MEXICO CITY – Mexico lost a total of nearly 650,000 net jobs over a 20-year period due to its economic relations with China, although the Latin American region as a whole gained 1.8 million net jobs, the International Labor Organization said Thursday.
“The figures range from the country with the highest employment destruction, which was Mexico, to the country that was the biggest beneficiary, which was Brazil,” the ILO’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jose Manuel Salazar, told EFE.
After presenting the report “China’s Impact on the Quantity and Quality of Employment in Latin America and the Caribbean” in Mexico City, the ILO representative said Mexican jobs not only were affected by Chinese exports to its territory but also by those to the United States (since those goods replaced Mexican exports to its biggest trading partner).
According to figures unveiled Thursday by the co-author of the report, Enrique Dussel, Mexico lost 643,263 jobs between 1995 and 2016 due to its economic relations with the Asian country.
The study analyzed three aspects of the economic relationship: trade, foreign direct investment and infrastructure projects.
Trade caused the loss of 665,947 net jobs, while FDI by China from 2003 to 2016 resulted in the creation of 18,649 jobs and the lone infrastructure project with Chinese investment created more than 4,000 jobs.
Those numbers contrast with the report’s overall conclusions.
Between 1990 and 2016, at least 1.8 million net jobs (roughly 4 percent of employment creation in the region for that period) were created as a result of trade, FDI and infrastructure projects involving China.
China currently is the region’s second-largest trade partner, although there is a wide technological gap between the products Latin America exports (heavy on raw materials) and the manufactured goods such as electronic devices it imports.
The biggest beneficiary of economic relations with China was Brazil, which gained 1.6 million net jobs between 1997 and 2016, 1.4 million of which were the result of trade.