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Chinese expertise can help Latin America diversify exports: ECLAC

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's experience in developing technology and expertise in various economic sector can play a crucial role in helping diversify Latin American economies, according to a new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The new report, named "Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2015. The regional trade crisis: assessment and outlook", was released on Tuesday and features broad economic policy advice for the region.

"The rise and diversification of regional exports to China requires policies aimed at developing new sectors and services...what are needed are policies for building production capacities," reads the ECLAC report.

"China's own experience testifies to this, as a country that has built up dynamic comparative advantages on the basis of a long-term vision and has been able to climb up the ladder of technological complexity," it added.

The report further indicates that 36 percent of companies in Latin America and the Caribbean consider a lack of skilled labor to be a major problem, as opposed to only 2 percent of companies in China.

While China's investments on infrastructure in the region are well-known, ECLAC is calling for this partnership to be broadened to wholly new areas.

With China likely to double its food imports by 2020, sharing its agricultural technology with Latin America may be a good idea. After the Chinese government called for technological innovation to be accelerated for this sector in 2012, the country has seen progress in areas like bio-technology, seed production, water-saving irrigation and marine agriculture.

June 2013 saw the creation of the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Agricultural Ministers' Forum to expand collaboration in this area, to reduce tariffs, and speeding up permits. Furthermore, it seeks to allow Latin American agricultural companies to invest in China and bring their experiences back home.

China has grown from soaking up just 1.2 percent of Latin American agricultural exports in 1990 to claiming 12.9 percent of them in 2014, according to the report.

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