Today in Latin America
Top Story — A state visit to China from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff aimed at correcting the South American country’s trade imbalance has begun to bear fruit, though not as much as Brazil may have hoped for.
Rousseff arrived in China on Tuesday for a five-day visit to meet with Head of State Hu Jintao and to participate in the meeting of the world’s most prominent emerging economies, known as the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
China agreed to purchase 35 business jets from Brazilian company Embraer. The sizable purchase is welcome news for Rousseff, who wants to open the Chinese market to Brazilian manufacturers, but fell short of Embraer’s expectations.
“We had the goal of building the 190 here but the Chinese government didn’t approve the project,” said Embraer CEO Frederico Curado. The airplane competes directly with a similar Chinese model.
Rousseff also said a number of tech companies want to invest in Brazil, including Taiwan’s Foxconn, which manufactures most of Apple’s products. Foxconn proposed an investment plan worth $12 billion that would relocate manufacturing operations to Brazil from China.
Brazil has a large market for high tech gadgets and Rousseff has suggested that her country could look to iPads as a cheap way to provide Internet access to the lower middle class, Reuters reports. But high tariffs on foreign goods put them out of reach of many consumers. Apple’s cheapest iPad, for example, costs twice as much in Brazil as it does in the United States.
On the political front, China reiterated its support for reform of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC). Both Brazil and China have called for greater representation of developing countries in the body, and Brazil has been rallying support for a bid to gain a permanent seat at the UNSC.
China said it “understands and supports” Brazil’s leadership role at the United Nations in a joint statement with the Brazilian government, but fell short of publicly endorsing Brazil’s aspiration for a permanent seat.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- While the Honduran government and former U.S. President Bill Clinton claim that the Central American nation is protecting human rights and combating drug-trafficking, Honduras is actually killing opposition members and using U.S. money to fund corrupt police officials, according to a leader in the Honduran resistance movement. Read the story here.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The U.S. government agreed to help Mexico fight raging wildfires near the two countries’ shared border.
- Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl introduced a new bill to secure the U.S.-Mexico border by adding more resources, including more Border Patrol agents and National Guard troops.
- Haitian authorities delayed until Monday definitive election results expected to confirm Michel Martelly’s landslide presidential win.
- Prison guards using rubber bullets and other means fought back rioting inmates Wednesday to regain control of a lockup in the Dominican Republic.
- Walmart Centroamérica announced Tuesday the opening of 24 new stores in Costa Rica for this year.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez clinched a major diplomatic victory over the U.S. when the Colombian government confirmed that it will extradite Walid Makled to Caracas instead of the U.S.
- The front-runner in the second round of Peru’s presidential election, Ollanta Humala, would promote economic stability if elected and would not follow the path of the left-wing governments in Venezuela and Bolivia, his top adviser said Wednesday.
- Paraguay’s minister of health admitted this week that the current dengue fever outbreak in the country is much worse than that of 2007.
- The head of Argentina’s state-run pensions agency said Wednesday that the country wants more control over corporate investment and dividend decisions.
- A Chilean judge agreed to retest the blood sample of TV host Mario Kreutzberger, aka “Don Francisco, who is in a dispute with a man who claims to be his son.
Image: Jornal Correio Regional @ Flickr.
This post has been corrected. An earlier version referred to Embraer as a government-controlled enterprise, which it has not been since 1994.