Latin American civil society organizations face enormous challenges to establishing effective communication with Chinese entities. This is primarily due to lack of familiarity about how Chinese banks and companies operate and their institutional architecture. Limitations also arise because of geographic distance, culture, and language.
Suggestions for interacting with Chinese entities:
Directly contacting Chinese institutions directly, including banks and companies, is almost always a challenge. It is not easy to identify the appropriate institutions in each case, and the relevant persons within these institutions, their contact information, navigating language barriers, ensuring culturally appropriate communication, etc. If you require assistance, please contact CLASII.
- Start with the easiest
At Chinese embassies there is a representative of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce known as the Economic Adviser. Their role includes supporting and supervising Chinese firms that operate in each country. We suggest taht you visit the website of the Chinese embassy in your country to obtain contact information for the Economic Adviser, or ask directly at the Embassy to request a meeting with this official.
- The importance of written communication
Given geographic distance from China, the best medium to send information to Chinese institutions is via written communication. Although Chinese entities often do not respond to letters, there is evidence that letters that contain clear, credible information do have an impact, and that gradually, Chinese entities are interested in listening more to civil society organizations, rather than relying exclusively on the information provided by public officials in the country where they operate. It is always possible to translate communications to Chinese. If you require assistance, please contact CLASII.
- Strengthen your arguments
Chinese environmental and social guidelines contain important requirements for the protection of environmental, social, cultural, and labor rights of local populations where there are projects with Chinese participation. We recommend revising the Chinese Guidelines page on this website and supporting your arguments with the pertinent documents. If you have questions about the guidelines and their application, please contact CLASII.
For more information, see the Legal Manual on Chinese Environmental and Social Guidelines for Foreign Loans and Investments: A Guide for Local Communities, IISCAL, 2018.
If you need help in this process, contact IISCAL.