Chinese Migration to Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to present “Chinese Migration to Latin America and the Caribbean,” a new report by Jacqueline Mazza, senior adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS in Washington, DC and former principal labor markets specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank.

The report provides an exceptionally useful and timely overview of Chinese migration to Latin America in recent decades. Mazza indicates that as in other parts of the world, Chinese migration to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was driven in large part by foreign labor demands, transnational ties, and forced migration. The report also pays considerable attention to the uptake in often temporary flows post-2005, in association with growing Chinese investment in the region. The author is careful to note, however, that Chinese migration to LAC is relatively limited in comparison to other migrant flows to LAC, and also in comparison to Chinese flows to other regions. Even as growth slows in China, the pattern and dimensions of Chinese outward migration are not expected to shift substantially.

This report serves as valuable background for a series of forthcoming analyses on Chinese migration to specific countries in Latin America, which will be conducted by the Dialogue’s Migration and Remittances and China and Latin America programs.