Chinese companies are flooding into Argentina, with investment in the Latin American country topping $15.6bn over the past 12 months, up 286 per cent from last year, according to Deloitte.
Argentina attracted 40 per cent of all Chinese investment in Latin America from May 2010 to June 2011, according to Deloitte. Unsurprisingly, most of this investment went into the energy and natural resources sectors. But increasingly, the Chinese are also pouring money into the country's agricultural sector, as state-owned giants look abroad to secure arable land.
Heilongjiang Beidahuang Nonkeng, China's largest farming company, is leading the investment in Argentina's agri sector. Last week, it announced plans to spend $1.5bn to develop farms and build a port in Argentina's southern region.
State-backed Beidahuang and the local government in Patagonia are also in talks to develop 300,000 hectares of land. Beidahuang plans to finance the farming of wheat, corn, soy beans, fruits and vegetables.
Beidahuang also recently signed a joint venture with Argentina's Cresud to buy land and farm soybeans.
As FT Tilt reported earlier, Beidahuang plans to acquire 200,000 hectares of overseas farmland this year as policymakers try to address food security concerns on the mainland. Beidahuang has also targeted Brazil, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Russia and Venezuela as potential investment targets.
With 1.3bn mouths to feed, China searches abroad for arable land - FT Tilt
Why ICBC likes Argentina as Sino-LatAm ties grow - FT Tilt