Economic cooperation between China, Latin America ‘pragmatic:’ Costa Rican diplomat
Published: Jan 14, 2022 08:43 PM
Jimena Jaen Baltodano, charge d' affaires of the Costa Rican Embassy in China Courtesy of Costa Rican Embassy in China

Jimena Jaen Baltodano, charge d' affaires of the Costa Rican Embassy in China Courtesy of Costa Rican Embassy in China

China's economic cooperation with Latin America is pragmatic, and Chinese coronavirus vaccine has played a key role in their strategies to combat the epidemic, Jimena Jaen Baltodano, charge d' affaires of the Costa Rican Embassy in China, told the Global Times, against the backdrop of China's growing mutually beneficial economic ties with the region.

"For Costa Rica, most of the international aid received at the beginning of the fight against the COVID-19 has come from Asia, with China standing out as one of the main contributors of medical supplies as well as technical assistance," Jimena said, noting that the Latin America country has also enhanced the exchange of experiences among medical experts with China as cooperation.

According to Jimena, the Latin America region has received a considerable donation from China, especially masks, respirators, protective equipment and vaccines.

The economic cooperation between China and Latin America currently covers many fields including trade and investment, finance, agriculture, energy and resources and tourism, she said.

Highlights of cooperation projects between the two countries include the infrastructure construction such as the National Stadium and municipal water supply project between Cañas and Bebedero, as well as educational cooperation such as Confucius Institute and donations for the strengthening of national security such as motorcycles and planes for the police force. 

Within the framework of the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Forum, China and Latin American countries will deepen the international cooperation in services industry and e-commerce, as well as digital economy and sustainable development, Jimena added.

"The cooperation between government and enterprises to form professional capacities is also of importance, especially for Costa Rica, because our economy is largely based on service exports," Jimena noted.

"Our country has released the national decarbonization plan in order to achieve continuous economic growth based on sustainable development. We know that China is also committed to the decarbonization of its economy," Jimena said, noting that in the future, the two countries can provide a good environment for better cooperation to realize carbon emission goals.

This year marks the 15thanniversary of China and Costa Rica establishing diplomatic relations, and Costa Rica was also the first Central American country to establish diplomatic ties with China.

China has now become Costa Rica's second most important exporter. In 2020, digital products were the main imports from China, including cell phones, computers and TV screens, representing a value of $2091 million.

The value of exports to China in 2020 reached $180 million, accounting for 1.5 percent of exports in Costa Rica. In 2020, the main exports to China included frozen boneless meat, infusion equipment, prosthesis for medical use and frozen meat pieces.

As the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games draw near, Jimena also voiced confidence on China's ability to keep all the athletes and people involved safe during the games. "I think China has done a very good job in terms of prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic during the Beijing Winter Olympic Games," Jimena said.