Tag Archive for: Chinese Banks

Unanimously, on September 3, the Argentine Senate approved the entry of our country to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank -AIIB, for its acronym in English-. All that remains is the vote of the Chamber of Deputies to make the incorporation effective.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Argentina is one step away from becoming a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank -AIIB- since by means of a unanimous vote, 69 affirmative votes, the Argentine Senate approved the entrance of our country to the institution. Now the Chamber of Deputies needs to deal with the entry project.

Argentina’s intention to be part of the Bank dates back to the administration of Mauricio Macri, where in the first ‘One Strip and One Route for International Cooperation’ Forum held in 2017, he affirmed the country’s intention to be part of the AIIB. That same year, the AIIB Board of Directors approved Argentina’s entry into the institution.

From the region, Ecuador and Uruguay are already members of the AIIB. On the other hand, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil have requested access to the organization. The Senate of the latter also approved his entry, however he joined as a founding member because he is part of the BRICS and all the founding countries of this bloc enjoy that status.

The AIIB was born in 2015 at the initiative of China, but began operating in January 2016. It currently has 102 members from different regions of the world. It is a multilateral financial institution that, through investments in infrastructure, fosters sustainable economic development, creates wealth, and improves connectivity in infrastructure, promoting regional cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development institutions. The Bank’s strategy is based on the Lean, Clean and Green concept in which it seeks to be efficient, agile, ethical and respectful of the environment and social rights. In addition, the financing to the countries is carried out through public capital and private investments and its financial operations are based on granting credits, guarantees and participations.

Since it began operations, the AIIB has already financed 138 infrastructure projects, between completed projects and projects in progress. In addition, the agency’s invested capital reaches $ 31 billion, which includes approved and requested projects. The sectors in which this organization invests are energy, transportation, telecommunications, infrastructure in rural areas, agricultural development, urban development, water supply, health services, environmental protection, logistics, among others.

Joining the AIIB gives our country the possibility of accessing financing from a new multilateral organization for infrastructure works in the energy sector, transportation and urban reforms, for example. Also, SMEs and other productive sectors could access Bank financing. Finally, another point to note is that this organization provides loans at low interest rates and without economic and political conditions, unlike traditional multilateral organizations such as the IMF.

Also, the bill approved by the Senate enables the Central Bank to access up to 50 capital shares, with a value of 100,000 dollars each, according to the registration admitted by the AIIB for the incorporation of a member country. A part of these shares, specifically 40, correspond to the callable capital and the remaining shares correspond to the capital to be integrated.

The strengthening of the relationship between our country and the People’s Republic of China is intensifying and among its causes, in addition to the partial approval of Argentina’s admission to the AIIB, there is also the strengthening of the Comprehensive Strategic Association with the Asian country, the donation and provision of health supplies in the fight against Covid-19, the progress to test the Chinese vaccine in the Argentine population and the negotiations that are being carried out to make effective the entry of Argentina to the Initiative of the Route and the Silk and the construction of the fourth atomic power station. Therefore, an even stronger tightening of cooperation between the two countries is expected.

The following document describes and analyzes the Second Joint Action Plan agreed between Argentina and China (2019-2023) at the G20 summit in 2018. This Plan reinforces the comprehensive strategic partnership between both States and details the actions that will be carried out carried out in different areas such as politics, trade, culture, finance, communications, among others.

China’s growing interest in financing infrastructure projects in the region has led Argentina to sign a multiplicity of cooperation agreements with this country. For this reason, we have identified a series of projects with Chinese financing which we believe are relevant for their magnitude and for the economic, social and environmental impacts they can generate. Thus, in this document, the status of the situation, amounts committed and actors involved in the selected projects considered emblematic are detailed (only spanish).

