December 19 2013 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

The Trend of Chinese Investments in Latin America and the Caribbean

Recently Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, declared that the U.S. does “not in any way see China as a threat.”   Xinhua cited Ms. Jacobson’s comments at the Sixth China-US Sub-Dialogue on Latin America that the US sees more potential in partnerships with China in the region than adversity.   Ms. Jacobson was largely referring to U.S.-China economic relations in a region of enormous potential for both countries. 

Growth in trade between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has expanded exponentially since President Hu Jintao’s first visit to the region in 2004. In 2012, total trade between China and LAC countries reached U.S. $261.2 billion, only a quarter of US-LAC trade.  Nevertheless, Latin America and the Caribbean have registered the fastest growing trade in exports to China.  In fact, by 2009, China overtook the US as Brazil’s second largest trading partner registering $56 billion in trade. 

Beyond trade relations, however, China has embarked on a larger relationship with Latin American and the Caribbean to include increasing overseas investments that will help position it in the global marketplace. 

(more…)

October 9 2013 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Good Money After Bad

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro recently returned from Beijing with a $5 billion line of credit from the China Development Bank (CDB).  This comes at a very difficult time for Maduro, whose regime’s support is at an all time low since his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, first came to power 15 years ago.  For Maduro things abroad look better than things at home. 

A former bus driver, named as successor to the late, charismatic Chávez, Maduro is driving his country’s economy into a ditch.  Instead of correcting his path, he has been shifting blame for his mismanagement on to others. 

The Broken Record 

Despite one of the largest oil booms in history, yielding over $90 billion a year to the Venezuelan government, Maduro runs one of the worst performing economies in the Americas. 

Since coming to power in April, after a hotly contested election in which he claimed to receive just over fifty percent of the vote, Maduro has presided over recurrent national electricity blackouts, one of the highest murder rates in the world, shortages of basic goods such as rice, oil, butter, flour, and even toilet paper. 

(more…)