BUENOS AIRES — China’s influence to and its relations with Latin America are growing stronger, especially as an important investor, Marisol Argueta de Barillas, senior director and head of Latin America at the World Economic Forum (WEF), said on April 7.
“China’s influence to and its ties with Latin America are increasingly stronger. China is no longer just a buyer of raw materials, it has become an important investor in Latin America,” Argueta told Xinhua on the sidelines of this year’s World Economic Forum on Latin America held in the Argentine capital over the past three days.
“Chinese companies such as Huawei and Alibaba ... are playing a much bigger leading role in Latin American markets,” she noted.
According to Argueta, a lawyer and El Salvador’s former foreign minister from January 2008 to June 2009, the three-day forum was focused on entrepreneurship, development and the fourth industrial revolution.
“We are seeking to understand the resources, the challenges, the opportunities in Latin America at a time when growth is slowing, when there are more social demands, when the fight against poverty must be maintained,” Argueta added.
In 2015, trade between China and Latin America amounted to $236.5 billion, marking a twenty-fold increase over the previous decade, showed Chinese government figures.
Argueta said,” It is also highly important to think about the transfer of technology.”
“It is a development area that is of utmost importance to prepare us for the fourth industrial revolution, and to be able to make the most of the opportunities that arise to modernize industries ... transform the sources of employment and the jobs themselves,” said Argueta.
She also pointed out that the Chinese market has a significant demand for Latin American resources. “I think there is a very strong opportunity there for cooperation,” she concluded.