The New Banks in Town: Chinese Finance in Latin America


By Kevin P. Gallagher, Amos Irwin, and Katherine Koleski

Download the report in English: The New Banks in Town_English

Search the data through an inter-active database: China-Latin America Finance Database

Download the Report in Portuguese: The New Banks in Town_Portuguese

Download the Report in Spanish: The New Banks in Town_Spanish

As part of its “go out” policy, Chinese development banks and multinational corporations are rapidly establishing a presence across the globe.  Latin America is no exception. However, reliable estimates of the scale and composition of such a presence are not available.  In this report we estimate the extent of Chinese financing for sovereign governments in Latin America from 2005 to the present.  We find that China’s loan commitments are continually more than the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the United States Export-Import Bank on an annual basis.

After providing estimates of Chinese finance we also examine the common claims that Chinese loans to Latin America have more favorable terms, impose no policy conditions, and have less stringent environmental guidelines than the loans of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Western governments.  It is our hope that this report will provide a more empirical-based foundation for research on Chinese finance in LAC.