Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US military targets Shabaab extremists in Somalia

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

Summit aims to expand Asia-Latin America trade

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-21

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum opens Saturday in Lima, the Peruvian capital. With the US represented by lame-duck president Bush, Asian nations see the time as ripe to negotiate more access to Latin America's natural resources.

Trade and investment between Latin America and Asia remains an untapped field ready for exploiting by those with determination on either side of the Pacific, business and political chiefs say here.
   
Asia's interest in more access to Latin America's bountiful natural resources -- metals, minerals, oil, as well as beef, soya and other crops -- for its expanding economies is fueling the trans-Pacific relationship on view at this week's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the Peruvian capital.
   
China in particular is looking to snap up raw materials for its economy, which is still projected to grow at an impressive clip despite headwinds from the global downturn.
   
"China wants to work with the South American and Caribbean countries through a partnership of total, balanced, mutually beneficial cooperation," Chinese President Hu Jintao told Peru's parliament on Thursday ahead of the APEC summit.
   
The day before, China and Peru announced negotiations on a bilateral free-trade agreement had been successfully completed.
   
Earlier in the week, Hu was in Costa Rica for talks on another such agreement with that country, and to sign a series of cooperation accords.
   
He also made a visit to longtime political ally Cuba, to which he donated 4.5 tons of humanitarian aid.
   
But China is not alone in seeking out opportunities in Latin America and nor is the trade all in one direction.
   
South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, who arrived in Lima on Thursday, added a Brazil leg to his South America trip to speak with that country's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, about bilateral trade and investment in natural resources and agriculture.
   
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso met Lula in Washington on the sidelines of the G20 summit to discuss similar issues.
   
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, meanwhile, dropped in on Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon to discuss cooperation between their two state oil companies.
   
For Latin America's rising economic star Brazil, exports to Asia amount to 16 billion dollars per year.
   
Chile, in second place, signed a free trade accord with China two years ago mostly to sell its main resource, copper. It earns 13 billion dollars a year from trade with Asia.
   
Mexico trails far behind, with four billion dollars in exports each year, reflecting its focus on the US market.
   
But Peruvian economist Jorge Gonzalez Izquierdo is guarded about how soon this budding relationship will grow into something more substantial.
   
"Commercial relations between the two regions still remain in an embryonic stage," he said.
   
Exchanges thus far show "very little diversification," he said, adding that: "The potential can be seen in the long term."
   
In all, Latin American exports represent only 2.7 percent of all exports to Asia, which buy just seven percent of Latin America's total exports.
   
In the other direction, Asian goods coming to Latin America, mostly from China, account for 20 percent of the region's imports.
  

Date created : 2008-11-21

COMMENT(S)