The Future of Chinese Influence in Latin America

The Future of Chinese Influence in Latin America

GIS, 2016

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  • Analytical
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  • Overview


China’s trade with Latin American grew rapidly between 2000 and 2012, but as the superpower’s economic growth has downshifted, Chinese and Latin American leaders are taking stock and reexamining their relationship beyond the traditional trade dynamic. Academic Joseph Tulchin explores China’s sway in Latin America from not only the import and export perspectives but also from the lending, foreign direct investment and geopolitical aspects. getAbstract recommends this authoritative analysis to policy makers and to executives doing business in the region.


China’s economic presence has expanded immensely in the countries of Latin America since the turn of the 21st century. Trade acted as the initial and primary driver of this dynamic, undergoing a 25-fold increase in trade volume from 2000 to 2011 and reaching a peak in 2013 of $260 billion, some 2% of the region’s GDP. Almost half of the continent’s exports to China are commodities – primarily soy, copper, iron and crude oil.

But the trade engine stagnated with the onset of the Chinese economic slowdown and a bursting commodity price bubble in ...

About the Author

Joseph S. Tulchin is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars.

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