The objective of this document is to analyze the strategy, objectives and political motivations of the People’s Republic of China in Latin America and the Caribbean. This analysis seeks to complement the previous analysis carried out by the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure (GREFI) based on the Asian giant’s commercial and investment strategy in LAC, which led to the publication of “General Overview of Chinese Investments in America Latina: The cases of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru ”in 2016. The document analyzes the Chinese political strategy in LAC by analyzing the relationship framework in certain multilateral and bilateral spaces in which China is present in the Region and in which it even exercises a leadership role. And special emphasis is placed on the Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China, and the role that the LAC region has to play in it. (Only in Spanish)

After the Mauricio Macri government will use the acquisition of debt with multilateral credit organizations as the main source of financing for its management, prioritizing the relationship with the International Monetary Fund and the United States government, it is prudent to ask ourselves: What has been the China’s role in this scenario? How is the relationship with the Asian giant outlined in the new government of Alberto Fernández?

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Since the consolidation of China as an influential player in the international system and one of the main economic powers, Argentina has had a relationship with ups and downs but in constant communication. The use of China as a counterweight actor against the constant influence of the United States is not a strategy used only by Argentina, but also by most of the countries in the region.

In this geopolitical scenario, China presents itself as an actor that cannot be ignored beyond the efforts of the West. However, the Mauricio Macri government slightly changed the trend that had been prevailing during the Cristina Fernández government, which could be described as almost preferential.

During the Macri government, relations with China have gone from having a strong bond to going through some ups and downs, since the beginning of the administration, the closest approach to the United States tended to a distance with China. This was reflected in the reconsideration of agreements previously signed during the previous government, which implied a pause in several projects. The guiding idea of ​​the foreign policy of the then President Mauricio Macri was “the reintegration of Argentina in the world” which involved giving a more relevant role to multilateralism. From there, the various international tours and the search for support in the world produced a departure with the Chinese giant with whom he had a very deep strategic cooperation agreement.

Faced with the exhaustion of international credit and the inevitability of the link with China, in the middle of his term, Macri resumed the dialogue interrupted for two years and continued with the stage of deepening the strategic cooperation proposed by the Fernández de Kirchner government, with the Holding of the G20 Summit in Argentina and new modified cooperation agreements were signed. By the end of the term, the relationship had already been fully resumed, which was evidenced in Argentina’s attendance at China’s main initiative in Latin America in the Strip and the route, and 16 cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries. Finally, in June 2017 Argentina is outlined as a potential non-regional member to the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank -AIIB- along with other Latin American States, in order to find financing for the country’s large public infrastructure works such as dams in Patagonia .

In this context, the government receives President Alberto Fernández, who is also going through an exceptional situation of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The truth is that, months after his administration began, Fernández had to decide who would be the Argentine ambassador to China, a decision that would indicate the course of action of foreign policy with the Asian country. Fernández’s decision was innovative since he appointed Luis María Kreckler, a career diplomat with a career in embassies such as Brazil and Germany, as Argentine ambassador to China and as political advisor to the embassy along with Sabino Vaca Narvaja, renowned political scientist of the Program of Sino-Argentine Cooperation and Linking from the National University of Lanús and academic specialist on China.

From this designation it is observed that the Fernández government seeks a balance in the relationship with China, that is, the maintenance of a strategic association with the Asian giant but without reaching full dependence. The appointment of a diplomat with a career as Kreckler may imply prudence when proposing a foreign policy strategy that generates an international balance of political interests that may be presented by political scientist Vaca Narvaja.

For his part, President Fernández has declared that China’s role in the global order is inescapable and that during his term he will seek to deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Association that could be extended to the Belt and Road Initiative.

For the moment, the incipient government of Alberto Fernández, which has barely gone through 100 days of administration, has already had to manage a national health emergency crisis by COVID-19, and an economic emergency due to the still pending negotiation with the IMF. . In this context, everything that does not qualify as an emergency is automatically displaced from the government’s priorities. However, the relationship with the Asian giant has been strengthened with the donation of medical supplies from the Chinese government to Argentina in the framework of the bi-national cooperation established in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Likewise, when it comes to the People’s Republic of China, it is recognized that the symbolic has the same relevance as the economic. For what no less data has been the message contained in the input boxes from China where the famous quote by Martín Fierro written by José Hernández was found: «The brothers be united because that is the first law. Have true union at any time. « Although nuances can be expected in the relationship with the Asian giant, one thing is certain, the Alberto Fernández government is determined to strengthen the bilateral relationship, so we must wait to know at what cost it will be.

