BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
With the U.S. economy continuing to show weak results, Latin America is increasingly betting on Asia. Latin American exporters have found eager markets in countries like China, Japan and India, while Asian companies, in turn, are boosting their exports to Latin America.
"The growth of Asia will drive the business with Latin America," says R. Viswanathan, India's ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay and widely considered India's leading expert on Latin America. “Both governments and business have started looking at the potential for complementarities between the two regions.”
While international prices on commodities, the key Latin American export to Asia, are expected to fall or level out, two-way trade between the regions should keep growing thanks to a combination of factors, experts say. They include growing demand for other products in various Asian markets, more demand for Asian products in Latin America and an increasing number of bilateral free trade agreements across the Pacific.
"Trade will grow despite short-term commodity price fluctuations because demand in Asia remains high for Latin America’s resources," says Michael Diaz, managing partner at U.S.-based law firm Diaz Reus, which serves many clients involved in Asian-Latin American business.
Viswanathan agrees. "It will continue to grow, but might be at a lesser rate...
Keywords: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, DHL, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Mindray Medical International, Panama, SalmonChile, Singapore, Taiwan
See also Q&A on Asia-Latin Trade Outlook.