Obstacles to Japanese Investment in Latin America | Wilson Center
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Obstacles to Japanese Investment in Latin America

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Obstacles to Japanese Investment in Latin America

Amid U.S. backpedaling on trade agreements in Latin America, the region's governments have increasingly looked elsewhere for new partners and to deepen existing economic relationships. Though China gets the most attention, Japan, which shares the region’s strong democratic values, is also a priority partner for trade and investment. For its part, Japan has sought to expand its presence in Latin America. It has found willing partners, including fellow members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership such as Chile, Mexico, and Peru.

From 2005 to 2009, Japanese exports to Latin America increased faster than to any other region. In March, the country announced a new partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank to support public-private partnerships in the region. The White House has welcomed, and even encouraged, that trend, seeing Japanese engagement as a force multiplier in the Western Hemisphere and as a counter-weight to Chinese influence.

However, while opportunities abound in the Americas for Japanese firms, from natural resources and large consumer markets to infrastructure and energy, obstacles to Japanese investment and engagement remain. Please join us on Friday, September 7 at 11:30 a.m. to discuss these barriers, the geopolitical implications of deeper Japanese engagement in Latin America, and the solutions that the Japanese private sector is seeking from governments in and outside the region.

Opening Remarks

Cynthia J. Arnson
Director, Latin American Program
Wilson Center

The Economic Relationship between Japan and Latin America

Masahiko Uchino
Attaché, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Second Secretary, Economic Section
Embassy of Japan


Ryoji Watanabe
Senior Analyst
Sumitomo Corporation of the Americas

Koji Okawa
Senior Executive Engineer
Toyota Motor North America

Barbara Kotschwar
Adjunct Professor
Georgetown University

Shihoko Goto
Senior Associate, Asia Program
Wilson Center


Benjamin N. Gedan
Director, Argentina Project
Senior Adviser, Latin American Program
Wilson Center



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