The Global Times (May 31) quoting Chinese experts said that China may scale back direct lending to the region to minimise credit risks, but the long-term infrastructure projects will likely boost local economies after the Covid-19 outbreak is contained. According to a report compiled by the Global Development Policy Center, lending from China Development Bank and the Import-Export Bank stood at $11 billion in 2019, the lowest in a decade. Sun Yanfeng, a research fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), told the Global Times "China is cutting lending to the region due to economic uncertainties, especially as Brazil has emerged from a recession a few years ago. As COVID-19 is battering the region, the overall economic outlook is not rosy, so the pace at which China reduced credit lending will be faster." However, he said, the trend of cutting state-backed lending and diversifying investment in the local economy was in progress even before the hit of the pandemic, and many Chinese companies that are actively engaged in the local economy will give a boost to Latin America after the pandemic ends. Sun Yanfeng said "Chinese companies' local involvement has evolved from just the construction of heavy infrastructure. They are now much more hands-on in the long-term operation of their business and are providing service directly to local customers." In addition to being one of Brazil's most important trade partners and its biggest export destination, China is also undertaking significant infrastructure projects in Brazil. According to the Xinhua News Agency, from 2003 to March 2019, China's investment in Brazil totalled $71.3 billion, the most of any country in the world. State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) alone has invested $12.4 billion in the country, including electricity supply projects in major cities in Brazil such as Brasilia and Sao Paulo. 

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