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Interview: China spurs sustainable economic growth in LatAm: IDB

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- China is helping to spur sustainable economic growth in Latin America through a variety of mechanisms, Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Alexandre Meira da Rosa has said.

The Asian giant has made key projects viable through a 2-billion-U.S.-dollar development fund it set up two years ago to finance poverty reduction and equality promotion, Meira said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

"For each dollar provided by the IDB, China provides another dollar, and that helps us to leverage projects the IDB would not have been able to do alone," he said when he took part in a two-day China-Latin America business summit hosted by Mexico's second-largest city Guadalajara earlier this week.

"Two years on, we have used half of these resources and we hope to be able to mobilize more of the resources of China-Latin America cooperation through these types of funds," Meira added.

China's most significant contributions to the region include promoting private-sector investment, improving competitiveness and social welfare, and even backing programs to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Together with the IDB, China has made it a priority to back renewable energy projects, such as those in Chile and Uruguay, said Meira.

Green energy is one area that holds great potential for business cooperation between the two regions, Meira said.

"There are opportunities all across the region," he said. "The great challenge, above all in South America and the Caribbean, is to decrease dependency on oil and, to that end, China has extensive experience in such energies as wind and solar," Meira said.

"China has a lot to contribute (and) I hope the Inter-American Bank continues to be one of the Chinese government's preferred partners in these efforts," he added.

The business summit, now in its ninth edition, was organized by Mexico's ministries of foreign affairs and economy, in conjunction with ProMexico, Mexico's export and investment promotion agency, and its Chinese counterpart, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), as well as the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (Comce).

Meira described the forum as one of the "most important" forums that serve to "forge closer ties between China and the Latin American and Caribbean region."

"Investment in both directions has multiplied," he added.

The IDB, founded in 1959, is the region's main source of development financing, and lent 13.8 billion dollars in 2014 to central, regional and local governments, private enterprises and NGOs, according to its website.

The bank comprises 48 member countries, 26 of them borrowers. China joined the IDB as a shareholder in 2009.

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