Asia Emerges as Argentina’s “Number Two” Trade Region

Patrick Archer agribusiness, foreign investment, global rankings

The Asian continent has moved into the number two spot in terms of Argentina trade relations and continues gaining ground on North America in terms of trade and regional dependence. The analysis written by University of Palermo economics professor Marcelo Santoro appears in the Foreign Trade supplement of today’s La Nacion.

Santoro says Asian demand and record prices for Argentine commodity exports represent “a transcendental milestone in Argentina trade history since the middle of the last decade.” Today Asian countries are the #2 destination for Argentine exports and collectively the #2 providers of Argentine imports.

The author describes burgeoning trade and cultural ties with countries like China, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as Argentina’s “Asiatizacion.” While Argentina recorded positive trade balances with both the Far East and Middle East in 2010, the surplus is much greater with the Middle East (US$2.5 billion) than the Far East (US$379 million) considering the growing quantity of capital and electronic goods Argentina imports from China, Thailand and South Korea.

Santoro says this “Asiatizacion” is happening throughout South America where China ranks among the top three trade partners of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru. The level of Asian interest and capital investment in South America is unprecedented and cuts across all sectors including mining, banking, real estate, electric generation, oil & gas and appliance manufacturing. (Full Story in Spanish)