China is South America’s main trading partner and the second largest in Latin America after the United States. China’s trade with the region has grown from US$12 billion in 2000 to US$495 billion in 2022 and is expected to exceed US$700 billion by 2035, according to data compiled by the Oxford Business Group.
The British consulting agency collects statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China which show that, in 2022, China was the main trading partner of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Brazil, Chile, and Peru are expected to send more than 40% of their exports to China by 2035, but trade between China and Mexico is expected to represent only 15% of Mexico’s total trade flow. Mexico became the main trading partner of the United States in the first quarter of 2023.
In May, China and Ecuador, a signatory country of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, signed a free trade agreement that is expected to boost Ecuador’s non-oil exports in the next 10 years to between US$3 billion and US$4 billion, according to Ecuador’s Ministry of Commerce. China is already Ecuador’s largest non-oil trading partner and bilateral trade reached a record of US$13 billion in 2022, an increase of almost 20%.
China also has free trade agreements in place with Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, and is currently in negotiations with Uruguay.
By comparison, the United States has a patchwork of six existing free trade agreements that together cover 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European Union has spent 20 years negotiating a free trade agreement with Mercosur that has yet to be ratified.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
Misión Verdad is a Venezuelan investigative journalism website with a socialist perspective in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution
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