China's Economic Influence in Latin America

21 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2014

See all articles by Barbara R. Kotschwar

Barbara R. Kotschwar

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; Georgetown University

Date Written: July 2014


After decades of low‐level commercial interaction, China and Latin America significantly ramped up their economic relationship in the 2000s. China has jumped to first place as an export destination for many countries, and it is a major source of imports for all countries in the Latin America/Caribbean region. While not a major source of foreign direct investment overall, China has built a strong investment presence in certain countries, particularly in the natural resource and infrastructure sectors. China's influence in Latin America has presented a great opportunity for many countries, but it has also brought new risks. Three main challenges face the region: how to mitigate the impacts of increased commodity concentration as a result of China's strong demand for natural resources; how to avoid other natural resource curse effects; and how to manage the tapering of this growth. Latin American countries' relationships with China vary widely, so there is no single, coordinated regional response.

Keywords: China, Latin America, political economy, trade, trade agreement

JEL Classification: F13, F59, F63, 053, 054

Suggested Citation

Kotschwar, Barbara R., China's Economic Influence in Latin America (July 2014). Asian Economic Policy Review, Vol. 9, Issue 2, pp. 202-222, 2014, Available at SSRN: or

Barbara R. Kotschwar (Contact Author)

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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