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BRI to strengthen China, Latin America ties

By Qiu Quanlin in Zhuhai,Guangdong | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-03 16:42
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) and his Costa Rican counterpart Manuel Gonzalez Sanz hold a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 9, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Belt and Road Initiative will help to facilitate infrastructure construction in Latin America and enable stronger connections with China, said a senior government official from Uruguay.

"Stronger infrastructure development will help to promote collaboration, trade efficiency and cooperation in finance and other sectors in Latin America," said Rodolfo Nin Novoa, the foreign affairs minister of Uruguay.

Nin Novoa spoke during the annual China-LAC Business Summit, which ended on Friday in Zhuhai, a coastal city bordering the Macao Special Administrative Region.

The China-LAC Business Summit, which was launched in 2007, is seen as a platform for promoting economic, social and trade cooperation between China, Latin American and Caribbean regions.

China, currently the largest trade partner of Uruguay, has become a key destination for Uruguayan exports, with bilateral trade reaching $2.549 billion in 2017.

"Uruguay will open new routes for investment from China, such as in the areas of infrastructure, logistics, tourism, food and textiles," said Nin Novoa.

Uruguay was the first country in the Latin American region to sign a cooperation agreement with China on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jose Luis Bernal, the Mexican ambassador to China, said a number of Chinese companies are participating in infrastructure construction in Mexico.

"Mexico is building stronger relations with other Latin American countries, and working together to cultivate economic and business ties with China," said the ambassador.

The Belt and Road Initiative will help Mexico to access new opportunities for cooperation with China, as Mexico shares competitive resources with other Latin American countries, he said.

Chinese technology giant Huawei Technology and CNOOC, or China National Offshore Oil Corp, have boosted their investment in Mexico, helping facilitate 4G telecom networks and port construction, he said.

China's trade with the Latin American regions reached $260 billion in 2017, with Chinese direct investment climbing to $387 billion as of last year, according to Gao Yan, chairwoman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

"China has become the second-largest trade partner for Latin America. The Belt and Road Initiative will further promote bilateral trade and help facilitate social exchanges and investment," said Gao.

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