BRI international project helping China strengthen ties in Latin America

Source: CGTN     Updated: 2019-04-16 16:42:45
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China has been boosting its ties in Latin America through the Belt and Road Initiative. CGTN's Tao Yuan traveled to Argentina to find out how a screening machine company is opening up the market there.

Bag checks can be a hassle for even the most seasoned travelers. Automated clearance can save time and reduce security risks. China is one of the world's leading countries in this field and it's been exporting this technology elsewhere. Tan Zhen has worked in Argentina for 14 years now.

"14 years ago, the brand image of Chinese products couldn't compete with that of Western products, nor could we compete with them in terms of product quality or service. Now after years of hard work, our clients have come to accept us. Now we have a 70-percent market share here in Argentina." Tan Zhen said.

This is another field where artificial intelligence is poised to take away human jobs. Worldwide, automated screening machines like this one are gradually replacing traditional ones where human operators are trained to detect any prohibited items.

Deputy general manager Zhang Yan explains how it works.

"It's done through identifying the atomic number. For example, metals have their atomic numbers. The machines can also see shapes, and through big data, detect things like watches or luxury items." Zhang Yan said.

Beijing continues seeking closer ties with Latin America. In 2015, the Chinese government announced a ten-year plan to increase trade with Latin America to $500 billion. Tan says this boosts his hopes for his company's future. And there's another reason.

"China has many commodities, the flow of goods and people in China is huge. So China has a lot of data." Tan Zhen said.

70 percent of the employees in his company are Argentinian locals. With that, China's presence in Latin America is also likely to grow.