MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, July 16th 2019 - 12:21 UTC



Renewed UK interest in South America in spite of Argentina’s Falklands’ policy

Monday, August 15th 2011 - 23:15 UTC
Full article 40 comments
Juliana Bertazzo, associate at the LSE says the UK is lagging in trade with the region Juliana Bertazzo, associate at the LSE says the UK is lagging in trade with the region

The UK is showing a renewed interest in South America and has been successful in establishing cooperation with individual countries in spite of Argentina’s attempts to gather multilateral support for its claim on the Falkland Islands, according to World Politics Review.

In political terms, apart from the Falkland Islands issue, UK relations with South America have been generally positive and “recent visits from U.K. government representatives hint at a renewed interest in South America”, according to Juliana Bertazzo, an associate at the London School of Economics and an associate fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London.

“The most significant recent event is a new rapprochement between the UK and individual South American countries after Argentina's latest attempt to gather multilateral support for its Falklands/Malvinas Islands claim”, points out Ms Bertazzo.

The government of President Cristina Fernandez has expressed outrage at the UK decision to support the Falklands’ offshore oil and natural gas exploration round and military exercises around the Islands, and has managed Mercosur and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) declarations in support of Argentina’s claims.

Furthermore individual nations promised to deny entry to their ports for UK ships bound to or from the Falklands, and to report shipments of oil and natural gas from the Islands.

“However, the British government has been successful at establishing cooperation, for instance, with Colombia, in the fight against drug trafficking, with Bolivia and with Brazil, on a number of issues, including business opportunities involved in hosting the Olympic Games”, indicates Ms Bertazzo in her interview with World Politics Review

But in spite of the diplomatic overture, UK is still lacking strongly in trade terms. The UK share of trade with Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy is a modest 2% compared for example to the 20% of the country with China and the US. And trade relations with Argentina, the second economy in South America, are even more insignificant.

“About half of the exports from South American countries to the UK are commodities, but the other half includes valuable semi-manufactured and manufactured goods, such as airplanes, which are one of the top 20 products that Brazil exports to the U.K”, said Ms Bertazzo adding that “the U.K. in turn exports the fungicides and machines that keep agriculture going in Brazil, as well as mechanical parts and automobiles made from the mining goods imported from Brazil”.

However, when it comes to Argentina, the second-largest country in South America, “the U.K. has little to show in terms of trade, even after the U.K. lifted its arms embargo on Argentina in 1998, bilateral trade did not grow very much”.

Political scientist Bertazzo adds that the UK recently singled out Brazil as one of the “High Growth Markets” where it hopes to do more business since Brazil is the largest trading partner of the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and also of other South American countries, except for those that have free trade agreements with the US or NAFTA.

But so far, UK does not compare well with other major actors in terms of trade: “while the UK share of Brazilian trade is roughly 2%, the U.S. and China have a combined share of around 20% of the balance of trade and are close competitors for first place”. Brazil is China's 10th largest trade partner, and the volume of their bilateral trade by far exceeds that of UK-China trade.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • so_far

    big players are taking position to face the future......gonna be interesting the next years, well done Argentina, step by step.

    Aug 16th, 2011 - 04:14 am 0
  • xbarilox

    “29 billion pounds needed to bring broadband internet access to every home in the UK by 2015, like Korea is doing , but we don't have that money, said the UK government, Korea can do it, so we'll have to leave this to private companies” BBC radio nan gaidheal

    Aug 16th, 2011 - 06:00 am 0
  • geo

    [] - 2 Fred

    in Broadband Access per capita in the World

    No (1) .. South Korea ...2.466 per 10 persons
    No (2).. Hong Kong ....2,335 per 10 persons
    No (3) .. Netherland ....2.334 per 10 persons
    .............. ................. .................. .................
    No (14) ..France ......... 1,472 per 10 persons
    No (15) .. UK .............. 1,466 per 10 persons.

    Aug 16th, 2011 - 10:32 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!