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The 4th China-CELAC Infrastructure Cooperation Forum Held in Macao
Today’s China
2018/06/12

  On June 7, 2018, the 4th China-CELAC Infrastructure Cooperation Forum was opened in Macao. Ms. Gao Yan, vice-minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Karl Samuda, Minister for Growth and Employment of Jamaica, and Mr. Jorge Albache, International Secretary of the Department of Planning, Development and Management, attended and addressed the Forum. Over 700 delegates including 11 ministerial-level officials and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce as well as from financial institutions, chambers of commerce and business communities of the two countries attended the opening ceremony.

  In 2014, President Xi Jinping reached consensus with leaders of Latin American leaders to establish the China-CELAC Forum in January 2015. Under the initiative, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce facilitated the founding of the China-CELAC Infrastructure Cooperation Forum as the first special forum in the area of infrastructure cooperation. Since 2015, three sessions of the Forum have been successfully held.

  In her speech, Vice-Minister Gao Yan of the Ministry of Commerce pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative is the general programme for China’s opening up and economic cooperation. Guided by the principle of joint consultation, joint development and shared results, China is ready to enhance communication and cooperation with various sides to bring benefit to peoples of relevant countries. Themed on “Building New Dynamics for Upgraded China-Latin America Infrastructure Cooperation under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’”, the Forum this year will focus on the keynote of Belt and Road development and discuss new dynamics for infrastructure cooperation.

  In his speech, Mr. Karl Samuda, Minister for Growth and Employment of Jamaica, pointed out China has become the largest source of FDI for Jamaica and that the total investment in infrastructure by Chinese businesses such as China Harbor and Jiuquan Steel has exceeded US$1 billion. Investment from China has made Jamaica become a destination for trade, telecommunications, light industry, and commercial outsourcing and boosted further development of local tourism industry.

  Mr. Zhao Bentang, director general of the Department of Latin American Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that as China enters a new era of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, the development of China-Latin America relations has also entered a new age. At the same time, guided by the Belt and Road Initiative, cooperation between China and Latin America infrastructure has also gone a step higher.

  “According to our estimate, China’s financial support for Latin America has exceeded US$ 150 billion, more than the financial support from Pan-America Bank during the same period”, said Mr. Alexander Mela DeRosa, deputy president of Inter-American Development Bank. He went on the explain that currently Latin American countries are facing funding shortages, with a shortage of nearly US$100 billion every year. The Inter-American Bank has already started investment cooperation with China in Latin America.

  Mr. Tian Yunhai, senior expert for the Department of International Cooperation for China Development Bank, said that by the end of the first quarter of 2018, China Development Bank had provided over US$100 billion on over 200 projects in 18 countries in Latin America, with a loan balance of US$ 64.5 billion. Despite the achievement in China-Latin America cooperation in infrastructure in recent years, there is still a huge gap when compared with the needs of Latin American countries, the expectations of businesses of the two sides, and the challenges the banks are facing.

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