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After being a bit of an anti-China firebrand on the campaign trail, Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) appears to have taken a moresubtle approach when he met with Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqui this week.
Presumptive Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that AMLO’s goal still remains to close the trade deficit Mexico has with China, which totaled $67b last year: “the objective is to diminish the imbalance in the coming years. China is well disposed to do so.” The two sides agreed to work through the Grupo de Alto Nivel México-China (GAN - Mexico-China High Level Working Group) ensuring a smooth transition on the Mexican side.
According to Yeidckol Polevnsky — head of AMLO’s MORENA political party — instead of having Mexico produce at home products it currently imports from Mexico, it now looks like AMLO is turning to have China invest more in Mexico and exporting more Mexican goods to China.
These days, Chinese investment is the one-size-fits-all solution that many economic policymakers in Latin America are turning to in order to stimulate their economies. Beyond the well know limitations on that route presents, the incoming Mexican government faces an additional hurdle of the defunct Querétaro High-Speed Rail project that has gone to litigation between the two countries.
While candidate AMLO railed about “caps, clothes, and shoes” as China’s threat to Mexican manufacturing, Chinese exports to Mexico are primarily electronics: cell phones, TV and computer screens, computers and accessories. Conversely, Mexico sells China raw materials (copper and concentrates, crude oil, lead, and silver) but also key value-added items, like gearboxes manufactured in the Bajío automotive complex. Agricultural exports have been a recent source of increased interest, up 54% in 2018 on a year ago.
乌拉圭驻华大使：与中国合作至关重要— 环球 (Huanqiu)
Uruguay será el primer país de América Latina en adherirse a estrategia china Una Franja, Una Ruta— Uruguay continues full stream ahead with China. Antonio Carámbula, executive director of investment promotion agency Uruguay XXI, says that his country will open a second consulate in Guangzhou as part of Uruguay Week, 20-27 of August, with events in Beijing, Chongqing, and Guangzhou.
La pelea Trump-China, beneficiará a la soja argentina— La radio de Martín Grande
Argentina expects to open up the Chinese soymeal market. Argentine officials were in Beijing last week to finalize paperwork needed to ship the country's livestock feed to China, according to agriculture ministry Chief of Staff Santiago del Solar. While exports have been limited this season due to drought, Argentine soy producers are expected to ramp up production for next May to meet Chinese demand.
China State Construction Engineering’s overseas unit CCA South America and its joint venture partner GREEN have signed a $2.1b public-private partnership (P3) deal to build and operate the 500km National Road B Line between the Provinces of Buenos Aires and La Pampa.
Identifican 73 productos agrícolas de Chile que podrían competir con EE.UU. en China— Economía y Negocios
Dispatches from the trade war.
Having had success with getting to the Japanese market, dulce de leche maker San Ignacio is looking further abroad. Says company director Alejandro Reca:
“Japan gives a seal of approval that allows new doors to open. By the end of the year or the beginning of 2019, dulce de leche will be exported to China. And always in the 450g glass jars."
China — LAC
Embratur defende promoção integrada do turismo da América do Sul na China— Mercado e Eventos
Embratur pushes for an integrated approach by Latin America to attract Chinese tourists. Step one appears to be a Mid-Autumn Festival to be held at Iguaçu Falls September 23-24.
9 smartphones chineses que estão chegando ao Brasil— Olhar Digital
Huawei eleva su facturación en el Perú en un 40%— El Comercio
Huawei and Oppo are launching nine different cell phones in the Brazilian market. Why? Might have something do with Huawei’s revenue in Peru being up 40% this year, and they see another, bigger, opportunity next door.
Chinese Infrastructure in Latin America: A New Frontier— Diálogo Chino
The preface from Ariel Armony and Enrique Dussel Peters’ new book, Building Development for A New Era: China’s Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean discusses the role of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) in China’s infrastructure engagement with Latin America.
On World Beer Day, it’s worth noting that the beer Mexico exported to China in 1Q18 ($55.4m) was more than was exported in all of 2016 ($38.6m), and on pace to well exceed last year’s total of $81.5m.
Representatives from China’s General Customs Administration visited Tamaulipas and Sinaloa to clear the way for imports of Mexican sorghum.
China, el Canal de Panamá y... ¿el siglo de Asia?— Forbes México
Former Chilean Ambassadors Jorge Heine (China) and Francisco Cruz (Panama) write about China’s growing presence in Latin America, and how Panama can be a hub.
A bumpy ride on the Belt & Road? Concerns about the debt impact of BRI projects is raising eyebrows globally and locally. But Beijing Foreign Studies University’s Gu Bin says not to worry: "Those suspicious of the project are blinded by an outdated, cold war mindset."
