chinas buscarán invertir en tecnología en América Latina — Swissinfo
A.Latina apuesta a la modalidad público privada para atraer inversión china — W Radio
China propone la creación de una zona de libre comercio con la Celac — Expansion
China propõe criação de zona de livre-comércio com Celac — Globo
China ofrece su tecnología para aprovechar recursos energéticos de America Latina — El Nuevo Diario
A round up of read-outs from last week’s China-LAC Business Summit.  The bottom line is that China will likely be taking a greater role in the energy, automotive, and even bike-share sectors in Latin America. It remains to be seen what will come of the China-ECLAC FTA.

'Coco' Is Crushing Box Office Records (And Conventional Wisdom) In China — Forbes
Pixar’s Coco is big in China. Despite material that normally concerns censors (ghosts and the supernatural), the film focused on Mexican culture has earned a total of $80.5m in 11 days, a significant result in the growing movie market.

China-LAC

Feature: Chinese demand keeps Chile's cherry sector booming — Xinhua
An interview with Agricola Garces president Hernan Garces, outlining how Chile’s largest cherry producer and exporter views China.

Tobago can benefit from construction technology being used in China — Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
Caribbean islands continue to be concerned by the deal they are getting from Chinese companies. While visiting the Zhuhai China-LAC expo, the Chief Secretary of the Tobago Housing Authority, Kelvin Charles, pushed for local participation in a China Railways Construction Company hotel project on the island:

“I took the opportunity to discuss with one of the principle, the possibility of having some of our local engineers to be part of that construction activity in Tobago, for some period of time so that they can be exposed to the kind of technology that the Chinese seem to be famous for,” Charles told reporters.

Chinese fishing fleets a growing presence in Latin American waters — Seafood Source
Concerns are rising about China's Distant Water Fishing (DWF) vessels — which supposedly receive more than $400m in national subsidies annually — presence in Caribbean and Latin American territorial waters to fish illegally.

PA e empresa chinesa assinam protocolo para aprofundar estudos sobre ferrovia — Folha do Bico
The Brazilian state of Pará, China Railways Engineering Company (CREC #10), and the China Latin America Infrastructure Fund have signed an MOU to develop the R$14b ($4.25b), 1400km Pará Railway.

China assina acordo para aumentar importação de produtos brasileiros — Agência Brasil
China’s CCPIT and Brazils’ Business Leaders Group (Lide) have signed an MOU to increase Brazilian exports to China through easing customs logistics.

Tribuna | Por que a China está investindo no Brasil? — El País
A China é quem vai colocar dinheiro nas obras que o Brasil precisa — Gazeta do Povo
Between 2007 and 2016, Chinese invested $80m in Brazil, $46m of it borrowed. Two pieces look at the impact of that investment in Brazil, and how it can help.

Gigante chinesa das entregas começa expansão internacional pelo Brasil — Globo
Yiwu-based STO, the logistics company leader in using robots to fill trucks at warehouses, is expanding in Brazil through it’s e-commerce platform subsidiary X-Tong.

Debe intensificar México su relación comercial con China — El Sol de Cuernavaca
Chinese government minister for Latin America, Zhu Qingqiao, visited Mexico’s Cuernavaca and underlined his country’s interested in deeper commercial ties.

Chinesa DJI escolhe distribuidor no Brasil de olho em crescimento de mercado de drones — Terra
Chinese drone producer DJI has decided to team up with Brazil’s Golden so the latter can distribute it’s drones in the Brazilian market, which it expects to grow 15x in the next two years.

Argentina reconoció a China como economía de mercado hace muchos años, remarca funcionaria argentina — Xinhua
In it’s efforts to get recognized as a 'market economy’ by the WTO (which the US and other countries are currently blocking), China is looking for friends around the world. In an interview, former Argentine FM Susana Malcorra agrees that Argentina saw China as a market economy “for several years now."

Santa Cruz aún no fue informada sobre la venta de la petrolera Sinopec a la empresa de Miguel Galuccio — iProfesional
Trouble with the deal? The Province of Santa Cruz says that it has still not officially notified about last week's $600m sale of Sinopec assets to a company headed by former YPF honcho Miguel Galuccio.

La aerolíneas Avianca y Air China firman un acuerdo de código compartido — El Diario
Colombia’s Avianca and Air China have signed a code-sharing agreement. The initial code-sharing will take place on Avianca flights to Europe from Bogotá.

Financiamento de US$ 5 bi com banco de desenvolvimento da China ajudará a pagar empréstimo — Diário do Comércio
Petrobras has signed a $5b loan with China Development Bank. The deal will refinance an existing 2009 loan, and require the Brazilian oil company to deliver 100,000 barrels/day to Unipec Asia Company, down from 200,000 barrels/day in the previous deal.

Principal constructora energética china aterriza en Chile y fija centro para expansion — Diario Financiero
China Power has landed, in Chile. It’s Fujian subsidiary has signed a $400m joint venture with Alumini Engineering.

China busca invertir en renovables en San Luis, Argentina — PV Magazine
Chinese engineering firm Sumec is interested in developing solar projects in the Argentine province of San Luis, thanks to favorable industrial development regulations and financing capacity. San Luis companies are required to have 8% of their energy consumption from renewables beginning next year.

Korea-LAC

KEPCO to Build EV Charging Stations in Dominican Republic — Be Korea-savvy
State-run Korea Electric Corp. (KEPCO) is pushing to build 160 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in three cities in the Dominican Republic, at a total cost of $30m.

Plan C, ¿con Corea del Sur? — El Universal
Everyone talks about Mexico’s 'Plan B’ if the US decides to pull out of NAFTA. This op-ed argues for a Plan C: the mooted FTA with South Korea.

Junín: Fondo Contravalor Perú Japón financia obras de saneamiento en Pomacancha — Andina
The Peru Japan Fund is investing $2m in a water treatment plant in Pomacancha.

De mal en peor: importarán peras de Corea del Sur — LMCipolletti
South Korea has begun exporting pears to several Latin American countries, including Chile, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. This news has not been well-received by growers in the Alto Valle region of Argentina, who are struggling to compete with the imported goods.

Japan-LAC

Colombia negocia acuerdo de doble tributación con Japón — W Radio
Colombia and Japan have begun negotiating a double taxation treaty. 

CRFM and JICA concluding innovative Caribbean Fisheries Co-management project — The Bahamas Weekly
An innovative fisheries project which the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has been coordinating since 2013 in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) across six OECS Member States is nearing its end. The Caribbean Fisheries Co-Management Project (CARIFICO) was designed to develop and implement fisheries co-management approaches in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as disseminate and share the experiences and knowledge acquired to the other CARICOM States.  

GCC-LAC

Brazilian agribusiness to seek out Arab investors — ANBA
The Brazilian ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and of Foreign Relations will hold the Brazil-Middle East Agribusiness Investor Road Show on December 13 in Abu Dhabi.

DP World acquisition serves UAE Latam strategy well — The National
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has set a target of increasing the proportion of Dubai’s total trade with Latin America to 6% by 2020 from 3% currently. The acquisition of Brazil’s Empresa Brasileira de Terminais Portuarios (Embraport) by DP World is seen as a significant step towards that goal.

ASEAN & Oceania-LAC

Peru: 95% of Peruvian products to enter Australia duty-free — Agencia Andina
Once the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement comes into force, 95% of Peruvian products will enter the Oceania country duty-free immediately. The benefitting goods will include avocados, fresh grapes, blueberries, tangerines, asparagus, quinoa, prawns, natural pigments, alpaca clothing, as well as cotton shirts and t-shirts.

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