Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 27th 2015 Contents of additional financing for the region, specif-
ically for infrastructure. The question is who
it will go to."
In 2014, Brazil s loans from the China
Export-Import Bank, the Bank of China
and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of
China went to leasing oil rigs and purchasing
equipment and financial services for the
country s mining giant Vale.
The Chinese loans are also helping to pay
for subway upgrades in the Argentine capital
of Buenos Aires and dam construction in
Ecuador and Argentina, the data show. In
many cases, Chinese companies are over-
seeing the projects, and likely using Chinese
workers, Myers said.
The Chinese financing often comes with
generous terms, such as market-rate interest
rates and favourable payback periods, and
without the macroeconomic and good gov-
ernment reforms demanded by Western
lenders, Myers said. Venezuela and Ecuador
also pay off their loans by shipping millions
of barrels of oil to China at market prices,
an arrangement that s proved painful with
recent plummeting oil prices.
With governments having largely failed
to prepare themselves for the end of the
China-driven commodities boom, Latin
American countries are likely to see more
pain---and need more help, said Kevin Gal-
lagher, a Boston University international
relations professor who helped compile the
Economic growth in Latin America and
the Caribbean slowed to 1.4 per cent in
2014. China s economy grew by 7.4 per cent
last year, compared to double-digit annual
growth rates over the past two decades.
"The windfall for commodity prices over
the last commodity boom was the biggest
recorded in history, but the marginal savings
rate was lower than in past booms," Gallagher
said. "The South American resource coun-
tries are facing a real pinch."
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 27, 2015
BEIJING---Chinese state-owned banks loaned
US$22.1 billion to Latin American countries last
year, helping to keep afloat struggling economies
that have been hit hard by a fall in prices for oil,
minerals and other commodities that they export,
according to new numbers released yesterday by
the US think tank the Inter-American Dialogue.
That annual loan total is the second highest in a
decade, behind only 2010, and surpassed combined
loans to the region from multilateral lenders the
World Bank and the Inter-American Development
Bank, the data show. China loaned US$8.6 billion to
Brazil, US$7 billion to Argentina, US$5.7 billion to
Venezuela and US$821 million to Ecuador in 2014.
Despite its slowing economy, China has emerged
as a lender of last resort for Latin America countries
that had ridden a decade-long boom in Chinese
demand for commodities but are now seeing budget
deficits grow and currencies slip as Chinese appetite
Many traditional lenders are reluctant to take on
the risk of financing countries such as Argentina and
Venezuela due to their histories of default, nation-
alizations and high public spending.
Over the past two months, the presidents of
Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela have visited Beijing
seeking more Chinese investments, and left with bil-
lions of dollars in commitments. Over the past decade,
China has loaned Latin American countries about
US$118 billion, with Venezuela alone receiving US$56.3
billion, the Inter-American Dialogue data showed.
The big unknown now is how long that Chinese
generosity will last, and whether China will continue
supporting increasingly unstable governments such
as Venezuela s, said report author Margaret Myers,
director of the Inter-American Dialogue s China and
Latin America programme. At least for this year,
China has indicated it will offer another US$25 billion
to US$30 billion in credit to the region, Myers said.
"It was an important year in 2014 that despite
slowing growth we saw considerable commitment
to the region," she said. "There s been a major promise
China loaned US$22 b to Latin America in 2014
Over the past two months, the presidents
of Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela have
visited Beijing seeking more Chinese
investments, and left with billions of
dollars in commitments. Over the past
decade, China has loaned Latin American
countries about US$118 billion, with
Venezuela alone receiving US$56.3 billion,
the Inter-American Dialogue data showed.
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