While the big story these days in the Latin America-Asia relationship is China, South Korea should not be overlooked by Latin Americans looking for partners or a new market. Korea has long had a presence in Latin America, and succeeded in some places where China has struggled. As consultant to the IDB Theodore Kahn put it last year:
Where in Asia does LAC export the most manufacturing goods (as a share of total exports)?Which Asian economy has the most free trade agreement (FTA) partners in Latin America?Which Asian country directs the greatest share of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in LAC to manufacturing?
The answer to all three is Korea.
But South Korea is not resting on its laurels. SK and Mercosur launched trade talks last week to establish a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This would expand on the pioneering 2003 FTA between South Korea and Chile, the expansion of which Chilean agricultural exporters have been advocating for a while. An FTA would a be a boon to Mercosur exporters, who face a tariff of up to 40% on marquee goods such as beef. This is on the heels of negotiating their own CAFTA with the Central American countries last year that may come into effect later this year (although Guatemala has been dragging its feet).
But South Korea is not looking at just trade, it’s been active in investment in Latin America. The Korea-Mercosur tie-up is expected to boost that, especially in the automotive sector which has been a bright spot for Latin America in recent years. Korean investors have invested along the automotive manufacturing complex in Latin America from full car assembly to individual seatbelt production. That’s to say nothing of interest in soy and other commodities.
Supporting these investments have been Korean financial institutions. Shinhan Bank opened a branch in Mexico earlier this year, becoming the first Korean bank to do so, following Woori Bank that has had a presence in the region for a while.
But the biggest FDI story has to be the joint venture between conglomerates Samsung SDI and POSCO that was one of the winners in Chile’s Development of Added Value Projects of Lithium in March. That project will net Chile $754m in value-added industries. And POSCO is looking beyond Chile for lithium, snapping up the Sal de Vida mine in Catamarca, Argentina this week from Australia’s Galaxy Resources.
洪都拉斯将与台湾“断交”？台当局紧急回应 — Guancha
China: la diplomacia del yuan — El Nuevo Diario
Taiwan Welcomes Haiti President as China Chips Away at Allies — Jakarta Globe
We speculated that Guatemala or Paraguay was the next to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, but rumors of the Foreign Minister of Honduras was negotiating in Beijing — which aligns with what we have been hearing — and that Haiti could come soon after. The Foreign Ministry of Taiwan has been compelled to state that no foreign minister of a country they have relations with was in Beijing.
Chinese firm invests in Brazilian corn to corner a third of seed market — SCMP
China's Longping sees Brazil corn expansion, targets seeds market — Reuters
Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co — subsidiary of CITIC Group — says it wants to double its share of the Brazilian seed market to 30% by building new seed plants beyond its current four next year.
China’s biggest electric car maker announces its global ambitions with a monorail in Brazil — Quartz
BYD, China’s biggest electric vehicle maker by sales, says it has signed a R$2.5b ($689m) deal to build a monorail system in Salvador da Bahia.
TPP’s Regulatory Capitalism and China’s Belt and Road Challenges — The Diplomat
Richard Stewart of NYU law school sees a coming challenge in TPP’s “regulatory capitalism” vs the Belt and Road Initiative “state-centered approach."
China — LAC
优惠？巴拿马推出中国人永久居留新政策 — UDN
Expresan optimismo en Panamá por negociaciones de TLC con China — Xinhua
President Varela appoints Chief Negotiator for the FTA between Panama and the People's Republic of China — Cision
Talks over Panama-China free trade pact to start in July — Reuters
Panama and China continue to get along. Panama eased visa requirements for Chinese residents. Chinese who hold a temporary residence permit for can apply for a permanent residence permit in the country after two years. Director of Panama's Agency for the Promotion of Investments and Exports (Proinvex) Alberto Alemán has been appointed as lead negotiator for FTA talks set to begin June 12.
预计对华出口持续高增长，欧洲和拉美农产品紧盯中国市场 — Yicai
Tanya Barros, marketing manager of the Chilean Pork Trade Association, said that Chile’s export of pork to China has almost doubled every year since it received China’s quarantine permit for Chilean pork in 2011. Compared with Europe and the U.S, the output of Chilean pork is not big, but its quality is high.
墨西哥州州长带队来江苏觅商机，未来将有哪些合作？ — XHBY.net
Coahuila Governor Miguel Riquelme led a delegation to Jiangsu looking for opportunities in autos, spare parts, minerals and renewables. 20 companies from Jiangsu have invested $430m in Mexico.
