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ECUADOR - En la mira prestamo de 1000 millones de China para financiar actividades petroleras (ingle Imprimir E-mail
Petróleo en Latinoamerica - Ecuador
Martes, 21 de Abril de 2009 13:40
Ecuador sees $1 billion loan from China for oil

By GONZALO SOLANO
Associated Press
2009-04-07 03:14 AM

Ecuador plans to borrow $1 billion from China's development bank to finance
energy and infrastructure projects and will use oil shipments to repay most
of that sum, a top economic official said Monday.

The loan, China's most significant investment in Ecuador to date, will bring
"enormous relief" to cash-strapped public spending programs and will help to
finance oil, natural gas and potential hydropower projects that could boost
energy production, Economy Minister Diego Borja said.

The terms of the deal will be announced within 60 days, Borja added,
noting that the cash will likely be disbursed over several years as
deserving projects develop. The government plans to repay China's loan
with oil shipments rather than hard currency, he said.

Ecuador, a member of the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries,
sells about 300,000 barrels of oil a day abroad, using the proceeds to
finance nearly 40 percent of its budget. But a 66 percent drop in
world crude prices since July's peak has slashed public income and
helped run up a $1.5 billion deficit. Growth is slowing to an expected
2.3 percent this year.

China, meanwhile, has spent billions of dollars on energy and mining
projects across Latin America in recent years in a bid to pin down the
oil, metals and other natural resources needed to fuel its booming
economy.

China last week gave Argentina access to $10 billion worth of its
currency, shoring up the Argentine peso in a move that some analysts
said suggested an early effort to wean the world of its reliance on
the U.S. dollar for international trade.

Still, China's loan to Ecuador will be denominated in dollars, which
Ecuador adopted as its currency amid economic crisis in 2000.

Separately, Borja said that President Rafael Correa will announce
details of his plans to renegotiate the country's debt on April 20,
six days before national elections.

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