China-LAC Business Summit kicks off; cooperation injects more certainty, stability amid global changes
Multilateral relations develop rapidly amid global changes
Published: Nov 02, 2023 11:47 PM
Trade and investment promotion agencies of China and Latin American and Caribbean countries release the China-LAC Business Cooperation Beijing Initiative

Trade and investment promotion agencies of China and Latin American and Caribbean countries release the "China-LAC Business Cooperation Beijing Initiative" in Beijing, on November 2, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of CCPIT

Over the years, China-Latin America relations have developed rapidly in an all-round way in a changing world with downward pressure on the global economy. This outcome is thanks to the unwavering confidence in our current prospects and the strong desire to build a China-Latin America community with a shared future, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng said on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the 16th China-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Business Summit.

As a result of increasingly close relations, China-Latin America cooperation has become a case of win-win development. 

Since 2012, China has been the second-largest trading partner of Latin America and the Caribbean countries, while Latin America has become an important destination for Chinese enterprises to invest overseas, Han said.

During the opening ceremony, bilateral trade and investment promotion agencies released the "China-LAC Business Cooperation Beijing Initiative," which aims at promoting cooperation in the digital economy, agriculture, culture and tourism, as well as the green economy, while building a China-LAC community with a shared future.

Initiated in 2007, the China-LAC Business Summit is held annually by China and Latin American countries in rotation. At the 2023 summit, more than 1,000 people attended the opening ceremony, including government officials, businesspeople, experts, scholars and representatives of international organizations from China and 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

"The economies of China and Latin America are highly complementary and enjoy broad space for cooperation. We should unswervingly deepen political mutual trust, promote people-to-people exchanges, and strengthen cooperation in the economy, trade, agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare and other fields," said Han.

Han stressed that China-Latin America cooperation will inject more certainty, stability and positive energy into the world.

"We are ready to work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to make more high-quality contributions, promote the better development of China-Latin America relations in the new era, build a China-Latin America community with a shared future, and bring more benefits to the Chinese and Latin American people," said Han.

Participants also expressed their will to increase cooperation with China.

China's steadfast commitment to collaboration and partnership has borne fruit over the years. This summit represents yet another remarkable opportunity, Guyanese President Irfaan Ali said at the opening ceremony on Thursday via video link.

"Together, we can continue to create the conditions to facilitate improved business and trade between China and the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean," said Ali, noting that in a world marked by increased global interconnectivity, it becomes the collective responsibility of nations to come together.

The success of this 16th China-LAC Business Summit will ultimately be measured by the extent to which we can forge new business contacts and connections, promote increased trade, and attract greater investment between China and Latin America and the Caribbean countries, said Ali.

There is great potential for cooperation between China and Trinidad and Tobago, Sekou Alleyne, president of InvesTT, Trinidad and Tobago's national investment promotion agency, told the Global Times on Thursday at the sidelines of the summit.

"We're looking to develop more industrial parks to support more Chinese investment coming into Trinidad and Tobago. We're looking to partner with Chinese firms to help develop our entrepreneurship culture. Meanwhile, we see potential in digital areas."

Melissa Chen, manager of Flor de Oro SA, a Panama-based import and export company, told the Global Times on Thursday that China's market is huge, with much potential. The company will soon export seafood to China, including shrimp, crab, yellow croaker and tuna.

"At the end of November, Panamanian coffee beans will be ripe and hopefully they will be exported to China in large quantities after picking and processing," Chen said.