Lead­ers es­tab­lish China-CELAC Fo­rum

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG FAN in Brasilia, and CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton

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.

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