Sunday, May 24, 2015

China Investment in Latin America:Some thoughts about Its implications

In january this year, the Chinese Government announced an investment plan for USD 250.000 millions, to be implemented in the next ten years in Latin America. Most of these investments, deal with infrastructure projects which would allow a better trade flow between China and its counterparts in Latin America. Last year, China start off a Global Bank,specially designed for infrastrucute projects to be implemented in many economies in the world. Actually ,this trade flow is slower than desirable, imposing higher transaction cost affecting the eficiency gains of such trade for everyone. Just to give an idea, while a trip for a cargo ships by the pacific, takes 12 to 15 days, the same trip by the atlantic ocean ,requires 23 or so, days. So ,it is obvious that there is a necessity for Chinese Government and its partners to improve the logistics of its trade chanels. Quite different to other countries with the same requirement, China does have the capacity to look for these changes within its partners borders, instead of waiting for free trade agrement alone, to be fully in place .These treaties need complementary investment, so they finance them. This week , China made official its partnership with Brazil, for implementing investments in railroads projects and others projects, from 2015 up to 2021 for USD 53.000 millons. So, it is doing a similar project with Argentina and Colombia, to improve railroad networks to get a faster speed toward the pacific ports.Raw material better disposal, is also a justification for these invesment flows. What are the gains for Latin America?. a.-It does not have the resources to implement such investement on its own,and a lot of research done by the international organisms ,call the atention on the weak instructure in Latin American economies as a restriction for growth. b.- It will improve Latin America capabilities, to engage in deeper integration with global markets.- c.- It will support economic growth potential, which it will have a lasting effect on the quality of living of its citizen, whether this growth is complemented with better public policies. A sensitive issue is about the influence China is getting in the region,and its consequences for the strategic equilibrium between global partners. Concerning this influence ,it is hard to argue that it is decisive for its policy decisions, and commercial ties within each country, or with other economic blocs such as the European Union. The issue rather is, that Latin American economies have a new commercial ally , for its integration into the global economy , to get fully the advantages from it. A stronger Latin America, is also a good condition for better trade flows , with this traditional partners . However, from the political and geostrategic point of view, it is for sure that it will arise a scenario with a different setting for diplomacy.-