BRASILIA – Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed Thursday to create a $20 billion fund to finance infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The fund was announced at the end of a summit hosted by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff that marked the launch of the China-Latin America-Caribbean Forum.
“They proposed to do it immediately so that it can be ready next year. This money is an exclusively Chinese proposal,” Rousseff told reporters in Brasilia, adding that the fund would have initial capital of $10 billion.
Xi also offered to extend a credit line of up to $10 billion to nations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) via the Bank of China.
In addition, a Chinese-Latin American cooperation fund of $5 billion would be launched for investments in areas that have yet to be decided.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said foreign ministers of the new forum would meet in China next year to determine the mechanism to access the infrastructure fund.
Xi met with 11 Latin American and Caribbean leaders at the end of a three-day visit to Brazil before heading to Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba.
Cuba’s communist President Raúl Castro attended the talks, along with Costa Rica’s Luis Guillermo Solís, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa.