Companies to expand in Latin America

Updated: 2013-09-11 07:31

By Zhong Nan (China Daily)

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China will invest more in Latin America's infrastructure sector to boost growth as it adjusts its trade structure and diversifies investment categories, an official and bankers have said.

Wang Jianjun, deputy director-general of the foreign investment department of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the government is negotiating details with the governments of Chile, Argentina and Mexico to establish closer cooperation mechanisms to further promote investment activities, especially in the infrastructure sector.

"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," said Wang.

China's outbound investment in Latin America so far 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.

"China's moves to strictly control its steel production and cut greenhouse gas emissions have gradually reduced the nation's appetite for large imports of iron ore, copper and other commodities from Latin American countries such as Brazil and Peru in recent years," said Zhu Hongjie, vice-president of the Export-Import Bank of China.

"Therefore, making more investments in Latin America's infrastructure sector is a good solution to enhance business ties between the two sides from a long-term perspective, especially amid today's global economic background," Zhu said.

The Export-Import Bank of China has set up a $10 billion fund to provide financial assistance to both Chinese and Latin American companies to support infrastructure construction projects and related services in different Latin American countries this year.

"The majority of governments in Latin America are acutely aware of how undeveloped infrastructure remains one of the major obstacles to the healthy growth of their economies," said Jean Aboussouan, division chief of infrastructure of the Inter-American Development Bank.