LatAm List – Trade relations between China and Latin America have become increasingly close in the past five years. Economía y Negocios reports that China took over as Chile’s largest trade partner in 2015, replacing the US, and has steadily grown its presence since then.
A free trade agreement in 2006 opened the possibility for greater bilateral exchange, bringing in a wave of Chinese clothing, shoes, and plastic goods. Today, trade is mostly concentrated in electronics, mobile devices, and cars.
“In 2002, approximately 9% of goods that reached Chile from China were electronics. Just ten years later, that number had doubled,” said Juan Esteban Musalem, president of the Chilean-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. “China no longer wants to be the ‘world’s factory,’ in fact they have been investing heavily in technology, within and outside their borders, in some of the most dynamic sectors in the industry.”
Chilean exports to China also rose by 30% last year, reaching around US$24.6B. Chile exports copper, fruit, and wine to China and has become its second-largest trade partner in the region.