SANTIAGO, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese investment in Latin America, part of the region's foreign direct investment (FDI), is becoming more and more open and constructive, a senior United Nations official said Thursday.
Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said this here in a report on regional FDI in 2013.
"ECLAC, in addition to analyzing China's FDI in the region, which has registered an average of 10 billion U.S. dollars in recent years, underscores the new structure of these investments," said Barcena.
In Brazil, "there is a Chinese automotive plant, which means the dynamic is changing ... It's not just the extraction of natural resources anymore ... China has presence through a new automotive company and with different technological innovation," Barcena added.
The ECLAC head further said Latin American-Chinese cooperation is "making progress" through various forums, including the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and its potential "is enormous."
ECLAC is currently aiding talks between China and four CELAC countries -- Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines -- to deepen economic and trade cooperation, she said.
"One issue that interests China very much, and logically so, is food security," said Barcena, adding ECLAC had helped organize an initial meeting of agriculture ministers from China and the region in 2012.
There may be another meeting of envoys of the two sides later this year in Beijing, said Barcena, noting that "each day there are deeper and more interesting encounters with China that include the areas of cooperation, investment and trade."
The report on FDI foresees Chinese investment to grow and "center on mining in Peru and the extraction of oil in Brazil, where there is also significant investment in the manufacturing sector."
China National Petroleum Corp has a 20 percent stake in the consortium that won exploration rights to Brazil's Libra pre-salt oilfield, and also acquired 2.6 billion dollars worth of shares in Peruvian oilfields, said Barcena.
Other Chinese companies, such as Minmetals, have invested as much as 5.85 billion dollars in Peruvian mines, according to figures from Peru and ECLAC.