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  • Florencia Harmitton


The article proposes an approach to financing the Silk Road and the Silk Road Initiative,
trying to analyze the extent to which the recently created Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank (AIIB) plays as a "financial engine" of the Initiative, It represents (or not) an
opportunity for the objective of greater environmental and social sustainability in the
infrastructure projects carried out within the framework of the “New Green Silk Road”.

On August 23, Fundeps participated in the ALADAA National Congress within the framework of the Global Governance area agenda on Chinese investments in Latin America.

Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic.

On August 22 and 23, 2019, the IX National Congress of ALADAA (Latin American Studies Association of Asia and Africa) Argentina “Cultures in Motion: Potentials and Challenges in Globalization. Asia and Africa from Latin America” was held in the city of Río Cuarto. Fundeps participated by presenting a paper entitled “The role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the New Green Silk Road”, which was presented by the Global Governance area volunteer, Mariano Camoletto.

The article deals with the financing of the Silk Road and the Silk Road Initiative, analyzing the role of the AIIB as its financial engine. In addition, it explores whether financing through the AIIB represents a possibility of providing greater environmental and social sustainability to the projects implemented in the framework of the New Silk Road (also known as the Belt and Road Initiative), the mega project on a global scale driven by China.

The AIIB, whose headquarters is in Beijing, was created in 2015 on the initiative of China and currently has more than 100 members, among which Argentina. The bank aims to contribute to the economic and social development of Asia with a focus on sustainable infrastructure, private capital mobilization and connectivity. For its fulfillment, the AIIB has a portfolio of 100 billion dollars and the strategy is based on the Lean, Clean and Green concept through which the bank seeks to be efficient, agile, ethical and environmentally friendly.

As for the bank’s operational policies, the most important are the Environmental and Social Framework and the Accountability Mechanism. As for the first, it was approved in 2016 and its purpose is to help the bank and its clients achieve positive results of environmental and socially sustainable development in their projects, as well as expose the institutional objectives to address environmental and social risks and impacts in the projects financed by the bank. Likewise, compliance with these policies is mandatory in order to access bank financing.

As for the Bank’s Accountability Mechanism, it was launched in 2018 and is intended to receive complaints and requests from those communities or populations negatively affected by Bank-financed projects. The mechanism has two essential functions: the first one is the resolution of disputes through dialogue and understanding of the affected parties; and secondly, that of compliance review, which consists in this mechanism investigating whether the Bank has fulfilled its obligations regarding the proper application of its operational policies.

The main objective of our participation as exhibitors in this congress was to promote the foundation’s approach to the national and provincial academic community for the study of Chinese investments and initiatives (such as the AIIB) and its impact on society, which is usually reflected in infrastructure projects with potential (or real) environmental and social impacts. The joint work has the purpose of analyzing and understanding China’s socio-political and economic insertion model in Latin America and, especially, in Argentina; as well as the strategies that Latin American countries implement against this phenomenon in the framework of the Silk Road.

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Mariano Camoletto

Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

In January 2019, and after more than 10 years since the project began to be planned, the Government of the Province of Córdoba terminated the works of the trunk gas pipelines. Despite the obvious benefits of the project, it is worth asking about the true balance left by the experience of this project, especially in terms of transparency and accountability in public policies.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

At the beginning of 2019, with the authorization of the last supply branch and the pressure regulating plant in Tala Cañada (Pocho), the Government of the province of Córdoba concluded the controversial project for the construction of the trunk pipeline network. According to the government, the gas network thus reached almost 98% of Cordoba people; Although it is clear that the vast majority of industries and neighbors benefiting from the work do not yet have effective access to the service, since the problem of connecting to home and internal networks remains to be resolved.

With the work completed, the axis then moved to the need to connect the backbone networks with the home networks, so that families and businesses can effectively access the benefit. The company Ecogas and the municipalities are responsible for bringing the gas network to private homes, for which they will receive financial support from the province. While the Bank of Córdoba made available a line of credit -Dale Gas! – at zero interest rate and with a return of 48 months for the home gas installation; The provincial government launched a financing plan so that companies can connect to the network. This plan called «Connect Gas Industry» contains three lines of credit for businesses, SMEs, industrial parks, CNG stations and tourist establishments.

