Jhinuk Chowdhury

After the major headline hogging BRICS summit, the next news event that has been watched closely is the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Latin America.
The visit was marked by an ambitious outlook as China intends to boost trade to $500 billion dollars in the next ten years and announced a $20 billion Chinese fund to finance infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Other significant announcements included an additional credit line of $10 billion for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) from Bank of China and Sino-Brazilian collaboration to start working on a railway project across South America linking the Brazilian Atlantic coast with the Peruvian Pacific coast.
Certainly the implications of this visit are more profound than just another bilateral excursion. The trade partnership shot up from a mere $12 billion in 2000 to $261 billion in 2013. This further corroborated the UN forecastof China – with 14 percent trade share – fast outpacing the European Union (with 13% share) as Latin America’s second largest trading partner after the US, prompting many to ask would the gap between the two in Latin America get narrower.

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