Making industrial parks work — T&T Newsday
Imbert: US$104m Chinese complex for Pt Lisas — T&T Newsday
Imbert: No loan arrangement for Chinese industrial park — T&T Newsday
Indarsingh: Imbert deceiving Couva — T&T Newsday
Trinidad and Tobago’s Finance Minister and acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert added a bizarre bit of intrigue to the end of PM Keith Rowley’s trip to China. Imbert announced that Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) would build a $104m industrial park in the country, financed through a concessional loan. Imbert then promptly reversed himself the following day under grilling from opposition politicians.
At least four more weeks until Galleon’s Passage arrives — Loop TT
In other projects that are announced but never seem to arrive, the Galleon’s Passage three hour tour continues.
京交会“巴西主题日”：巴西将采取措施吸引更多中国游客 — People’s Daily
Buenos Aires realizó acciones de promoción en China — Mensajero
The Buenos Aires City Tourism Board joined the Brazilian Tourism Institute in a roadshow to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
China restablece el proceso de admisibilidad de carne colombiana — El Espectador
Colombia volverá a exportar carne a China después de superar el problema de la aftosa — Extra
China abre vitrina con acceso a los productos colombianos — Portafolio
Two weeks after Agriculture Minister Juan Guillermo Zuluaga’s visit to China, Colombia has regained access to the Chinese beef market.
Presidente de SK defiende tren a Valparaíso y dice que si se opta por plan de EFE sería "un error” — Mundo Marítimo
Juan Eduardo Errázuriz, the head of Sigdo Koppers — which is in the TVS joint venture with China Railways Group Limited (CREC) — argues that his consortium’s $1.6b proposal for a train between Santiago and Valparaiso is a better idea than having state-owned EFE build it.
Lenovo Mobile cresce pouco, mas Motorola decola na América Latina — TecMundo
Lenovo is having trouble expanding beyond the Chinese market to other ones such as Latin America, where Motorola had a banner year, growing 13%.
La economía de China puede llegar a ser 60% más grande que la de EU: rector UNAM — Aristegui Noticias
América Latina y China tienen un gran potencial para profundizar su cooperación, según expertos — Xinhua
Iniciativa de Franja y Ruta es puerta a apertura y desarrollo para América Latina, según expertos — Xinhua
Readouts on UNAM’s three-day “Latin America and the Caribbean and China: conditions and challenges for the 21st Century” conference this week.
Impactos de un TLC bilateral con China son muy positivos — El País Uruguay
A report from Uruguay’s Catholic University says an FTA with China is a slam dunk.
Las exportaciones de carne argentina anotan suba de casi 60% por la mayor demanda de China — iProfesional
So far this year, Argentine exports of meat are up 60% thanks to demand from China.
Iberdrola evita la irrupción de la china State Grid en la OPA sobre Eletropaulo — El Economista España
Enel and Iberdola blocked China State Grid out of the auction for Eletropaulo.
Viñas chilenas serán parte de uno de los principales eventos de vinos del mundo — T13
Alcalde de San Javier se reúne con Embajador de la República Popular de China para potenciar exportaciones de vino — Diario el Heraldo
Vinos de Chile: “El Estado debería aportar al menos el doble para promocionar la industria del vino” — Diario Financiero
Chilean wines are looking to become big in China. Chilean Wines thinks the government should double — at least — its expenditure on promoting wines in China.
Premian en China a etiqueta mexicana de vinos “Hacienda de Encinillas” — El Heraldo de Tabasco
Even Mexican wines are becoming more popular in China.
Antártica: oportunidades para Chile y China — La Tercera
Chile atraerá más turistas chinos a Antártida — People’s Daily
Chile to attract more Chinese tourists to Antarctica — Santiago Times
The fight to own Antarctica — FT
Chile is moving to leverage it’s location to capture an increasing flow of Chinese tourists to Antartica, according to Ambassador Jaime Chomali. Overall tourism to Antartica has almost doubled this decade.
Chile's Santiago confirms project to build new Chinatown district — ECNS
Chinese businesses in Santiago are going to donate $1.5m to build a 550 meter Chinatown district in the city by 2019.
UWI students in China for Huawei’s programme — Trinidad Guardian
Five undergraduate students of The University of the West Indies (UWI) are in China for a two week work-study program sponsored by Huawei.
Hortifrut Mexico expects soaring blueberry growth over coming years — Fresh Fruit Portal
Chile-headquartered company Hortifrut is anticipating huge annual blueberry growth from Mexico over the coming years, according to country manager Rigoberto Guerrero, with China being a main growth market.
