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B&R elevates China-Latin America cooperation network

Author  :  YAN YONG     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-05-09

On April 24, a symposium on China-Latin America cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative was held at the Institute of Latin American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Scholars discussed issues of foreign trade, investment and cooperation between China and Latin America under the B&R framework.

Mario Cimoli, deputy executive secretary of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said that China is playing an increasingly important role in the era of the digital revolution. It is necessary for Latin America and the Caribbean to expand its digital infrastructure to benefit from the digital economy. In the fields of the digital economy and in the development of digital technology, China has strong competitive advantages, and China and Latin America have large space for cooperation.

Cimoli added that China’s overseas investment has tended towards diversification. From 2004 to 2010, China’s investment mainly focused on industries such as metals, automotive and fossil fuels, while from 2011 to 2018 it focused on industries including telecommunications, real estate, food and tobacco, financial services, renewable energy, and electronic devices.

Yue Yunxia, a research fellow from the Institute of Latin American Studies under CASS, said that China-Latin American cooperation has entered into a stage of upgrading and transformation after its rapid development in the early 21st century. With new momentum provided by the B&R, China-Latin America cooperation has improved connectivity. In terms of policy coordination, China and Latin American countries have established a multilevel cooperative mechanism and partnership. To enhance facilities connectivity, China and Latin American countries have made progress in several projects in infrastructure areas such as highways, railways, utilities and communication.

The trade volume of China and Latin American countries has exceeded 300 billion dollars. China and Latin American countries have also set up a cooperative mechanism for developing financial institutions. China has established RMB clearance banks in Argentina and Chile, and it has signed currency swap deals with several Latin American countries, which has made Latin America an important area for cooperation in RMB internationalization. As for promoting people’s connectivity, more Confucius Institutes, sister cities and tourism all signal that China and Latin America are entering a new age of more frequent and ubiquitous communication.

Cimoli said that, currently, many Latin American and Caribbean countries have signed B&R cooperation documents with China. There will be more countries seeking cooperation with China in the future. Therefore, it can be said that China and Latin America and the Caribbean are setting up a wide-ranging cooperation network.

 

 

(Edited by Su Xuan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor: Yu Hui

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