The spread of Chinese Commercial Banks in Latin America follows the increasing presence of Chinese State-Owned and Private Enterprises.
Creating intricate financial ties that are independent of political ideology and that will only grow with the expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative to the region.
As the nature of Chinese investment in Latin America evolves, so too do the dynamics of the financial services required to support its activity in the region.
According to research by think tank Inter-American Dialogue & Boston University, China’s development loans to Latin America totalled US$7.7bn in 2018, way down from the US$21bn lent in 2015 and the 2010 high of US$35bn.
But size isn’t everything
The expansion of China’s US$100bn Belt and Road (BRI) infrastructure program to Latin America and the Caribbean, 19 regional countries are now signee´s has increased engagement with new nations.
Chinese Finance was once focused on providing the lump sums required for leftist Governments to build the Oil and Mining Projects needed to fuel China’s booming consumption.
Today New Investments in transport, telecommunications and renewable energy require greater post construction engagement and deeper, more sustained financial relationships.
In 2015 the Chinese Government announced its intention to double its bilateral trade with Latin America to US$500bn annually by 2025.
Chinese State-Owned Enterprises are becoming leading investors in the region’s biggest greenfield projects. Deepening financial ties are necessary and welcome accompaniment to this process.