Li: 'Great potential' for Sino-Colombian ties

Updated: 2015-05-22 11:50

By ZHAO YINAN in Bogota, Colombia(China Daily Latin America)

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Li: 'Great potential' for Sino-Colombian ties

Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. [Photo/Xinhua]

Bilateral trade with China has grown from $22 million in 1980 to $15.6 billion in 2014, and China has become Colombia's second-largest trade partner, with a focus on mining, telecommunications and infrastructure.

Li is scheduled to hold a cultural seminar with Chinese and Colombian scholars on Friday, before heading to Peru, the third leg of his four-nation trip, which concludes in Chile.

Tang Jun, deputy head of the Institute of Latin American Studies at Zhejiang International Studies University, noted that Colombia has seen its trade with China grow rapidly in recent years, while that with the US, a traditional ally, has been sluggish.

"Future highlights for China-Colombia industrial cooperation may include those in mineral mining and processing, agricultural processing sectors, mechanical and electronic products," Tang said.

As bilateral economic and trade ties grow closer, the cultural link will need greater emphasis, Tang suggested. He noted that Colombian literature is a symbol of Latin America, as exemplified by the writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

"Marquez has exerted direct, great influence upon contemporary Chinese literature, including Mo Yan, who will attend the event during Li's visit," Tang said. "That's why they arranged such a seminar on culture in Colombia."