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LAC countries banking on China for development needs

By XU WEIWEI in Macao | | Updated: 2024-06-20 22:03
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The 10th China-LAC Infrastructure Forum opens in Macao on June 20. Guo Tingting, China's vice-minister of commerce, delivers her remarks. [Photo provided to]

Set against the backdrop of the green transition, Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries have witnessed a big increase in their sustainable and digital infrastructure needs, according to speakers at the 10th China-LAC Infrastructure Forum.

They added that China's technological advantages and construction experience in aspects such as new energy, 5G technology, and artificial intelligence can help meet LAC countries' infrastructure development demands and enhance both the quantity and quality of their energy and digital infrastructure.

The China-LAC forum was held at the 15th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum, or IIICF, in Macao on June 20.

Guo Tingting, China's vice-minister of commerce, said Latin America is China's third largest overseas market for contracts.

So far, Chinese companies have signed engineering contracts worth more than $280 billion in Latin America and their completed turnover has exceeded $180 billion.

"Chinese companies have actively participated in local construction in Latin America, continued to increase investment in new fields such as new energy, rail transportation, and 5G communications, and major infrastructure projects have been smoothly advanced," she added.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of establishing the China-LAC Infrastructure Forum.

William F. Duguid, senior minister in the Prime Minister's Office of Barbados said: "At this historical 10th anniversary forum, it is important to focus on the future we can build together."

"China's experience in developing large-scale infrastructure projects can provide valuable lessons for LAC countries," he added.

Duguid noted that China's approach emphasizes the importance of long-term planning and sustained commitment, while inclusive development is at the heart of its efforts to build infrastructure that drives economic growth.

Over the last decade, the China-LAC Infrastructure Forum has been increasingly welcomed by both China and Latin America participants, said Qu Yuhui, the deputy director-general of the Department of American and Caribbean Affair under the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It has also become a flagship project under the framework of the China-CELAC Forum, he added, referring to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

This has fully demonstrated that cooperation in infrastructure meets the needs of China and Latin America and has become one of the most representative areas of China-LAC cooperation, Qu noted.

Collin D. Croal, the minister of housing and water of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, said China plays a significant role in Guyana's infrastructural development through active involvement in construction projects, financial support, and bilateral agreements under initiatives like the BRI.

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