A controversial work

This work, according to data handled by the provincial government, benefits 973,490 Cordoba in 228 locations. Some populations will receive natural gas for the first time and, in other locations, the service will reinforce the existing one. However, despite the obvious benefits of the work, the project of gasification of towns in the interior of the province of Córdoba has been the focus of various controversies and has been under the watchful eye of public opinion since its inception. Thus, for example, as regards the financing of the work, the reasons for the fall in financing of both BNDES at first, and of Chinese banks later, were never officially clarified; and the provincial government’s decision to move forward with the work using public indebtedness generated controversy.

Similarly, the lack of access to information to control the progress of the project has been a constant throughout the entire execution process. Additionally, the project has been investigated for alleged acts of corruption in the bidding of the sections to be built, even being mentioned in the Lava Jato case in Brazil from the participation of the Odebrecht company in the works.

Thus, for example, in February 2018, the legislators of the opposition to the provincial Government, Juan Pablo Quinteros, Aurelio García Elorrio and Liliana Montero, filed a complaint with the Financial Information Unit (FIU) regarding the possible payment of charges for the work of the trunk pipelines. This follows from the kidnapping of the list of coimas paid to different governments of the continent belonging to the Brazilian banker Alberto Youssef, where he names at least four times the work in question. This list served as a tool for Brazilian investigators of the Lava Jato cause to prove the existence of a public works club made up of Odebrecht, Andrade Gutiérrez, OAS, Camargo Correa and other construction companies. According to the complainants, a 36 million dollar premium would have been paid. Also, they argue that the collection was made through the session of a real estate project in Puerto Madero (Buenos Aires) to a company of the Horacio Miró group, former official of the administration of José Manuel de la Sota. This accusation was denied by the businessmen involved.

In mid-2018, the possibility that Argentina will reach an agreement with Brazil so that Argentine judges can access the information present in the Lava Jato investigation generated great expectations in Córdoba. The causes for alleged corruption offenses in public works in our country would have the possibility to move forward through the use of this information. This agreement generated expectation given the denunciation for the alleged payment of coimates for 36 million dollars to the company of the Horacio Miró group. In this regard, the administrations of the former governor of La Sota and the current one, Juan Schiaretti, denied all kinds of accusations. This complaint is currently under the responsibility of Prosecutor 1 of the Anti-Corruption jurisdiction, which is based on data provided by Brazil.

However, the scandal caused by the irruption of the cause of the notebooks in August 2018 hit several of the companies involved in the construction of the trunk pipelines. From the provincial government they clarified that all tenders were carried out transparently. Among the companies involved and that have works in progress in the province of Córdoba is Electroengineering, allied with the Chinese company Petroleum Pipeline Boreau for the construction of 30% of the trunk gas pipelines. In addition, there is the Albanesi Group that through Generación Mediterráneo S.A. It owns the Modesto Maranzana thermoelectric plant located in Río Cuarto. Also, the company Iecsa (now Sacde) in charge of the sections of the gas pipelines in the provincial interior in partnership with the Chinese company Communications Construction Company (CCC). Finally, BTU and Esuco companies have also carried out pipeline works in Córdoba.

Positive or negative balance?

In short, after more than a decade of marches and counter-marches, trunk pipelines are finally a reality. What has been the largest infrastructure work in Córdoba in recent times leaves us, without doubt, a positive balance in relation to the potential benefits of the work. It will allow access to natural gas not only to thousands of citizens and hundreds of localities in Cordoba; but also to numerous industries, SMEs and businesses in the interior of the Province that will be able to boost their activity and productivity from access to the gas network. However, if we analyze the project from the point of view of transparency and accountability that must necessarily surround any work that has public funds for its realization; The balance is undoubtedly negative.

