China's Challenge to Latin America

La relación entre China y América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) están limitadas por una paradoja. En los últimos años se ha incrementado el comercio bilateral y se percibe una clara intensificación diplomática; pero subsiste, sin embargo, un alto grado de desconocimiento entre ambas regiones y en varios casos crecientes tensiones. Los sectores privado, público y académico en ambas regiones apenas han iniciado proyectos de mayor alcance entre China y ALC. Las instituciones bilaterales por el momento todavía no reflejan el peso y la dinámica socioeconómica bilateral y encuentran serias dificultades para responder a las tensiones bilaterales existentes.

Si analizamos el creciente desempeño socioeconómico bilateral desde mediados de los noventa vemos dos aspectos relevantes que pueden servir para entender mejor esa paradoja :

En primer lugar, recientemente se percibe una creciente actividad económica bilateral. Múltiples empresas chinas –particularmente en sectores de materias primas como soya, carnes, hierro, acero, cobre y petróleo, entre otras- han iniciado actividades en la región, ya sea mediante inversiones directas o mediante compras de productos y/o empresas. En forma menos conocida y a menores niveles, empresas latinoamericanas como Gruma, Modelo, Embraer, Marco Polo y Embraco, entre otras, han logrado insertarse en China exitosamente.

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