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“The dragon in the backyard”

Author: The Economist, Published on: 13 August 2009

August 13th, 2009

…Their arrival coincides with, and is partly a consequence of, two other developments…The rise of China prompted much gloom in Latin America a decade ago. Since average wages in China are a fifth to two-fifths of those in Latin America, it was thought that much of the region's labour-intensive manufacturing industry would be wiped out. That is why Latin American countries have tabled more anti-dumping actions against China at the WTO than has the United States…Toromocho is just one of three big investments in copper projects in Peru. Chinese companies have become the biggest foreign investors in Ecuador's oil industry…The first Chinese investment was by Shougang, which bought an iron-ore mine in 1992. It brought in 350 Chinese staff, and acquired a bad reputation because of constant troubles with the Peruvian workforce. In contrast, points out Luis Chang, a former Peruvian ambassador in Beijing and a consultant to Chinese firms, Toromocho has just three Chinese managers and the CEO is a Canadian…

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