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Monday, 19 April 2010

South America: China is the key investor now

{{pt|O presidente da China, Hu Jintao, em Bras...Image via Wikipedia
China has supplanted the US as Brazil's biggest trading partner, a boom repeated across the region. Once almost invisible in Latin America, China has seen its trade here rise from $10bn a year in 2000 to well over $100bn today. Latin officials are rolling out the red carpet to Chinese delegations and hopping on planes not only to Beijing but also Guangzhou, Nanking and Shanghai.
Unlike the Russians, who grab attention by sending warships to visit anti-US leaders, such as Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, but struggle to deliver economic deals, the Chinese are all business. They are importing soy from Argentina, copper from Chile, iron ore from Brazil and zinc from Peru, and export clothes, cars and electronic equipment across the region.
The trade helped Latin America to weather the global economic crisis, but there is concern about a "neo-colonial" pattern in which the region's commodities are sucked abroad while industry loses out to cheap imports aided by China's undervalued currency. When Argentina accused China of dumping goods, Beijing bared its teeth and banned Argentine soya oil, citing safety concerns.
Just yesterday, Chávez announced more investments from China:
President Hugo Chavez has announced an agreement with China that would have the Asian economic giant devote $20 billion to financing long-term development projects in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan president says the financing would go toward industrial and infrastructure projects, among other development plans.
He spoke Saturday during a televised appearance attended by China's natural resources minister.
Chavez is providing few other details about the investments. 
This change is related with the lack of Human Rights' requirements China imposes.
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