Guerra comercial entre EUA e China pode atingir Brasil no longo prazo — Extra
China’s return to US soyabean market trumped by trade war reboot — FT
The trade war between China and the US may be beneficial for Brazil in the short term, but dangerous in the longer term, says Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi. But in the meantime, Brazilian soy growers have an opportunity — the last time the USDA reported soybean sales to China was April 10.
Bahamaren signs MOU with Chinese agriculture powerhouses — EyeWitness News
Consultancy Bahamaren has signed an MOU with Beijing Kingpeng International Agriculture Corporation and China Overseas Agricultural Development Alliance to work on innovative agriculture technology.
President Mauricio Macri of Argentina Meets with Wang Yi — Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States
The official news on President Mauricio Macri’s meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Brasil quer transformar a China em parceiro especial também no comércio de serviços — Comex do Brasil
Brazilian Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services Marcos Jorge says that his country wants to partner with China on services, too.
Argentina podría ubicarse entre los cuatro mayores productores de plata del mundo — El Diario de Madryn
Dos provincias de China y Argentina cerraron un acuerdo de cooperación en minería — Marco Trade News
Guizhou province in China and Jujuy in Argentina have signed an MOU to have Guizhou’s mining company cooperate on mining in Jujuy.
Argentina: The blueberry from Entre Rios is closer to China deal — Fresh Plaza
Following on the agreement from two weeks ago, a delegation of the Chinese government will visit Entre Rios in September to inspect the blueberry production from the province.
"Es mentira que nuestro gran cliente es China” — El Economista Argentina
“It’s a lie that our biggest client is China,” says Enrique Erize, arguing that because Argentina exports processed soy products (and not raw beans) it is not dependent on China. He doesn’t address that Chinese consumption impacts world soy prices, which Argentina definitely is dependent on.
Relación entre América Latina y China contribuye nueva arquitectura económica y comercial — Hoy
Representantes de partidos políticos de China y América Latina buscan soluciones para dificultades de desarrollo — People’s Daily
China invitará anualmente a más de 200 líderes políticos de CELAC en los próximos tres años — Xinhua
China-CELAC Political Parties Forum held in Shenzhen — China.org
The Chinese Communist Party hosted the China-CELAC Political Parties Forum last week.
China genera energía en Argentina y también debate — Inter Press Service
An article outlining concern over the environmental impact of Chinese investment in Argentine infrastructure projects, especially the two dams being built in Santa Cruz.
Belt, Road, and Ball? How China's Soccer Diplomacy Handles Latin America — Forbes
China utiliza el fútbol para 'colonizar’ Latinoamérica — El Economista España
China has gone from ping-pong diplomacy to soccer diplomacy. The country has been building stadiums, hosting South American teams, and aging soccer stars.
A tale of two dragons: China and Taiwan's rising clout in Latin America — Sydney Morning Herald
It’s not just soccer - baseball stadiums, too.
Termómetro del BID muestra cómo Chile y la región repuntan en exportaciones, pero con signos de moderación — El Mostrador
Chile’s exports were up by 24% in the first quarter, with China driving over half of that growth.
The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration — The New Yorker
The long read on Ambassador John Feeley’s departure in response to Donald Trump has a good middle section on China and the US in Latin America.
'Semillas para el Futuro’ estrecha vínculos entre Perú y China — Xinhua
Perú tiene plan estratégico para aumentar llegada de turistas chinos — Portal del Turismo
Perú ejecuta plan estratégico para aumentar sus negocios con China — Andina
Peru is reaching out to China in hopes to get more tourists across the Pacific.
China e Brasil querem mais países no banco dos Brics — Valor
China and Brazil are pushing to include more countries in the BRICS Bank (New Development Bank), but India is holding them back.
Editorial: Ripples Of Us-China Trade Relations Wash Up On Our Shores Too — Tribune 242
The Tribune 242 editorial board sounds the alarm over Chinese investment:
Since The Bahamas depends on foreign direct investment, there can be no doubt Chinese financial involvement here presents welcome opportunities for our economic development...
We believe, however, that overall we ought to be wary of becoming too dependent on excessive Chinese involvement in our economy because it is now clear they will probably be seeking in the long-term a breadth and depth of co-operation which may not be suitable for us as a small and proud independent country.
Recovery in Mexican avocado exports to China — Fresh Fruit Portal
Mexico is expected to ship 16,000 metric tons (MT) of avocados to China this season through June, double last year’s disappointing numbers and 2,000MT above the 2016 number, but still only 5% of exports to the US.
