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IADB chief to talk with China leaders
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08:35, February 02, 2009

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Three weeks after China officially became a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), bank President Luis Alberto Moreno began a three-day visit here today to discuss further cooperation with its new donor member.

Moreno will meet senior financial officials to tap the possibility of engaging more Chinese investors in development of Latin America and the Caribbean through the IADB, according to the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

He will attend a high-profile forum tomorrow, in which the IADB will make a presentation to Chinese officials, scholars and firms on how to invest in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"The visit and China's new membership in the bank will certainly promote bilateral economic and trade links," said Sun Lijian, economist with Fudan University in Shanghai.

Trade between China and Latin America and the Caribbean has jumped 13-fold since 1995, from $8.4 billion to $110 billion in 2007. In the first 10 months of 2008, trade between them amounted to $124.1 billion, $14.1 billion more than the whole of 2007.

China has become the region's second-biggest trading partner after the United States. In 1995, it was the 12th biggest.

China's membership in the IADB will promote bilateral cooperation in the financial, trade and technology sectors, and the IADB can provide a platform for Chinese enterprises to invest in infrastructure to help local economic development, analysts said.

"We encourage Chinese financial institutions to cooperate with IADB in trade-related financing and infrastructure investment based on commercial and market-based principles," said a central bank official who declined to be named. "We also encourage competitive Chinese enterprises to get involved in investment projects through the IADB."

China formally applied for membership in the IADB, the largest source of long-term lending for Latin America and the Caribbean, in 1993. It became the 48th member country in the Washington, DC-based IADB on Jan 12.

"We are thrilled to bring a large and growing economy like China into a community of nations that are working together to resolve the complex development challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean," Moreno said at the signing ceremony.

China has agreed to contribute $350 million to the IADB Group to bolster key programs in the region as the world economy suffers from the spreading financial crisis.

The 26 Latin American and Caribbean borrowing nations own 50.01 percent of the IADB. The United States holds just over 30 percent of the shares. China will purchase 184 shares, or 0.004 percent of the IADB's ordinary capital.

Soiurce: China Daily

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