Chinese Mining Investment in Peru in Comparative Perspective

From China in Africa: The Real Story Tue Dec 18 2012, 17:52:00

Amos Irwin (Fletcher School) and Kevin Gallagher (Boston University) have a new working paper exploring Chinese mining investment in Peru. These researchers are painstaking and methodical, and build up their findings with extensive fieldwork, interviews, and careful gleaning of news reports. Their earlier research on Chinese finance in Latin America (published at the Inter-American Dialogue, where Sinologist/Latin Americanist Margaret Myers is leading the China and Latin America program) is a model of careful scholarship, so it's a pleasure to see them venturing into a new area. Here's the abstract of the new study:

Chinese investment in Latin America has exploded in recent years, leading observers to worry that Chinese companies may transplant poor labor and environmental practices to the region. In this Discussion Paper, GDAE's Amos Irwin and Kevin P. Gallagher evaluate the economic, environmental and social impacts of Chinese mining in Latin America and compare that performance to other major foreign and domestic firms in the same sector. Based on new quantitative inspection data from Peru, the researchers find that the Chinese company Shougang Hierro Peru has not performed significantly worse

than its foreign or domestic counterparts. In fact, a US-based firm has been among the most egregious violators of Peruvian and global standards as of late.

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