The US’ trade strategy is benefiting Mexico. The goal of NAFTA 2.0 is to try to box Chinese corporates out of North America. China has seen that as a poison pill (毒丸 - noting US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ calling it that) of the deal. And Chinese corporates with a presence in the US are now scrambling to figure out how to overcome that pill (诚邀您参加《美墨加协定》:中国企业的机遇与挑战峰会系列活动). The perspective from China is summed up by the line from the classic Commentary to the Book of Songs by Master Han (韩诗外传): “The tree wants to be quiet but the wind does no stop” (树欲静而风不止). China says it wants calm trade relations while the US government continues its fusillade of tariffs.
In another literary reference, Mexico is seen as a “Fortress Besieged” (围城), in reference to Qian Zhongshu’s satiric novel, stuck in between China and the US. While Mexico is traditionally a competitor of China, as a manufacturing base for global consumers, the current Mexican government has looked to China as an alternative to a volatile US.
This all comes at a time when not just China but the world is looking to better understand the position of Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who swears into office in two weeks. This week his Foreign Minister-designee, Marcelo Ebrard, has been tempering fears that Mexico will take a hawkish stand towards China. Ebrard met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and said China is a key country in Mexico’s plans to pursue economic diversification. Ebrard highlights that he wants good relations with China to allow Mexico to export more goods, like the deals announced last week for plantains and sorghum.
Our recent trips to Mexico have confirmed this. The manager of a China-oriented business park tells us that he used to get one inquiry a month from Chinese companies looking to do business in Mexico. Ever since the US tariffs on Chinese goods kicked in, those inquiries have jumped to almost a dozen a month. “They come here and say they don’t want to be here,” he tells us. “But they say: ‘ we have to be,’” because of the tariffs.
And it’s not just Chinese corporates. Japanese and even German companies are now looking at Mexico to get around the new NAFTA agreement.
Despite all this interest, foreign direct investment into Mexico for the third quarter fell 28%. Why? Because investors were rattled by AMLO’s anti-business campaign. If the new president wants to avoid making Mexico a fortress besieged in this economic environment, he’s going to have to keep investors — from China, Japan, and elsewhere — assuaged.
Argentina’s BCRA says that it’s finally extended its swap line with China’s PBoC to the tune of an additional $8.7b.
Sesiona Grupo de Alto Nivel Empresarial China-México — La Jornada
Empresas mexicanas buscan sorprender a China — Expansión
Buscan México y China ampliar comercio — Tijuanotas
Viajará el alcalde de Tijuana a China — El Sol de Tijuana
Mexico courts Chinese investment - Fruitnet
LatAm Goods Export Rises, With China Scaling Up Import — Nearshore Americas
Panama uses CIIE to showcase huge potential as export hub — CGTN Americas
Mexico is one of several countries that thinks it came out on top at CIIE.
Anuncian 5 vuelos directos del Perú a China al mes — El Peruano
Perú y China unen mercados — El Peruano
China Eastern announces five flights a month to sent fresh produce from Lima to Shanghai.
Bitcoin! Bradesco and MUFG are going to use blockchain based on Ripple to make transfers between Brazil and Japan easier.
Pese a los bajos precios, América Latina producirá más soja para abastecer a China — El Economista América
Soy diplomacy remains complicated, with Brazil looking to export soy meal to China.
Aventuras de latinoamericanos en el "doble once" en China — People’s Daily
El Doble 11 chino, oportunidad global — El Economista
Adventures in China’s Singles’ Day for Latin American exporters.
China’s Belt and Road lands in Latin America — China Dialogue
Belt and Road: Tight squeeze — Weekly Asado
Our friend Benjamin Gedan at the Wilson Center thinks that the G20 meeting at the end of the month could see Argentina make “an announcement to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”
Our friend Margaret Meyers lays out trends for Chinese investment in Latin America.
青岛市商务局代表赴京出席中拉年度投资交流峰会 — Govrenment of Qingdao
The government of Qingdao publicizes their meeting with Moishe Mana in China.
Oozing sewage: Peru to sue Chinese and Japanese firms for treatment plant that doesn’t work — Global Construction Review
Japan-funded sewage plant sits idle in Peru — The Japan News
Something stinks in Peru.
China — LAC
Piñera expresa optimismo con crecimiento económico de Chile — People’s Daily
La larga marcha del vino argentino hacia la China — Diario Uno
Uruguay seeks alliance with China, challenging Mercosur — Dialogo Chino
Una amistad nueva, respetuosa y extraordinaria — Listin Diario
Industria argentina del limón espera exportar a China para 2020 — Portal Frutícola
Cabeçadas da equipe de Bolsonaro agitam o mercado — Carta Capital
O Brasil nunca precisou tanto da China quanto hoje: saiba os motivos — Gazeta do Povo
Chile marca récord en exportaciones de frutas frescas a China — Diario Estrategia
China’s demand could attract more Chilean grapes — The Packer
New protocol for Chile and China — AsiaFruit
Un negocio que no tiene techo — El Litoral
Se frenan envíos de aguacate por pleito con empacadoras — El Economista
China pledges $150 million aid to El Salvador as relationship deepens — Global Americans
China, Venezuela, and the Illusion of Debt-Trap Diplomacy — Carnegie Tsinghua
China signs fresh produce MoU with Caribbean region - FreshPlaza
Brasil intensifica presença no e-commerce da China — Government of Brazil
Antigua and Barbuda Courts Chinese Tourism Market — Caribbean Journal
Para el mundo, China va en busca de la economía argentina — El Intransigente
ALACERO: “América Latina crece pero se ve amenazado por el comercio desleal” — Marco Trade News
Com plano de Paulo Guedes, "Brasil será nova China", diz Winston Ling — Diário Catarinense
Chile acuerda cooperación con China para la Franja y la Ruta — Noticias Logística y Transporte
Colloque « Chine-Amérique latine et Caraïbes : bilan et perspectives » — Université libre de Bruxelles
Televisión Central de China recorrió instalaciones salmoneras en Chile –- Mundo Acuicola
Costa Rica recibe 546 mil dólares de China para seguridad — Forbes México
Korea — LAC
ZPE Ceará recebe visita do embaixador da Coreia do Sul — Government of Ceará
Negociações comerciais com a Coreia do Sul - Interesses ofensivos do Brasil — Portal da Industria
Guatemala proyecta firmar TLC con Corea del Sur el próximo año — Radio La Primerísima
Embajador de la República de Corea visita Minera Boleo — Diario el Independiente
Corea del Sur, el destino favorito de las exportaciones peruanas — El Economista América
More Chilean cherries heading for South Korea — AsiaFruit
Japan — LAC
India — LAC
ASEAN & Oceania — LAC
Singapore invests in Brazilian VC fund — Funds Global Asia
GCC — LAC
UAE Begins Construction of $50mn Caribbean Energy Projects — ME Construction News