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The refusal of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries to march in lockstep with anti-Russian sanctions was the foundation to a build-up of their trade with Russia. But there are logistics and legal issues handicapping the potential. However, there are both bi- and multilateral tools to address these issues.
Discussion of EAEU – Latin America cooperation prospects has become traditional for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Last year’s participants from LAC countries talked about a “thick investment portfolio” available in the region – of over 480 projects, with a total amount of investments exceeding USD 150 billion. And Latin America relies on Russia’s involvement therein. Russian participants spoke about a mutual interest in trade, food products in the first place.
However, the relations are not up to the mark yet. In 2016, the total trade turnover between Russia and the LAC countries reduced by 9%, amounting to less than USD 12 billion as compared to USD 13.2 billion in 2015.
Major obstacles to more active trade are of technical and organisational nature.
In the past year, the parties made a number of steps to address these issues.