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Chinese Investments in Latin America: Opportunities for growth and diversification

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Author: Pérez Ludeña, Miguel UN symbol.: LC/TS.2017/18 27 p. Editorial: ECLAC April 2017


China has become the third largest source of FDI in the world, only behind the United States and Japan. Chinese outward FDI continues to grow every year, but inflows into Latin America have remained stagnant since the year 2010 when a large wave of acquisitions introduced many Chinese companies to the region. They also remain very concentrated on the extraction of natural resources and in a handful of countries. Slower growth in China, and lower commodity prices may force some Chinese companies to change their strategy and start looking for overseas markets in new sectors, particularly in services. Although in the long term Chinese companies can only be expected to increase their outward FDI, excessive debt can restrain their growth in the short run.

Table of contents

Summary .-- I. Half a decade of Chinese investments in Latin America .-- II. The continuous rise of Chinese transnational corporations .-- III. Chinese FDI in Latin America in the era of low commodity prices: A. Primary Sector. B. Manufacturing. C. Infrastructure and other services .-- IV. Policy reactions to Chinese Investments .-- V. Conclusions.