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German-Latin Trade Grows

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Germany's trade with Latin America is setting new records, led by strong growth with Brazil and Argentina.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel starts a weeklong trip to four Latin American countries, her country is setting new records in trade with the region.

German trade with Latin America reached 35.9 billion euro (US$55.0 billion) last year, an increase of 14.3 percent from 2006, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from Eurostat, the official EU statistics agency. German exports to Latin America grew by 10.6 percent to 20.0 billion euro, while imports from Latin America increased by 19.3 percent to 15.9 billion euro.

GROWING FASTER

Germany's trade with Latin America is growing faster than the European Union's overall trade with the region, which expanded by 11.5 percent last year to 160.0 billion euro. Measured in real terms, Germany posted the strongest growth in trade with Latin America of any EU country last year - up 4.4 billion euro.

Germany is the top EU trading partner for Latin America, ahead of countries like Spain and Italy. It is also the top EU exporter to Latin America an last year replaced The Netherlands as the top importer from the region.

The May 13-20 trip includes Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. In Peru, she will attend the fifth European Union-Latin American and Caribbean Summit (EU-LAC) to be held May 16-17 in Lima.

BRAZIL TOP PARTNER

Brazil is Germany's top trading partner in Latin America. Last year, two-way trade between the countries reached 13.0 billion euro, a 20.7 percent increase from 2006. German exports to Brazil grew by 21.4 percent to 6.8 billion euro, while imports from Brazil increased by 19.9 percent to 6.2 billion euro, according to the Latin Business Chronicle analysis of Eurostat data.

Mexico is the second-largest German trading partner in the region. Last year, two-way trade between the countries reached 10.0 billion euro, a 10.3 percent increase from 2006. German exports to Mexico grew by 3.8 percent to 6.6 billion euro, while imports from Mexico increased by 25.6 percent to 3.4 billion euro.

Meanwhile, trade with Chile - its third-largest partner in the region - fell by 3.7 percent to 2.85 billion euro last year. German exports to Chile declined by 7.8 percent to 1.2 billion euro, while imports from Chile fell by 0.7 percent to 1.7 billion euro.
 
Trade with Argentina, its fourth-largest partner in Latin America, grew by 25.6 percent to 2.84 billion euro.  German exports to Argentina grew by 31.9 percent to 1.7 billion euro, while imports from Argentina increased by 17.2 percent to 1.1 billion euro, according to the Latin Business Chronicle analysis of Eurostat data.

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