China-LatAm relationship to grow rapidly in coming years: bank chief

Updated 2017-04-07 14:30:39 Xinhua

Ties between China and Latin America are hugely mutually beneficial and are sure to get stronger, James Li, executive president of E. J. McKay, an investment bank in Shanghai, said Thursday.

During an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Latin America here in the Argentine capital, Li said: “China benefits tremendously from the relationship with Latin America.”

“For the past 10 years, China has imported large quantities of natural resources, raw materials and agricultural products from Latin American countries,” he said. In his opinion, Latin America played an indispensable role in China's rapid economic growth.

Li, a former investment banker for Merrill Lynch in New York and Hong Kong, predicted that “links between both sides will become closer in the years to come. China's growth in infrastructure has slowed down but it has also accumulated capital for which it is seeking opportunities.”

“(Chinese investments) could help create local opportunities, such as jobs and markets, as well as manufacturing to help local people,” he added.

Li, who is also an associate professor at Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University in China, said: “China's new normal is for growth to slow down a bit while being more focused on quality and technology.”

“Another element is that technology brings us together. China needs to find new paths of green technology, which are friendly to the environment. The 'new normal' will lead to mutually beneficial results,” he said.

Asked for what advice he had for Asian companies considering expansion into Latin America, Li encouraged them first “to think as locals, to come here and do business locally. You must learn Spanish, speak the language and hire local people.”

China stands as the region's second-largest trading partner and third-largest source of investment, while Latin America is China's seventh-largest trading partner.

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