International business experts are bullish on Latin America, but politics remains a serious concern.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Latin America’s business with China, Germany, Japan and India should pick up this year – spurred by a combination of factors such as regional economic recovery, free trade agreements and the Rio 2016 Olympics, experts say.
“Bilateral trade between Latin America and China will continue to grow in 2010 [while] economic recovery in both Latin America and China will also accelerate the growth of the bilateral trade,” predicts Jiang Shixue, vice president of the Chinese Association of Latin American Studies. The implementation of the FTA between China and Peru will also stimulate China’s trade with Latin America to a certain extent, he adds.
Latin American trade with China grew by 40 percent in 2008 to $140 billion, but was expected to see a drop last year because of the crisis. China is Latin America’s second-largest trade partner after the United States, according to Latin Business Chronicle data.
Meanwhile, German business is not only expected to recovery this year, but grow compared to pre-crisis levels. “The confidence of the German business community into Latin America has returned,” says Peter Rösler, deputy general manager of Lateinamerika Verein, a German-based business group. “For the first time after nearly 20 years we can see new Latin American investment and trading projects also of small and medium-sized German companies hitherto not active in the region.”
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