Arab Today, arab today china latin america trade \on solid footing\
Last Updated : GMT 18:18:22
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

China, Latin America trade \'on solid footing\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today China, Latin America trade \'on solid footing\'

Lima - AFP

Latin America\'s rich trade ties to China, worth a total 180 billion dollars a year, are on solid enough ground that even a mild recession in China would not seriously undercut them, analysts said. China has been eagerly purchasing mineral wealth and crops across the region, regardless of local governments\' political colors. Bilateral trade has skyrocketed in the past five years by more than 160%, surging from $68 billion in 2006 to $178.9 billion in 2010. The benefits of the boom have grown to be quite equally shared out: Latin American nations\' exports total  $90.3 billion to China while they import goods worth $88.6 billion. For many analysts, this also has fueled concerns about the region depending too heavily on its ties to China, and the impact of economic trouble in the Asian giant on Latin America. A Financial Times report from November 21, for example, warns of a potential crisis in the Chinese real estate market; it said Chinese banks acknowledge that about 23 percent of the credit they hand out is at serious risk of not being repaid. \"China\'s economy could experience some decline, some shrinking, but not at a level so critical that it would endanger its (Latin American) partners,\" Peru\'s Ambassador to China Gonzalo Gutierrez told AFP. \"Unlike the European and US economies, and despite its own economic opening, China remains a centrally planned economy as is illustrated by its exchange rate manipulation,\" Gutierrez added on the sidelines of a Chinese-Latin American business forum in Lima this week. Indeed, that underscores a key difference with China and its economic behavior, he added; unlike in Europe or the United States, Chinese government is expected to intervene in the economy to confront a crisis. \"This is not like the United States where the entire financial system (and homeowners who took out variable-rate mortgages) were on the brink of collapse,\" Isabelle Lausent Herrera, an expert on China and Latin America, told AFP. \"China\'s economic growth rate has begun to ease, which suggests that it is going to be very difficult to maintain the kind of growth that was seen in the past decade,\" said Lausent, of the National Scientific Research Center of France. \"The Chinese government has amassed tremendous reserves, and it has not fully utilized its monetary and exchange rate policy tools which would give it greater room for maneuver in confronting a potential financial crisis,\" she stressed. China\'s investment in the region in 2011 is estimated at $22.7 billion, according to UN data, up sharply from $15 billion a year earlier. That makes China the number three international investor in the region (9%) after the United States (17%) and the Netherlands (13%).  

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