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Chinese Investment in Latin American Resources: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Author

Listed:
  • Barbara Kotschwar

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Theodore H. Moran

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Julia Muir

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

China's need for vast amounts of minerals to sustain its high economic growth rate has led Chinese investors to acquire stakes in natural resource companies, extend loans to mining and petroleum investors, and write long-term procurement contracts for oil and minerals in Africa, Latin America, Australia, Canada, and other resource-rich regions. These efforts to procure raw materials might be exacerbating the problems of strong demand; "locking up" natural resource supplies, gaining preferential access to available output, and extending control over the world's extractive industries. But Chinese investment need not have a zero-sum effect if Chinese procurement arrangements expand, diversify, and make more competitive the global supplier system. Previous Peterson Institute research (see Moran 2010) and new research undertaken in this paper, show that the majority of Chinese investments and procurement arrangements serve to help diversify and make more competitive the portion of the world natural resource base located in Latin America. For a more comprehensive analysis, we conduct a structured comparison of four Peruvian mines with foreign ownership: two Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-based, and two Chinese. We examine what conditions or policy measures are most effective in inducing Chinese investors to adopt international industry standards and best-practices, and which are not. We distill from this case study some lessons for other countries in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere that intend to use Chinese investment to develop their extractive sectors: first, that financial markets bring accountability; second, that the host country regulatory environment makes a significant difference; and third, that foreign investment is a catalyst for change.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Kotschwar & Theodore H. Moran & Julia Muir, 2012. "Chinese Investment in Latin American Resources: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," Working Paper Series WP12-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp12-3
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    File URL: https://piie.com/publications/working-papers/chinese-investment-latin-american-resources-good-bad-and-ugly
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Theodore H. Moran, 2010. "China's Strategy to Secure Natural Resources: Risks, Dangers, and Opportunities," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa92.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Bonilla, 2014. "External vulnerabilities and economic integration. Is the Union of South American Nations a promising project ?," Working Papers halshs-00945044, HAL.
    2. Andrea Bonilla Bolanos, 2014. "External Vulnerabilities And Economic Integration: Is The Union Of South American Nations A Promising Project?," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 39(2), pages 97-131, June.
    3. Berumen, Sergio A. & Pérez-Megino, Luis P., 2016. "Ranking Socioeconómico para el Desarrollo de las Regiones Carboníferas en Europa || Socioeconomic Ranking for the Development of coal-mining regions in Europe," Revista de Métodos Cuantitativos para la Economía y la Empresa = Journal of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, vol. 21(1), pages 39-57, June.
    4. Barbara Kotschwar, 2014. "China's Economic Influence in Latin America," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 9(2), pages 202-222, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chinese foreign direct investment; foreign direct investment (FDI); natural resources; Peru; environmental impact; corporate social responsibility.;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • Q37 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Issues in International Trade
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)

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