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22 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE www.joc.com MAY 2014 COOL CARGOES By Stephanie Nall T HE WORLD'S ECONOMIC focus during the 1980s and 1990s was trained on the Asian Tigers of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Now Argentina's top agricultural official says the focus is about to shift south. "Latin American foods will be the stars of this century," Carlos Casamiquela, Argentina's minister of agriculture, livestock and fisher - ies, said at a multinational meeting of agricultural officials in Uruguay in April. "Our region is the largest res- ervoir of water and soil to produce food, as well as the largest reserve of animal and vegetable protein. Argentina alone produces food for "400 million people in the world, while China is adding 30 million peo- ple into the middle class every year," Casamiquela said. Because of geopolitical and trade tensions, few countries are rushing to secure Argentina as a close trade partner, but Latin American foods are becoming increasingly important in global agricultural markets. Food exports, especially from Peru, Chile, Central America and Mexico, are increasing each year to traditional trading partners such as the U.S. and to new markets in Asia and the Middle East. "A couple decades ago, the coun- tries in Latin America looked around and saw the Asian Tigers getting big- ger and more powerful and decided to model their economies after them," said Dan Gardner, president of Trade Facilitators, a supply chain consulting and training firm. "The countries in Latin America have been aggressive in seeking more trade agreements and secur- LATIN FOOD STARS Aggressive marketing puts Southern Hemisphere produce in Asian homes and markets

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