Colombian President seeks to promote technological exchanges during Shanghai visit

By Wang Jiamei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/29 21:23:40

Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez speaks at the Baidu (Shanghai) Innovation Center on Monday. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

China and Colombia should strengthen exchanges in the innovation field, which is expected to give a boost to economic development, Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez said in Shanghai on Monday morning.

Duque made the remarks during a visit to Changyang Campus in Shanghai on Monday morning. Known as one of Shanghai's first artificial intelligence (AI) innovative industrial zone, Changyang Campus has hosted dozens of AI companies, including Baidu (Shanghai) Innovation Center, AI-powered English learning platform Liulishuo, and Accenture's China Digital Hub.

During his visit to Baidu's offices on the campus, Duque said he was honored to visit such an important innovation hub, which represents the development trend of the future.

He said that there are two significant events to come for China and Colombia: The 40th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Colombia diplomatic relations, and the Colombian Embassy in China will soon sign a cooperation agreement with Baidu.

According to Duque, Baidu could become an important platform for Chinese people to learn about Colombia, especially about Colombia's tourist attractions. "Current data show that only 15,000 Chinese people travel to Colombia every year. We hope the number could be expanded three times, four times or even five times," Duque said.

The president also invited Baidu and other Chinese companies to invest in Colombia's technology sectors, noting that Colombia is becoming the leader in Latin America in terms of technology start-ups.

The Colombian government is reportedly making efforts to diversify the country's economy away from oil and coal, which account for nearly 50 percent of its exports.

Duque also visited the Yangshan Deep Water Port, China's biggest automated container port, Monday afternoon.

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duque is currently paying a state visit to China from July 28 to 31 to strengthen economic and trade exchanges between the two countries and to promote Chinese investment in Colombia. The state visit marks Duque's first state visit to China since he was elected Colombia's president in 2018.

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