Economic Cooperation between China & Latin America would lead to a New Phase of Economic growth & development in the region, a Venezuelan Economist Victor Alvarez said.

China “has provided substantial loans and technical assistance to promote physical, economic and trade integration to unleash the growth potential of each country (in the region), and to make their economic and social development a reality,” Victor Alvarez said in a recent interview.

Through the Belt & Road Initiative it proposed, China funnels considerable financial resources to different investment funds to build the infrastructure needed to boost economic and productive activity, said Alvarez, also a former high-ranking government official.

“More than 10 years ago, in 2008, China issued its policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, which is based on strengthening political dialogue, and trade, financial and infrastructure cooperation,” Alvarez said.

Since then, high-level political exchanges have increased, as has the amount of trade, investment and financial cooperation projects, as well as exchanges in science, culture and sports.

China has become an important lender in Asia, Africa and Latin America, serving as a crucial alternative source of capital for countries traditionally overlooked by Western lending agencies, Alvarez noted.

He said the development schemes are often win-win, as “projects financed by China solve infrastructure problems in countries granted loans, and those same projects generate the necessary income to cover their construction costs.”

Moreover, Chinese funding used to promote regional economic and trade integration is granted with preferential terms, according to the economist.

It is important for Latin America to continue cooperating with China to boost technology transfer and increase skilled labour in Latin America, Alvarez said.