Amy Guthrie is Law. She covers legal and business issues, including law firms, in-house counsel, and regulatory matters across Latin America. A weekly, curated selection of our international content from around the globe, across the business of law, in-house, regulatory, technology and more, with expert insights from our senior editors.
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Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. Historically, such massive social upheavals have led to major political realignments. That is what happened in the s and there is no reason to think it will be any different now. The representatives of the so-called blue wave of conservative governments that came to power in this electoral cycle have shown themselves incapable of handling the challenge of the pandemic.
Governments that are unable to fulfill their primordial duty, that is, to defend and protect the lives of its citizens, reflect a basic incompetence that deserves that their leaders be relegated to the political wilderness for a long time. The task for those that would replace them and the task for the new wave of progressive political parties and leaders that will emerge out of the current debacle will be monumental. The enormity of it can be glimpsed from the fact that it will entail not only rebuilding economies and societies that have been shaken to the core.
It will not be enough to recreate the many jobs that have been lost, to foster an upsurge of new businesses to replace those that went under, and to redress the many inequities that have blossomed. What will be needed is a much deeper restructuring of societies caught for far too long in the middle-income trap and in which inequality has been the hallmark.
The notion that every so often the region must go through "lost decades" in which, Sisyphus-like, the people endure painstaking social and economic backsliding, with the efforts of many years coming to naught, is unacceptable. Poverty levels are now back to where they were in A glimmer of hope is offered by the fact that, in a rather depressing year in which global trade is projected to fall by 30 percent, trade between China and Latin America is starting to pick up. Something similar is occurring in other countries in South America: In June, Argentine exports to China increased by 50 percent over June of , and by 30 percent in Brazil over June of However that may be, a major rethink on how the region approaches its development and its links with the rest of the world is long overdue.
This should include, at a minimum, the following: First, put an end to the current regional fragmentation, in which the rule is basically "everyone for himself.
Exports to Latin America in China is expected to be Looking forward, we estimate Exports to Latin America in China to stand at In the long-term, the China Exports to Latin America is projected to trend around Trading Economics members can view, download and compare data from nearly countries, including more than 20 million economic indicators, exchange rates, government bond yields, stock indexes and commodity prices.
Features Questions? Contact us Already a Member? It allows API clients to download millions of rows of historical data, to query our real-time economic calendar, subscribe to updates and receive quotes for currencies, commodities, stocks and bonds. Click here to contact us. Please Paste this Code in your Website. Compare Exports to Latin America by Country. United Nations Comtrade Database. Chinese Yuan Little Changed. Colombia Business Sentiment Worsens in October.
Calendar Forecast Indicators News. Housing Index New Home Sales. More Indicators. National Statistics World Bank. Write for Us. Publish your articles and forecasts in our website. Get recognition from our millions of users. Current prices NSA. Balance of Trade. Current Account. Current Account to GDP. External Debt. Terms of Trade. Through protectionist policies and the delay of trade agreements, the White House made it easier for not only China but also the European Union to take the lead in terms of agreements with the subcontinent.
These loans from China to the subcontinent have exceeded the figures offered by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, allowing access to financing to governments with scarce reserves and highly indebted, which must face a series of social demands. It should be recalled that the opening of the initiative to other regions such as Latin America was announced at the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May And Panama was the first country in the region to sign the agreement in November Until March , countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina had not yet signed a document of accession even though, by late September, it was officially stated that Argentina is going to join.
Since March of this year, most Latin American nations have received help from China to face the Covid pandemic, in health and medical matters, in the form of equipment or advice. For Latin American countries, the pandemic showed an absent US, oblivious to its cooperation programs in the past, while China was standing by with various forms of closeness and cooperation.
And in this context, it is worth highlighting two phenomena registered since the impact of the pandemic became strong in this region: 1 the use of digital platforms to organize meetings; and 2 the development of various air bridges, both from Mexico and from South America. The participating foreign ministers held a special session of the China-CELAC Forum via Zoom, where they gave an account of how each country was facing the pandemic, as well as the vision they had about the economic reality that is coming for the region.
It is also worth mentioning that, in the field of business, the Canton Fair was held online, attracting a large number of visitors from Latin America. Chinese companies have developed live broadcast plans for the time zones of the American continent and have showcased their products in showrooms comprehensively. Examples of the second phenomenon, that is, the realization of air bridges, took place between the PRC and Mexico to supply supplies to Mexican hospitals, completing 45 flights by the beginning of August.
In addition, 3 flights were made from South Korea to Colombia. Used to flying to Sydney in Australia, their route has always been close to the Polar Circle. The combination of slowed trade, a fall in commodity prices and a tense relationship between creditors and debtors could result in some countries in the region urgently seeking economic assistance abroad. Despite the strong impact that Covid will have on the Latin American economy, the recovery could start from trade with China, due to the reestablishment of industrial activity in that country and the continuation of its demand for products that Latin America exports.
Faced with the question of whether, in the wake of the crisis, the Chinese government will continue to support the internationalization of Chinese capital with the impetus with which it has done so far, or whether the financial power of the Chinese state will be redirected towards the domestic market, it could be expected that Beijing will increase its presence in Latin America, since Chinese companies would be better positioned.
This best position would be achieved by the financial support that these companies receive from the Chinese government, to expand global supply chains, acquire strategic assets that go bankrupt or buy local companies that are put up for sale.
In the current struggle between Washington and Beijing for the international hegemonic transition, they are not only competing for trade, technology and geopolitical spaces, but also for allies. For this reason, ties with China represent an increasingly sensitive diplomatic challenge for Latin American countries, considering the growing tensions between the US and the PRC.
