China to be Latin America's 2nd largest trade partner in 2015: UN body

09:27, July 15, 2011      

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China will become Latin America's second largest trade partner as early as in 2015, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Wednesday.

Osvaldo Kacef, director of ECLAC's Economic Development Division, said the current China-Latin America trade volume has already reached that of Europe.

"Given the uncertainty of the economic situation in Europe, China is in the process of ... becoming the second largest trade partner of Latin America," he said.

ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena said the world's emerging markets are gradually reducing their dependence on industrialized countries and seeking new relations with China.

Osvaldo Rosales, director of ECLAC's International Trade and Integration Division, said Latin American countries should adopt active trade and investment policies to better do business with China.

"Investments in natural resources and industrial sectors to Latin America increased last year," Rosales said.

He stressed China's large international reserves, and the global economic crisis meant the region should draw more Chinese investments in the coming years.

Latin American nations should produce more value-added products instead of merely exporting raw materials, and this could generate more jobs, incomes and technological innovations, he said.

The average economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean is predicted to stay 4.7 percent this year and drop to 4.1 percent in 2012.

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