Jose Antonio Rios, chairman of Global Crossing Latin America, is right on in pointing out that China helps Latin America more than it hurts it.
“Some have criticized our relationship with ….China,” he told the Latin Trade Symposium. “Let’s face it: Thank you, China!”
China’s strong demand for Chilean copper, Brazilian and Peruvian iron ore and Argentine soy has clearly helped those economies grow significantly. Argentina, for example, is expected to post the strongest GDP growth this year, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of projections from the International Monetary Fund.
Meanwhile, Shougang Hierro Peru, which mines iron ore in Peru for China-based Shougang Group, tops the ranking of Latin America’s 100 best companies from Latin Business Chronicle (see Latin America’s Best Companies).
Latin American manufacturers complain about the growing competition from cheaper Chinese products. But as Latin Trade columnist John Price points out in this issue: “The root of the problem lies in Latin America’s lack of competitiveness.”
Meanwhile, the growing number of free trade agreements with China (Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru) also mean growing opportunities for Latin American manufacturers to sell to the Chinese market.
So, to echo Rios: Thank you, China!
About the Author: Joachim Bamrud is the executive editor of the Latin Trade Group and a former editor-in-chief of Latin Business Chronicle and Latin Trade magazine.