Leaders establish China-CELAC Forum
The China-CELAC Forum was officially established on Thursday after the meeting between leaders from China, Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Brasilia.
It was the first collective meeting of China’s president and leaders of Latin American and Caribbean countries.
In his keynote speech, President Xi Jinping laid out his vision for a new pattern of China-Latin America relationship based on common destiny. in Latin American and the Caribbean.
He also offered to extend a credit line of up to $10 billion to nations of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) via the Bank of China.
Latin American media called the event of “historical significance”. CELAC, established in December 2011, is the largest regional political cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and consist of 33 countries except the United States and Canada.
CELAC’s leadership includes the foreign ministers of Costa Rica, the current rotating chair, Cuba, the previous rotating chair, Ecuador, the next rotating chair, and representatives from the Caribbean community.
During a recent interview with media from four Latin American countries in Beijing, Xi said effort from all the involved parties has established the forum.
Calling economic cooperation an important pillar of China-Latin American relations, Xi said establishing the forum and advancing comprehensive cooperation between the two sides fits the trend of regional and inter-regional cooperation and is shared by all countries involved.
CELAC approved a special statement on the establishment of a China-CELAC forum at its second summit held this January in Cuba and agreed to hold the forum’s first meeting in 2014.
The trade volume between Latin America, the Caribbean and China has seen a significant increase in recent years, reaching $261.6 billion in 2013.
China, the US and the European Union, are now viewed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean as the three major economies that will influence the economic growth of region.