In that sense, we will continue monitoring the progress of the next stages of the work. Also trying to obtain more information about the details of its realization, the real reasons for the fall of the financing of the Chinese banks and the participation of Odebrecht in the project and its link with the Lava Jato cause, for which we are preparing requests for information which will be referred to the provincial administration.

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Mariano Camoletto

Gonzalo Roza


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Within the framework of the G20 summit held in Argentina in 2018, the Heads of State of Argentina and China signed 30 trade and investment agreements for the next five years. These agreements are part of the Second Five-Year Joint Action Plan between the two countries.

Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic.

On December 2, 2018, Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed thirty trade and investment agreements within the framework of the second 2019-2023 joint action plan between our country and the People’s Republic of China.

The Second Five-Year Plan, like the first, seeks to strengthen the bilateral relationship and constitutes a roadmap with actions to be carried out in a number of areas. Most of the agreements are of an economic-commercial nature and include the areas of infrastructure, investments , finance, transport, mining, energy, science and technology, tourism, South-South Cooperation and electronic commerce.

Among the agreements, one of the most important is the formalization of the exchange of currencies (swap) with the Asian country for an amount of 8,500 million dollars in addition to the existing one of 11,000 million dollars.

The agreements that were already signed at the time of the announcement of the Second Plan were the Cooperation for Integral Agricultural Development Projects in New Irrigated Areas of the National Water Plan of Argentina, the Memorandum of Understanding on environmental protection and sustainable development, and the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Córdoba.

Agreements have also been signed with companies such as the “Term Sheet” between the Ministry of Finance of Argentina and the Development Bank of China (CBD) for the creation of a Fund for an estimated amount of up to USD 1,000 million, in order to finance “Working Capital”; the Framework Agreement for the Promotion of Trade in Oil Products between the Ministry of Agribusiness Government and China Grain Reserves Group Ltd. Company (SINOGRAIN).

The following agreements were signed after they were announced: the Framework Cooperation Agreement between China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) and the Bank of the Argentine Nation; the Addition to the Financing Contract for the “Rehabilitation of the Belgrano Cargas Railway”; the Financing Agreement between the Ministry of Finance of Argentina and the Development Bank of China (CBD) for the Acquisition of Rolling Stock for the Roca Eléctrico Railway and, finally, the Commercial Contract between the Ministry of Transportation and the Chinese company CRCC for the recovery of the San Martín Cargas Railway (Stage I: renewal and improvement of roads).

Finally, the following agreements are found:

  • Agreement on the Extension of the Validity of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Strategic Dialogue Mechanism for Economic Cooperation and Coordination (DECCE);
  • Agreement for the Elimination of Double Taxation with respect to Income and Property Taxes and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance (CDI);
  • Memorandum of Understanding for Strengthening Fiscal and Financial Cooperation;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the Promotion of Commercial and Investment Cooperation;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Cooperation in the Infrastructure Sectors;
  • SWAP expansion of currencies;
  • Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Argentine Fresh Cherries to China;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Electronic Commerce;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Trade in Services;
  • Sanitary Protocol for the Export of Sheep and Goat Meat to China;
  • Adaptation of the Health Protocol for the Export of Standing Horses to China;
  • Convention between China and Argentina on preventing and combating the illicit traffic in cultural property, and the return of illegally transferred cultural property;
  • Execution Plan for Cultural Cooperation between China and Argentina 2019-2023;
  • Agreement on reciprocal recognition of higher education certificates;
  • Agreement between the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences of China and the Secretariat of Science and Technology and Productive Innovation on the establishment of the virtual center of social sciences China-Argentina;
  • Cooperation Framework Agreement between the National Radio, Film and Television Administration of China and the Federal Public Media System;
  • Cooperation Agreement between the Media Group of China and Radio and Television of Argentina;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the National Supervisory Commission of China and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina;
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Modernization Government and the Chinese Academy of Government.

