Chinese infrastructure projects in Latin America face challenges and criticism

The relationship between China and Latin America has evolved from a focus on raw materials to integration in logistics and value chains. However, infrastructure projects led by China in the region have faced difficulties and challenges, including labor, environmental, and quality issues. Despite this, most Chinese companies have managed to overcome these obstacles and continue to participate in investment transactions and infrastructure projects.

China strengthens its influence in Latin America through the energy sector

China is increasing its influence in the energy sector in Latin America, with Chile, Brazil, and Peru being the countries where its presence is concentrated in the power distribution market. According to data from Boston University, since 2000, Chinese development banks have financed nearly $10 billion in power generation and distribution projects in the region.

China’s dominance in world steel production puts pressure on Latin America’s steel sector

According to studies conducted by the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero), the steel sector in the region is expected to experience a gradual recovery in 2023. However, several factors contribute to the sluggishness, including uncertainties surrounding international trade and domestic policies implemented by China to revive its steel production for industrial recovery.

Sodium-ion batteries: the new China-driven alternative to replace lithium

The Chinese company JAC presented its first electric car powered by a sodium-ion battery, a much more affordable material than lithium. Sodium-ion batteries are the focus of scientific attention given their potential to dethrone lithium as a key mineral in the development of electromobility, which in the future may affect the countries that make up the “lithium triangle” in Latin America.

Chinese vehicles landing in Latin America

Photo: 2015 BYD e6 “Taxi”. By: harry_nl. Source: Flickr. Several Chinese vehicle manufacturers have begun to see Latin America as an important place to establish new plants. In late 2022, Build Your Dreams (BYD) announced that it would be building three new factories in Sao Paulo, Brazil; two will produce chassis for buses, trucks, and […]

Minerva and high Chinese demand

Minerva affirmed that it will continue to meet Chinese beef demand through four slaughter units, three in Uruguay and one in Argentina. This follows a confirmed case of mad cow disease in the state of Par谩 in Brazil. Minerva, South America’s leading beef processor and exporter, present in Colombia, Chile, and Paraguay, assured that the strategy will prevent its market share from being affected as China is the largest importer of Brazilian product and has a protocol for suspending business in the event of cases of atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, something that has already occurred in the past.

The U.S. monitors China’s progress in Latin American economies

A report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) states that the U.S. government is closely monitoring China’s advance in Latin American economies, including Mexico. The document notes that China has been increasingly engaged in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) since 2001, particularly in diplomatic and economic terms.

China outranks Colombia, Brazil and Peru as the largest Amazonian fish producer

In 2020, 59,400 tons of this species were produced in the Asian country, while Colombia produced 33,000 tons, Vietnam: 23,000, Peru: 2,100, and Brazil: 1,800. This is due to the fact that China, together with other Southeast Asian countries, has not only focused on fish production for human consumption, but has also become a leader in breeding Amazonian ornamental fish.

Increased Importation of New Energy Vehicles from China

Latin America’s consumption of New Energy Vehicles has recently increased, with Chinese-imported electric vehicles having been widely accepted by the region’s population.

Chinese maritime fishing fleet expansion is out of control in Latin America

The PRC’s fleet is one of the largest dedicated to squid fishery. This has provoked concern for local fishermen engaged in the activity, as well as various public and private institutions in South America.

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