Colombia moves positively toward BRI

By Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/14 22:43:03

Colombian government's discussions on joining the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) are moving forward in a positive way, visiting Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said at a press conference on Friday in Beijing.

Trujillo had a meeting with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan Friday morning. The two sides reviewed current international challenges and agreed to strengthen multilateralism to deal with them.

He also met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday, and discussed core issues of the bilateral agenda and the opportunities to promote exchanges, including political visits, bilateral cooperation and economic ties.

They held an extensive exchange of opinions on different global issues including topics such as drug trafficking and corruption, and the challenges facing international multilateral institutions, Trujillo said.

In a meeting with Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun, Trujillo said they talked about a possible joint project to identify potential sectors and products for investment, cooperation, and production, while taking both Colombia's potential as a major agricultural producer and China′s needs into account.

"We also reviewed technical cooperation and activities in research, training, pest control, among others. We deeply value all the collaboration received from China in recent years," Trujillo said.

Trujillo will visit South Korea and Japan on Saturday. It is his first visit to Asia.

Trade volume between China and Colombia in 2017 was worth $11.3 billion, indicating a year-on-year growth of 21.5 percent, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) website.

"Comparatively, Colombia provides better political and legal environment for investment than other Latin American countries, especially after the government signed its peace agreement with the biggest rebel armed force last year," Dong Jingsheng, deputy director of Peking University's Latin America Research Center, told the Global Times on Friday.

China can help the country improve infrastructure facilities if the latter joins the BRI, Dong pointed out.

China has become Latin America's second largest trading partner, which is also the second largest destination for China's outbound investment, second only to Asia, Gao Feng, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said at a press briefing on November 29.

In the first nine months of this year, trade volume between China and Latin American countries grew by 20 percent year on year to $228.6 billion, according to Gao.


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