Mayor productor de oro en China busca invertir en el Perú — El Comercio
Minera china Shandong Gold busca invertir en el Perú — América Economía
Speaking in Lima, Shandong Gold head Yume Chen says that Barrick Gold has invited them to explore joint venture opportunities in Peru; last year the two companies joined forces in Argentina.
Canciller boliviano ultima detalles en China para visita de Morales en junio — Opinión
Consejero de Estado chino se reúne con canciller boliviano — Xinhua
Chinese state councilor meets Bolivian FM — Xinhua
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni Mamani in Beijing this week, ahead of President Evo Morales’ visit next month.
Cherry growers in Chile are continuing their growth in China — ABC Radio
An Australian perspective on the competition they face in the Chinese cherry market from Chile.
Venta de cerveza a mercado chino incrementó 101 % en último año — AM Querétaro
En China dicen ‘chin-chin’ con chelas mexicanas — Forbes México
More details on the conquest of the Chinese market by Mexican beers.
Korea — LAC
Corea del Sur busca expandir vínculos comerciales con la Región del Bío Bío — Diario Concepción
Ambassador Gyun Chung says his country wants to deepen its connections with the Bío Bío region in Chile.
El 79% de las exportaciones de sacha inchi se dirige a Corea del Sur — El Economista América
Specialty foods (or as they’re branded "Peru Superfoods”) exports from Peru are up a third over the year, with South Korea driving it by importing 79% of Peru’s exports of sacha inchi.
Melón hondureño gana territorio en mercados asiáticos — El Heraldo
Honduras is exporting 250 containers of melons a year to place like Japan, Singapore, and soon, South Korea.
Japan — LAC
Sólida, relación México-Japón — El Universal
Japan and Mexico vow to cooperate over the early implementation of the TPP — The Japan Times
México protegerá los intereses de empresas japonesas en el TLCAN — Expansión
Japón, China y Latinoamérica — El Heraldo de México
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono wound up his Latin America tour with a stop in Mexico where he and Luis Videgaray underlined their expectation that TPP will be in effect by the end of the year. Mexico also promised to look out for Japanese companies while they renegotiate NAFTA.
Los mexicanos que luchan contra la pobreza y exportan su café a Japón — Alto Nivel
Sierra de Zongolica, in Veracruz, is one of the poorest spots in Latin America. Its farmers are getting a hand from coffee exports to Japan.
Argentina y Japón potencian las relaciones comerciales — AgriTotal
Argentina pushes to expand beef exports to Asia — Nikkei Asian Review
At the tail end of his trip, Argentine Agroindustry Minister Luis Miguel Etchevehere pushed for more trade with Japan.
Embaixador do Japão visita o PA e discute novas parcerias — Folha do Bico
Pará Governor Simão Jatene hosted Japanese Ambassador Akira Yamada in Belém this week.
Yerba argentina será exportada a Chile y Japón — El Tribuno
Colombia Guaraní tea cooperative Copetegla in Jujuy is asking Argentina’s Institute for Agricultural and Industrial Development (IFAI) for help in renovating their processing plant so as to export ground yerba mate to Japan.
Japoneses a punto de comprar su segundo frigorífico en Uruguay — El Observador
NH Foods Group is rumored to be close to buying the San Jacinto (Nirea SA) cold-storage company in Uruguay for about $60m; following last year's $135m purchase of Breeders & Packers Uruguay (BPU).
India — LAC
India says no plans for oil trade with Venezuela using 'petro’ cryptocurrency — The Economic Times
Despite the 30% discount offered, India says they’re not going to pay for Venezuelan oil using the Petro cryptocurrency.
India and Argentina explores possibility of collaboration to diversify trade — KNN India
Argentina keen to develop strategic partnership with India: Ambassador — UNI India
Argentina’s new Ambassador to India Daniel Chuburu is drumming up the potential for trade between the two countries.
Bolivia looks toward India for education and R&D, says ambassador — The Week
An interview with Bolivian Ambassador to India, Sergio Dario Arispe Barrientos.
We want Indians visiting South America to include Columbia in their itinerary: Columbian Ambassador to India — TravelBiz Monitor
Clemencia Forero Ucros, Colombia’s Ambassador to India, makes the pitch for her country as a tourist destination.
GCC — LAC
UAE Business: DP World acquires Cosmos Agencia Marítima for $315.7m — GDN Online
DP World has acquired Peru's Cosmos Agencia Marítima (CAM) for $315.7m.
ASEAN & Oceania — LAC
Chile acerca posiciones entre Alianza del Pacífico y economías que integran el foro APEC — Economía y Negocios
Chilean trade rep Rodrigo Yáñez has met with New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Canada to become Associated States of the Pacific Alliance.