The China-CELAC Forum
Updated on May 2016
Updated on May 2016
The China-CELAC Cooperation Plan ´2015-2019` was adopted at the First Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum, under the principles of voluntary participation and flexibility (China-CELAC forum, 2015c). The plan shows keen interests and commitment by the Chinese in strengthening ties with LAC, and addressing the region as a whole. As of now, the Forum is fairly new and mostly symbolic; with few of the commitments having been implemented (Myers, 2015).
Chinese investments and Latin American exports to China are concentrated in primary commodities and extractive commodities and have a higher concentration of greenhouse gas emissions than the exports to the rest of the world (Ray et al., 2015). The China-CELAC cooperation plan does call for advancing the climate negotiations and investment in renewable energy, but as of right now, no steps have been taken other than the statements in the cooperation plan, and no sub-forum exists in this area, with the focus more on economic growth (Chun, Veiga & Soutar, 2015).
The outlook is an increasing interest from China in enhancing links with Latin America, in order to increase trade and diversify Chinese investment flows, and bring about more growth in LAC. But the forum is still at an early stage, and more corporation is needed is order to fully access the funds and summit (CEPAL, 2015a). Further China´s economic growth is expected to slow down, and may dampen the demand for imports. In 2015 the annual GDP rate was the lowest in 25 years. This could mean, according to the IMF, a shift in Chinese policy priorities from investment to consumption and could be a major obstacle in the prospects of the cooperation plan (Ray & Gallagher, 2015). Also due to the recent fall in commodity prices and the regions’ history of political instability (Smith, 2016), that could be an obstacle for deepening the relationship between China and CELAC. The question is therefore if the prospects of the cooperation plan is enough to help the countries out of their respective crises.
Figure 5: Situation with China’s largest trading partners in LA.
 GPI: Global Peace Index, a survey that ranks independent countries in terms of their level of peacefulness (IEP, 2016). With 161 countries included in the survey, a higher number ´Ex. 143/161` means lower peace and stability and a higher number ´Ex. 1/161` meaning higher peace and stability.