Within the framework of the day of access to public information, we presented the document “Access to Information in Argentina. Difficulties and lessons learned accessing information on infrastructure and energy projects with Chinese financing in the country ”.

The People’s Republic of China is the second world economy, with great relevance in international trade and financing and the provision of direct foreign investment, being Latin America, and in particular Argentina, one of the largest recipients of investments in infrastructure of Chinese origin .

Despite this, one of the main challenges that arise when analyzing the growing Chinese financing of projects both in the region and in Argentina, is the lack of transparency and the difficulty in being able to access detailed, accurate and official information about of these projects. Thus, in many cases, the scant information available about the investment amounts, the actors involved, the financing conditions or even the particularities of the projects, make it difficult to carry out a detailed follow-up and monitoring of them and even their impacts. and implications for the country or region where it is carried out.

At the same time, the evaluation of China’s compliance with the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights carried out by the United Nations in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) shows that many development and infrastructure projects of Chinese companies are not compatible with human rights, nor respectful with the environment and the sustainability of natural resources, causing impacts not only economic but also social, environmental and cultural. Hence, the information on these projects must necessarily be transparent and provided in a timely and efficient manner, especially to those communities and populations that are affected by them.

Starting from this panorama, this publication seeks to identify difficulties and lessons learned from the practical experience of accessing information on infrastructure and energy projects with Chinese financing in Argentina. For this purpose, a series of requests for information were made within the framework of the Law on Access to Public Information No. 27,275 in force in the country. Likewise, the experience of access to information from state and non-state sources was evaluated, mainly portals and journalistic media that focus on Sino-Argentine ties.

Based on the identification of some of these existing difficulties when accessing information on the subject, reflections and lessons learned are provided that feed a list of recommendations aimed at strengthening the right of access to information in Argentina.
Transparency and correct and timely access to information are presented as key elements to better understand the growing participation of China in the financing of infrastructure and energy projects in our country. Precisely, access to information, transparency and infrastructure projects should go hand in hand if you want to achieve sustainable and quality infrastructure.

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