Chile, China y la OMC— La Tercera
Head of the Chinese Embassy’s Economic Section Liu Rutao says that the strength of the growing commercial relationship between Chile and China is thanks to both being members of the World Trade Organization, and following the established rules of the game. A subtle dig at the gringos.
Chinese-made cars top auto sales in Chile— China.org
Chinese-made cars for the first time topped auto sales in Chile in the first half of the year, accounting for 15.6% of total auto sales in the six months from January to June, according the daily El Mercurio. Chinese brands could account for as much as 18% of total sales, according to industry forecasts, due to accessible sticker prices and "customers' positive experience.”
Argentine Energy Minister Javier Iguacel sat down with Chinese Ambassador Yang Wanming at the end of last month to discuss whether China Gezhouba and Hidrocuyo wanted to buy out Electroingeniería, their third partner in the troubled Condor Cliff and La Barrancosa hydro projects in Santa Cruz. This meeting happened before the release of the “cuadernos de las coimas” (“bribe notebooks”), detailing alleged kickbacks under the Kirchner governments that have consumed Argentina over the past week. Those notebooks claim that Electroingeniería VP Gerardo Ferreyra and business manager Jorge Neira gave Néstor and Cristina Kirchner $11m in kickbacks.
Hanwha presenta al Ejército de Chile el carro 'Black Fox' 8x8— Noticias Infodefensa América
Bolivia recibe nuevo paquete de ayuda militar de China— Mercado Militar
A round up of how Latin American militaries are increasingly purchasing equipment from China.
According to El Mercurio, Chilean exports of salmon to China for the first half of the year doubled to 24,000 tons. Russia also increased its take.
China-Tlaxcala potencial de crecimiento— El Sol de Tlaxcala
Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi sat down with Tlaxcala Governor Marco Mena to discuss deepening the automotive connection.
La TV Publica China filmará en El Calafate y El Chaltén— Ahora Calafate
Televisión Pública Argentina (TVP) and China Central Television (CCTV) have signed a deal to jointly film series “Surprising China” and “Surprising Argentina.” The latter will be filmed in the provinces of Tierra del Fuego, Jujuy, Misiones and San Juan and the cities of El Calafate, El Chaltén (Santa Cruz), Esquel, Puerto Madryn (Chubut) and Navarro, San Antonio de Areco and San Pedro (Buenos Aires Province).
Korea — LAC
The Korea Times on Friday invited embassy representatives including ambassadors from six Central American countries ― Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama ― to a meeting and luncheon as part of efforts to build friendship and discuss mutual interests.
License to drive. Korea and Colombia have inked a deal to recognize each other’s driver’s licenses.
Chile y Corea del Sur acuerdan los términos para profundizar TLC— Marco Trade News
Chile and South Korea move forward with FTA 2.0.
Coreanos verifican postcosechas de frutas en dos fincas— La Prensa Gráfica
Korea’s Rural Development Agency (RDA) is helping El Salvador’s National Center of Agriculture Technology (CENTA) in a plantain and mango post-harvest management pilot program.
KAI presenta el caza KF-X al Ministerio de Defensa de Chile— Noticias Infodefensa América
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is looking to get the Chilean Ministry of Defense to buy into its Korean Fighter Experimental Program (KF-X) fighter jet platform.
María Luisa Navarro, Panama's vice minister for multilateral affairs and cooperation, met with her South Korean counterpart Cho Hyun to discuss ways to promote bilateral trade.
Javier Paulinich, the permanent secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA), talks up the Korea-Latam connection in Seoul.
Japan — LAC
Japan's Uchiyama Manufacturing Corp., which supplies plastics products to the automotive, packaging and construction sectors, plans to invest $50 million in a manufacturing facility in Merida, on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula.
Mexico’s Turism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid showed up at the Japanese Tourism Fair in Mexico City with Japanese Ambassador Yasushi Takase to emphasize the strong connection between the two countries.
ASEAN & Oceania — LAC
Honduras working with Philippines port operator ICTSI - which runs the Atlantic coast Puerto Cortés - to create a dry canal across the country.
India — LAC
Latin America seeks more missions— The Hindu
A senior diplomat from Latin America tells The Hinduthat they’re still waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to action on India’s promise to increase representation in the region. India promised to open missions in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Uruguay; they have returned the favor, but India hasn’t opened anything yet.
GCC — LAC
UAE, Mexico boosting economic cooperation— Gulf Today
Ahmed Al Menhali, UAE Ambassador to Mexico, and Francisco Cervantes Diaz, President of the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (CONCAMIN) met in Mexico City to discuss ways to expand UAE-Mexico economic relations.
Peruvian exports to UAE hit $600m in 2017— Trade Arabia
Peruvian exports to the UAE have increased from $6m in 2011 to $600m last year, according to the country’s Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Investment (Mincetur).