Chinese officials are discussing with their counterparts in Chile, Argentina and Mexico know how the communist country can expand its participation in Latin America’s infrastructure development. According to China Daily, the Export-Import Bank of China has set aside $10 billion to finance infrastructure development programs in several countries across the region.
The news suggests China is becoming increasingly eager to enhance its business relationship with Latin America, a region where Chinese firms have invested billions of dollars in extracting natural resources such as iron ore, oil and copper. Chinese firms are also working on infrastructure projects like the construction of railroads in countries such as Venezuela.
“Even though Chinese investment in Latin America has focused on the oil, mining and agricultural sectors for more than a decade, infrastructure projects such as roads, power plants, high-speed railways, ports and manufacturing facilities are being viewed as hot targets for investment,” reports the Daily, quoting China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Chinese investment in Latin America has reached $65 billion since 2001, according to a global investment report released in August by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and China’s trade volume with Latin America now exceeds $250 billion.
Zhu Hongjie, vice-president of the Export-Import Bank of China, told the paper that the communist country is scaling down its imports in iron ore and copper as part of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Countries such as Brazil and Peru have, however, continued to export a huge amount of commodities to China.
China, according to Hongjie, believes that investing in Latin America’s infrastructure is pertinent given the growing outcry over greenhouse emissions and global warming. This is good news for the nearshore region, where weak infrastructure has long been an obstacle for economic growth and foreign investment.