Chinese Banks

The Chinese banks that lend most to Latin America are the China Development Bank (80%) and the Export-Import Bank of China (16%). The rest of the loans come principally from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Central Bank of China, also known as the People’s Bank of China.

Between 2005 and 2015, the largest recipients of Chinese loans were Venezuela (52%), Brazil (17%), Argentina (14%), and Ecuador (12%). This is due to the fact that these loans are a good deal for China (despite the economic problems both in China and these countries) because they are tied to the contracting Chinese firms and the import of Chinese goods and services; and because for these borrowers, Chinese finance constitutes one of the few alternatives available in financial markets. For more information see CLASII Bulletin #3 (in Spanish).

Furthermore, Chinese banks in coordination with national banks (principally BNDES in Brazil) and multilateral banks (such as the World Bank and the Interamerican Development Bank) have established various joint funds to finance different types of projects in Latin America.