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Report: Chinese Capital in Latin America and the Caribbean

“Chinese investment and financing embed negative externalities,” says an AS/COA publication aimed at entrepreneurs competing with Beijing in the region.

The new report, titled Exploring the Impact and Implications of Chinese Capital in Latin America and the Caribbean, stems from a series of public and private meetings hosted by Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) between 2021 and 2023. The meetings, organized around the report theme featured private sector leaders, experts, and other interested observers. Participants offered real-world experiences, ideas, and analysis of these challenges with potential solutions. 

Drawing upon these discussions, this report seeks to raise awareness of China’s growing economic and political influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Contributions from roundtable participants are gathered to present a wide-ranging perspective that illustrates Beijing’s broader goals and aspirations in the region, the lack of awareness to the challenges, and the need for a strategic, competitive response. The U.S. federal government, regional governments, and the private sector are encouraged to take into consideration the recommendations disseminated in this report to mobilize and motivate other stakeholders to take concrete steps to address these concerns in regional communities and in the highest levels of government. 

Western economic and political engagement is important now more than ever to ensure the region has the right democratic safeguards in place to channel capital in a manner that is transparent, accountable, and undergirded by democratic institutions and values that support the inclusive economic growth of all communities in the region.

Major Takeaways:

  • China’s engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean is now fully established and relations are increasingly intertwined.
  • China employs diverse economic tools to promote a broader strategic agenda.
  • Appreciation lags concerning implications of China’s approach to financing and investment.
  • Misinformation about Chinese activities is persistent.
  • Washington must develop a more strategic approach to Latin America and the Caribbean.