SANTIAGO – Trade between China and Latin America surged 22-fold between 2000-2013, totaling $266 billion last year, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said in a report released on Monday.
The report, which was made public at the second Meeting of Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and China in Santiago, Chile, examines trade trends since the first gathering took place in Beijing in 2015.
Under the 2015-2019 Cooperation Plan approved at the summit in the Chinese capital, a goal of $500 billion in trade between Latin America and China was set for 2025.
“According to our estimates, trade between the region and Chile grew by a factor of 22 between 2000 and 2013, and reached $266 billion in 2017,” ECLAC executive secretary Alicia Barcena said. “This represents an advance of 53 percent, relative to the goal, with seven years left to reach it.”
China provided some $141 billion in financing to the region over the past decade, a figure that topped lending to Latin American nations by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the World Bank.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) from China has been concentrated in a handful of sectors, with the mining and energy industries accounting for 80 percent of the total, and countries.
Some 81 percent of Chinese FDI went into Brazil, Peru and Argentina between 2005 and 2017, the ECLAC report said.
“The good news is that Chinese foreign direct investment in the region rose in 2017, exceeding $25 billion, and started diversifying into new sectors, such as food, telecommunications and renewable energy,” the ECLAC report said.