Agustín Crivelli, economist at the Scalabrini Ortiz Center for Economic and Social Studies in Buenos Aires: “Trade relations between China and Latin America in recent years have increasingly responded to the classic north-south theme of commerce.
Latin American exports are concentrated in a few primary goods, such as hydrocarbons and agriculture products, while importsfrom China to Latin America include a broad range of diverse consumer goods, with high technological content, durable goods and industrial products. This unequal trading framework has come to sustain China’s demand for natural resources, and energy in particular, that are necessary in order to enable China’s accelerated growth. In this sense, the change of scenery brought about by the growth in the levels of production of gas in China, and consequently the lowered demand for Latin American energy from China, could mean good news in the medium and long term. This is so, as long as the region has the will and decides to push for policies that will facilitate the development of their industrial sectors and domestic markets, which would reorient the energy that the countries would have previously exported to China to the growing energy demands in Latin America that come along with industrial development. Ultimately, a successfully path for the development of Latin American countries will depend on the opportunities to access energy sources at the affordable and competitive prices they have, in a way that can promote and strengthen the countries.”