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China Finance in Latin America

A new report titled, “The New Banks in Town: Chinese Finance in Latin America” to be released tomorrow by the Washington-Based Inter-American Dialogue, GDAE Researchers Kevin P. Gallagher, Amos Irwin and Katherine Koleski estimate that since 2005 China has provided loan commitments upwards of $75 billion to Latin American countries.

 China’s loan commitments of $37 billion in 2010 were more than the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the United States Export-Import Bank combined for that year.

After providing estimates of Chinese finance the authors also examine the common claims that Chinese loans to Latin America have more favorable terms, impose no policy conditions, and have less stringent environmental guidelines than the loans of International Financial Institutions and Western governments.

The authors find that the Chinese Development Bank loans carry more stringent terms than World Bank loans. China’s Ex-Im Bank, by contrast, generally offers lower interest rates than the U.S. Ex-Im Bank. Chinese banks impose no policy conditions but do require equipment purchases and sometimes oil sale agreements. Finally, they find that Chinese finance does operate under a set of environmental guidelines, but that these guidelines are not on par with those of their Western counterparts.

To attend a presentation of the report on February 17 by Kevin Gallagher in Washington DC visit: http://www.thedialogue.org/eventdetail?eventID=239.
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