Chilean banking regulator SBIF on Tuesday said it had authorized Bank of China Limited, one of China’s largest banks, to operate in the country, a further sign of deepening economic ties between China and Latin America.
Bank of China becomes the second Chinese-owned bank with a presence in the South American nation, after China Construction Bank was approved to operate in May 2016.
The Chinese government in recent years has sought to boost use of its yuan currency in Latin America, part of a broader campaign to increase economic and political ties with the region.
China in January invited Latin American and Caribbean countries to join its Belt and Road Initiative, opening the door to billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.
China is already the top trading partner of many Latin American countries, including Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
China accounts for over 20 percent of Chile’s exports, mostly of copper but also lithium, wood pulp, wine, salmon and other products.