Bloomberg News

Cisneros Says China More Attuned to Latin America Than U.S.

September 15, 2011

(Adds comment from Cisneros in third paragraph.)

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese companies are outdoing U.S. competitors in partnering with Latin American firms as leaders in the world’s fastest growing emerging economy seek to expand their presence in the region, said Venezuelan billionaire Gustavo Cisneros.

Cisneros, the chairman of Cisneros Group of Companies, said China is making inroads into Latin America’s agricultural, infrastructure and mining industries because its foreign policy has emphasized economic cooperation and outreach to the region. It’s more difficult to get U.S. companies “excited about going” to Latin America, he said.

“China has a foreign policy which is directed toward cooperation with business, and the government has directed that toward investment in Latin America,” Cisneros said at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York tied to the magazine’s ranking of the 50 most influential leaders in global markets, finance, business and government. “In the United States, the private sector forgot about Latin America investment.”

Cisneros is setting up joint ventures with Chinese banks to carry out investment in Latin American commodities industries. China accounts for 9 percent of foreign direct investment in Latin America, trailing only the U.S. and Holland, according to the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

--Editors: Brendan Walsh, David Papadopoulos

To contact the reporter on this story: Leon Lazaroff in New York at llazaroff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos in New York at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net


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