China has more economic influence in Latin America than any other competitor to Washington in contemporary history. And the Covid pandemic and its resulting health, medical and economic demands have converged with the Washington-Beijing tension registered since Latin American governments face the challenge of facing the health and economic effects of the pandemic, to which is added the dilemma of which international position to assume, as a subcontinent located at the intersection of a road that is passed through by a hegemon that disregards relations with its neighbors and a challenging rising power.
The options available to Latin American governments are, mainly, a prioritize the traditional alliance with Washington, b make the growing ties with China prevail, c adopt a foreign policy equidistant from both poles, or d play both cards. The next few months will show us the positions that the governments of Latin America are taking….
Besides co-financing projects and setting up regional investment funds, four major Chinese commercial banks have ramped up operations in the region, many in partnership with international banks. The scale and number of transactions may be smaller compared to the lending spree led by development banks, but point to a qualitative change in the structure of financing options coming from China.
Increased participation of non-state investors has introduced new sources of dynamism and diversification to Chinese direct investment in Latin America. Additionally, Chinese participation in mergers and acquisitions into specific value-added sectors reflect new consumption habits in China, ranging from vineyards in Chile to meat-packing plants in Uruguay. Attention to risk when looking at potential returns has also come to the fore among Chinese investors, particularly after the experience with Venezuela.
State-owned enterprises still lead among Chinese investors in Latin America and the Caribbean, from mining, infrastructure and oil and gas to hydroelectric plants. This overcapacity then went to look for foreign markets. If Chinese deals used to be limited to construction — winning concessions, building a project, then leaving — new equity investments in Latin America indicate longer-term interests and ownership in projects beyond its construction to include operation, maintenance and more.
This is especially true in port projects. One may expect the continuation of a sizable Chinese footprint in the region. Canuto is a senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South , a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution , and principal of the Center for Macroeconomics and Development. The US military was based on a strip of land that ran the entire length of the canal and 10 miles across.
American housing in the old Panama Canal Zone has now been left to rot, with graffiti thick on the walls. China is now interested in the Panama Canal both for its economic utility in cutting time and cost on shipping routes, and for its strategic and symbolic value, with China aspiring to replace the US as the global, preeminent power.
For 20 years, Hutchison Ports, a Hong Kong company, managed ports at either end of the canal. A Chinese state-owned company plans to build a bridge over the canal. Another has built a convention center and a cruise ship terminal on the Pacific side of the canal, where the Chinese government also wanted to build a new embassy — until pushback from both the United States and Panama caused them to look elsewhere.
The Trump administration soon made it clear it had a different view. Related: China's new Silk Road traverses Kazakhstan. But some Kazakhs are skeptical of Chinese influence. Soon after, Chinese projects in Panama started being scaled back, canceled or rejected. The Panama Canal bridge to be built by a top Chinese state-owned company was scaled back.
Negotiations between Panama and China for a free trade agreement stalled. He was born in Panama, moved to the United States as a kid, and came back to Panama with the US military in the s. You make a move, and you wait for the other person. So, yeah — I believe China has an advantage now. China has been investing heavily in Latin America for more than a decade. The hope across much of Latin America had been that signing on to Belt and Road membership would bring more Chinese investment of the kind each country needed, and more opportunities for Latin American countries to export to China, narrowing often sizable trade imbalances.
Explore how automated contract review technology can not only improve efficiency, but also unlock contract analytics and improve deal velocity. Economic uncertainty is requiring general counsels to reimagine the future of their departments. This white paper explains the best way to keep your legal department nimble and on budget. Technology and innovative legal services providers have made it easier than ever for organisations to embrace remote legal work. Discover how to accept the change.
Dynamically explore and compare data on law firms, companies, individual lawyers, and industry trends. The WIPL. UK Awards honors the industry standouts and rising stars who are making a mark within the profession. UK offers an opportunity for unprecedented exchange with senior female in-house lawyers.
Where the region's top lawyers, law firms and in-house teams will gather to celebrate their most stellar achievements of the year. Webcast Date : Wednesday, December 16, Experts discuss how firms can transition to the cloud. Sponsored By : NAM. Sponsored By: Appdetex. Sign up for an unlimited number of complementary newsletters, alerts, and International Briefings. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox.
Every day. All Rights Reserved. Publications Publications Law. International Law. Latin America. Lawyers in the region have been busy getting in on the action. Thank you for sharing! Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided. Meanwhile, China is prepared to increase its interaction with other countries, either through investments into those countries — such as Mexico — or by welcoming investment into China.
China has developed three distinct pillars for its policy on Latin America: purchases of Latin American goods, Chinese investment in Latin America, and Chinese political solidarity with key Latin American governments. Over the past two decades, China has emerged as one of the most important markets for Latin American countries. The mutual reliance of China and Latin America has meant that despite changes in regime, neither Beijing nor the Latin American governments have disrupted this relationship.
Far too much remains at stake. Brazil simply does not have the latitude that Australia has, since Australia — reliant on the Chinese market — nonetheless joined with the US in a military alliance against China known as the Quad along with India and Japan. In that message, Xi recalled the strategic partnership agreed upon by the Chinese government and the president at that time, Evo Morales.
There is no indication that Chinese investment will be slowed, certainly not to Bolivia. Finally, on the political front, China has indicated in various diplomatic forums that it will provide a shield as much as possible to prevent regime-change operations against Cuba and Venezuela. She traveled to Jujuy, which is toward the border with Bolivia.