The COVID-19 pandemic along with the unfolding sovereign debt and climate crises have considerably upended government lending.
The economies of Latin America contracted by 7.7 percent in 2020, the largest contraction globally in the COVID-19 era and the largest in the region in 120 years. The region has experienced half a million deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, also the most in the world and has slowest growth projected for 2021. Concomitantly, the pressures of climate change to shift to cleaner forms of energy are also weighing on governments and national budgets.
China, as the world’s largest bilateral creditor and the only nation on earth to record economic growth last year, is in a unique position to help fund economic recoveries and the shift to clean energy. Zooming in on Chinese policy bank lending to global energy projects and to Latin America can provide a snapshot of some of the lending challenges of the previous year.
How has Chinese policy bank financing of global energy projects and Latin America shifted in the past year? And how are these changes likely to impact the global and economic recoveries from COVID-19 and the global shift to cleaner sources of energy?
- Kevin P. Gallagher: Director, Global Development Policy Center; Professor of Global Development Policy, Boston University
- Xinyue Ma: Research and Project Lead, Global China Initiative, Global Development Policy Center
- Margaret Myers: Director, Asia & Latin America Program, Inter-American Dialogue
- Rebecca Ray: Senior Researcher, Global Development Policy Center, Boston University