The interest of the Asian country to make investments in Argentina is linked to the actions that it has carried out since the last years in the Latin American region, positioning itself as one of the main investors. The First Five-Year Plan between Argentina and China meant the strengthening of ties in their bilateral relations with the aim of developing a cooperation strategy. With the Second Plan, a further step is being taken in strengthening and deepening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

For Argentina, the agreements represent an opportunity for development in the future, however, we must be cautious about the risks and the potential negative aspects of them, which can result in excessive increases in debt, negative impacts at the socio-economic level. environmental infrastructure projects, competitiveness problems in the commercial field or even a certain tendency towards the reprimacy of the Argentine economy towards which several of the agreements point. And do not forget to add, to all this, opacity and little transparency in terms of access to information that surrounds the vast majority of these agreements, whose general aspects may come to light, but not their details and specifications As for its implementation.

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Sofía Brocanelli


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org



On March 15, China accepted 284 of the recommendations made in its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). These are aimed at preventing human rights violations in the field of their investments abroad. Undoubtedly, this is an unprecedented event.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The People’s Republic of China (China) undertook, before the United Nations, to respect human rights in its investments abroad. It accepted 82% of the recommendations made by dozens of countries in its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The UPR is an evaluation conducted every four and a half years by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It allows rating the behavior of each member state when implementing the UN human rights treaties.

Here are some of the most relevant recommendations that were accepted:

  1. Promote measures that guarantee that development and infrastructure projects, within and outside of their territory, are fully compatible with human rights and respectful of the environment and the sustainability of natural resources, in accordance with national and international law applicable and with the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Ecuador);
  2. Consider the possibility of establishing a legal framework to guarantee that the activities carried out by the industries subject to their jurisdiction do not undermine human rights abroad (Peru);
  3. Adopt new measures on business and human rights in accordance with their international obligations and ensure that companies operating in high risk or conflict areas conduct due diligence on human rights in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (State of Palestine);
  4. Continue to apply Chinese laws, regulations and standards, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to Chinese companies that operate beyond the borders of China (Kenya);

The Chinese delegation said that its opening to host the aforementioned recommendations “fully demonstrates China’s determination and its open and active attitude towards the promotion and protection of human rights.” However, China must inform in two years in its Mid-Term Review before the UNHRC, the progress achieved after the implementation of these recommendations. In addition, you will need to develop an action plan to ensure that your companies and investors respect the rights of local communities and the environment.

María Marta Di Paola of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN), expressed that “this commitment should not be considered a paper promise; On the contrary, social organizations around the world must take the floor to the Chinese State, keep vigilant and report to the Chinese embassies and CDHNU when there are violations in the Chinese projects, and demand redress for the violated rights of the victims and the environment “.

It should be noted that last year the Collective on Financing and Chinese Investments, Human Rights and Environment (CICDHA) presented a report in the framework of the UPR, along with 17 other Latin American NGOs, examining 18 projects with Chinese participation in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. The report showed that Chinese companies and banks have systematically violated several rights protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other United Nations instruments.

What happened in Geneva on March 15 is an unprecedented event that must be celebrated. Likewise, it is important to remember that the results obtained must be largely attributed to the hard work done by numerous civil society organizations in the region and the world.

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Video: Consideration of the Universal Periodic Review outcome of China

Report: Evaluation of the Extraterritorial Obligations of the People’s Republic of China from Civil Society: Cases of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru


Melanie Mackenzie


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org

Together with the rest of the organizations that make up GREFI, we publish a comparative analysis of the regulatory frameworks of the main institutions that finance development in Latin America, with a focus on the similarities and differences between traditional, emerging and chinese banking institutions.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure (GREFI), made up of FUNDEPS, DAR, Ambiente y Sociedad and Fundar, recently published its latest research paper on the regulations of international financial institutions (IFIs): Comparative Analysis of IFIs regulations Present in Latin America This is a comparative analysis that takes as an object of study the operational policies of different institutions: the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank (WB), the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the Corporation Financiera Internacional (CFI), the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Development Bank of China (BDC) and the Chinese Bank of Exports and Imports (ExIm Bank). The essential objective was to be able to achieve a comparison between those traditional institutions, new development institutions and Chinese institutions. The anchoring of this study is given by the number of new actors that today are part of the financial and investment scenario in Latin America.

