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Belt, Road will help connect Asia, Latin America

By Hong Xiao in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-27 09:31
Executive President of the Development Bank of Latin America Luis Carranza Ugarte takes part in Brazil's Investment Forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 30, 2018. [Photo/IC]

The head of a top Latin American financial institution said the Belt and Road Initiative could help inject new dynamism into the world economy, as well as generate new ideas to foster more connectivity between Asia and Latin America.

Luis Carranza Ugarte, executive president and CEO of the Development Bank of Latin America, made the remark in an interview with China Daily before attending the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

Carranza said he thinks the BRI has "a clear ambition to create opportunities for strategic integration between China and Latin America and the Caribbean, and the world as a whole.

"We wish to witness and celebrate with the world the rapid progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, achieving a win-win cooperative relationship based on mutual benefit for our peoples," he said.

Created in 1970, the development bank is owned by 19 countries - 17 Latin American and Caribbean nations, Spain and Portugal - as well as 13 private regional banks.

With its headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, the development bank supports sustainable development and integration within Latin America by financing infrastructure projects, fostering foreign investment and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, according to Carranza.

Discussing the development bank's involvement with the BRI, Carranza said that it "deeply embraces the peaceful, cooperative, inclusive and mutual learning spirit that BRI is rooted in.

"The BRI has presented a new proposal to connect peoples and share prosperity with an innovative concept," he said.

"Unlike the existing patterns of South-South and North-South cooperation, the BRI brings together the development demands of developing and developed countries."

Carranza said the development bank also aims to promote a stronger relationship between Latin America and Asia, which has become a focus of the region's economic expansion.

"We are creating new partnerships," said Carranza. "Over the past 10 years, we have set a record in Latin American bond issues in Asian capital markets amounting to $1.9 billion."

Over the past decade, the total amount awarded to Chinese companies in public bidding projects financed by the development bank was $1.2 billion, mainly in the energy and transport sectors.

Carranza said China-Latin America cooperation has a long history, but its development in recent years has been particularly impressive.

Over the past decades, 70 percent of private sector infrastructure investment has been directed to developed economies. "The region offers huge business opportunities for China," he said.

China has comparative advantages in providing funding and experience, but "this does not guarantee automatic success. Local factors represent an important challenge for investment in the region," he said.

"Given its know-how and experience in Latin America, a regional multilateral bank like the (development bank) possesses huge potential to become a key partner for China," said Carranza.

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