March 30

Could China Be a White Knight Again for Latin America?

By Margaret Myers and Kevin P. Gallagher

Despite measures taken by Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) governments to contain the spread of coronavirus, the region will be forced to grapple with the effects of the virus for the foreseeable future. Facing low commodity prices, a possible long-term contraction in tourism and tightening global financial conditions, many leaders in the region will look for assistance from a range of trade and investment partners, international financial institutions and other sources.

In that search, China may loom large. After all, it was Chinese trade and investment that spared many LAC countries from the worst effects of the global financial crisis, with Chinese demand for the region’s raw materials nearly doubling from 2009-2011. More recently, China has acted as a sort of lender of last resort for countries in the region with limited access to global financial markets.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Keith.

Source: Americas Quarterly (link opens in a new window)

global development, public health