A New Phase in China-LAC Economic Relations?

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China’s economic footprint is expanding at a considerable pace in Latin America and the Caribbean, despite slowing growth on both sides of the Pacific. In January, Xi Jinping announced high targets for future trade and a new strategy for investment in a variety of LAC sectors. Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the region in late May was similarly ambitious. China’s head of government announced billions in finance and investment in Brazil, a multi-billion dollar currency swap with Chile, a $30 billion regional fund to promote production capacity and equipment manufacturing, and financial support for several major cross-regional infrastructure projects. China’s banks have meanwhile indicated continued support for an ailing Venezuela.

Is China’s recent slew of headline-grabbing deals indicative of a new phase in China-LAC economic relations? What can Latin America realistically expect from China in terms of trade, investment, and finance in the coming years? Is the relationship an increasingly balanced one? What will recently announced infrastructure and other investments mean for the region and for individual Latin American nations?


  • Francisco Rodriguez
    Chief Andean Economist, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Kevin Gallagher
    Director, Global Economic Governance Initiative, Boston University
  • Becky Ray
    Research Fellow, Global Economic Governance Initiative, Boston University


  • Margaret Myers
    Program Director, China & Latin America, Inter-American Dialogue