The analysis was carried out on four axes: access to information, citizen participation, indigenous peoples and social and environmental safeguards. The indicators for these categories were obtained from the best international practices in each of these subjects (the OAS model law on access to information, ILO Convention 169, among others). Each category was divided into different elements that received a score. The product of this work is presented in a statistical way, expressing at what level (percentage) the policies of the institutions achieve the highest standards.

The main results obtained in the study report that two banks categorized as traditional IBRD-BM (86%) and CFI (64%), in addition to an emerging CAF bank (62%), obtain the highest ratings. Among institutions rated less than 50% are two traditional IDB banks (45%) and CII (26%), one emerging bank BNDES (17%) and two Chinese banks BEIC (8%) and BDC (0%). An interesting finding is that only in the categories of traditional banking and emerging banking institutions with relatively high rating are observed. In contrast, Chinese banks stand out with the lowest evaluations according to the proportion of estimated adequacy. This is partly explained by the BDC bank, which does not obtain a qualification in any thematic axis, since, due to lack of access to its regulations, these are not known. (See the specific chapter on CDB).

More information:

Full publication Comparative analysis of the regulations of IFIs present in Latin America


Agustina Palencia: agustinapalencia@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

The year 2017 began with important and promising news for the Gasification Project of Localities of the Interior of the Province of Córdoba, better known by the people of Córdoba as the “main gas pipeline project”. During the first days of January, the Governor of Córdoba Juan Schiaretti and President Mauricio Macri were present at the inauguration of a Pressure Reducing Plant in La Calera, work carried out by the Brazilian company Odebrecht within the framework of the systems awarded to it after the public tender launched in 2015. The reduction plant constituted the first section inaugurated by the Córdoba-Gran Córdoba Ring System, comprised of 52 kilometers of gas pipelines. reinforcement, and that will benefit 300 thousand inhabitants of both Córdoba and La Calera and of Saldán, Villa Allende, Mendiolaza, Malagueño and Malvinas Argentinas, according to official information.

The presence of Macri at the inauguration of the work represented a gesture of political support for the Schiaretti government. Especially taking into account the strong questions and criticisms received by the provincial government for the involvement in this project of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, involved in a corruption scandal in Brazil and other Latin American countries, even in Argentina. Despite these questions, the Schiaretti government always defended the participation of the company by resorting to the debatable argument that the corruption events in which it is involved occurred between 2004 and 2013, while the tender in Córdoba was carried out only in 2015.

However, after a few days the project suffers a major setback: Schiaretti announces that, due to delays in obtaining loans from Chinese banks, 4 stretches of gas pipelines would be re-tendered to avoid postponing the start of the works in said sections, but in this case with the Province’s own financing. Recall that of the 10 trunk systems that were defined in 2015, 4 were awarded to Transitory Business Unions (UTEs) made up of Argentine and Chinese companies and financed by Chinese banks (ICBC and Bank of China); and the remaining 6 were awarded to Odebrecht (at first it was said that the Brazilian company would present its own financing for the start of the work, but finally this was not the case, making the province have to resort to indebtedness to start the works).

Thus, criticisms of the link with Odebrecht in the work will be added to questions about the delays in Chinese financing; the lack of relevant explanations regarding the reasons for the fall in financing; the need to re-tender the work and the decision of the provincial government to go back to the market to borrow to finance the work and even for the substantial increase in the cost of the work, which went from a budget of 8,600 million pesos in 2015 to 12,480 million pesos at the beginning of 2017 (an increase of 45% in almost two years).

After a new call for bids in February, in March the works of the four aforementioned systems were re-awarded to the same UTEs that had won in the first tender. In turn, the government issued a new batch of public securities for 460 million dollars to finance the start of works in the 4 tranches of the project, with the financial agent of Banco de Córdoba (Bancor).

Although in that same month of March advances were announced in the negotiations with the Chinese banks to finish making the committed credits for the work, surprisingly on April 21 the Governor Schiaretti announced the definitive fall of the Chinese financing and the signing of a decree that rendered ineffective the adjudication of the works of the 4 corresponding trunk systems. While Schiaretti himself blamed the Chinese banks for the fall in funding, arguing that they raised conditions “leonine, unacceptable to Cordoba and the national government,” the fact is that the government never made clear the true reasons and reasons that led to the fall of Chinese financing.

