Shaping the Future of the Asia-Latin America and the Caribbean Relationship

Publication | April 2012
Shaping the Future of the Asia-Latin America and the Caribbean Relationship

Economic relations between Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have clearly reached a turning point at the turn of the 21st century. In a mere decade, the manufacturing prowess and insatiable hunger for natural resources of Asia's two most populous economies - the People's Republic of China and India - coupled with LAC's reemergence, have made Asia LAC's second largest trading partner. At the same time, this dynamic trade relationship has significantly increased LAC's strategic and economic importance to Asia.

It can be argued that these seismic changes were mainly the product of market forces driven by the immense resource complementarity between the two economies, with little input from governments. However, if the sizeable gains achieved to date are to be expanded, widely distributed, and consolidated, governments must play a more decisive role. Their participation is particularly critical in strengthening and balancing the three key pillars of any successful integration initiative: trade, investment, and cooperation.

This report, a major collaborative effort by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), seeks to support this policy agenda. In its four chapters, the report identifies the main challenges and opportunities in each of these pillars while drawing attention to the benefits of balancing their development.


  • Prologue
  • Overview
  • Asia-LAC Trade: What Does the Future Hold?
  • Asia-LAC FTAs: An Assessment
  • Asia-LAC Investment: The Glue That Can Bind Asia and LAC
  • Asia-LAC Cooperation: Forging Linkages beyond Trade and Investment