Are Chinese Economic Actors Poised to Dominate Latin American Economies? A View from Bolivia and Chile

By Thomas P. Narins.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 24, 2016 $US5.00

This article attempts to highlight the variations in foreign investments within two politically distinct Latin American states—Bolivia and Chile—in order to underscore Chinese investors’ growing but still small economic footprint in these resource-rich countries. Through an examination of the unique political conditions and visual representations of subnational foreign direct investment (FDI) data in both target countries, this article helps to clarify the extent and expanse of Chinese investment in two South American economies. This work shows that Chinese economic actors—while contributing to the diversity and competitiveness of key market sectors in the region—are very far from any sort of economic dominance in the usual way in which “dependency” has been previously understood in Latin America. The findings suggest that claims of Chinese economic dominance in these resource-rich economies cannot be substantiated. In addition, the target political and economic frameworks examined here help to highlight the reality of Chinese economic actors as comparatively limited investors—thereby disputing hyperbolic claims of Chinese economic dominance in developing world regions such as Latin America.

Keywords: China, Latin America, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Economic Aid, Loans

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.19-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 24, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.204MB)).

Thomas P. Narins

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University at Albany, Albany, New York, USA


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