In this way, the government of Córdoba decided to launch a new tender for 437 million dollars for the construction of the 4 gas pipeline systems, which now in the new call would become 8 systems (in addition to the 6 remaining systems already awarded to Odebrecht ) and whose financing would come from the same province. In this case, the allocation of the new systems fell to national companies.

In early May, and despite criticism from the opposition, the provincial legislature approves a bill that enables new changes in the pipeline project: the negotiations with Chinese banks to finance 4 of the trunk systems are terminated, and it is approved that it is now the provincial government itself that must obtain the totality of the funds to complete the work (ratifying in this way the authorization granted by law 10,339 that enabled operations to take public credit to carry out the works). Just a few days later, the government made official through a decree published in the Official Gazette, a new debt collection for 450 million dollars to finance the work. By the end of June, Schiaretti himself would announce through his Twitter account that the province had obtained the total financing for the work through the placement of bonds in the international capital market.

In short, this strategic project for Córdoba that was going to have in the beginning with financing provided or managed by international actors (initially through the National Bank of Economic and Social Development of Brazil -BNDES-, then through Chinese banks and own financing provided by the Odebrecht company) to depend exclusively, for its concretion, on the province’s own resources or obtained through debt through the issuance of government securities.

The second half of the year would be marked mainly by the progress of the work (according to the government by the end of the year 14% of the work had been completed and the work was planned to be completed by mid-2019), but also by the constants and recurring questions from sectors of the opposition and civil society in relation to the project. Especially after Córdoba was mentioned in the framework of the Lava Jato case as one of the destinations where the Odebrecht constructure paid bribes in Argentina.

Although the national government of Mauricio Macri began a campaign to review and investigate the possible involvement of Odebrecht in the payment of bribes in numerous public works projects in Argentina (which even led the national government to suspend the company to carry out works at a national level), the gas pipeline project in Córdoba was strangely excluded from said revision and the relevant explanations were never provided to justify such exclusion. Even the company continues to operate in the province despite its suspension at the national level (its main work is precisely that of gas pipelines in Córdoba) and the requirements from the opposition that the same be done at the provincial level. Given the lack of answers at the national level, some opposition legislators traveled to Brazil in October of this year to ask the prosecutors of the Lava Jato case to investigate the link between the Brazilian company in the payment of bribes in the framework of the bidding process in 2008 for the construction of trunk pipelines.

In this way, between marches and counter-marches, the balance of 2017 in relation to the trunk gas pipeline project throws little light and many shadows and suspicions in relation to the transparency and execution of the project. Not only because of the never entirely clear fall of Chinese financing at the beginning of the year but also, and above all, because of the way the provincial government has handled the involvement of the construction company Odebrecht in the work and the numerous causes of corruption that splash throughout Latin America and even in Argentina itself. Although the government of Schiaretti has detached the company from any kind of connection with the possible delivery of bribes and corruption in the bidding of the work (even with the support of the national government of Macri itself that has initiated a kind of “Crusade” against the Brazilian company for its actions in the country during the Kirchner government), the truth is that the year that ends leaves many questions and aspects not clarified about the project.

Undoubtedly, 2017 has left a huge debt outstanding in terms of transparency and accountability in relation to this strategic and emblematic project for Córdoba. From FUNDEPS, we expect this debt to be paid in 2018.

More information

– Working Document: Transparency in the gasification project of localities in the interior of the province of Córdoba by Melanie Mackenzie – December 2017. FUNDEPS.

– Notes and publications of FUNDEPS in relation to trunk gas pipelines.

–  Main gas pipelines in Córdoba: a work that advances in the shadow of corruption by Agustina Palencia – December 2017. El Entramado. FUNDEPS.

Image source

La Voz del Interior


Macarena Lourdes Mustafa / Voluntaria del Área de Gobernabilidad Global

Gonzalo Roza / Coordinador del Área de Gobernabilidad Global


Gonzalo Roza / Coordinador del Área de Gobernabilidad Global