Op­por­tu­ni­ties await Xi on Latin Amer­i­can visit

He will seek deeper co­op­er­a­tion dur­ing stops in Ecuador, Peru and Chile

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping will leave Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day for a three-stop South Amer­i­can tour that will deepen co­op­er­a­tion with Ecuador, Peru and Chile, de­spite global eco­nomic head­winds, an­a­lysts said.

On his visit, Xi will dis­cuss co­op­er­a­tion in mul­ti­ple ar­eas, in­clud­ing e-com­merce, pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, in­dus­trial parks and in­fra­struc­ture, ac­cord­ing to the For­eign Min­istry. Xi will also at­tend the 24th Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Lead­ers’ Meet­ing in Lima, Peru, on Satur­day and Sun­day.

Most Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries are at an ini­tial stage of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, and they need cap­i­tal and tech­nol­ogy to im­prove man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, re­duce de­pen­dence on the ex­port of raw ma­te­ri­als and boost eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, said Xu Shicheng, a se­nior re­searcher of Latin Amer­i­can stud­ies at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences.

The pres­i­dent’s third Latin Amer­i­can trip comes at a time when op­por­tu­ni­ties abound to ex­pand re­la­tions in the re­gion, since China has ad­van­tages in cap­i­tal and equip­ment as well as ex­pe­ri­ence in in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, Xu said.

Xi has al­ready vis­ited the re­gion twice since be­com­ing pres­i­dent in March 2013. He trav­eled to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mex­ico in 2013, be­fore vis­it­ing Brazil, Ar­gentina, Venezuela and Cuba in 2014.

Jorge Heine, Chilean am­bas­sador to China, said that Chile hopes to ex­port to China more food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, in­clud­ing cher­ries and wine.

“We have 26 Chilean com­pa­nies in Qing­dao. We are di­ver­si­fy­ing our ex­ports to China,” he said early this month.

Heine said the Chilean gov­ern­ment wel­comes more in­vest­ment from China.

“We are keen to have more Chi­nese in­vest­ment,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the am­bas­sador, Chile’s SQM, one of the world’s lead­ing pro­duc­ers of lithium, io­dine and ni­trates, is for sale. The two con­tenders to buy the com­pany, which is worth $4 bil­lion to $5 bil­lion, are both Chi­nese com­pa­nies, he said.

Wu Baiyi, di­rec­tor of the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences’ Latin Amer­ica In­sti­tute, said Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries “are cur­rently af­fected by a weaker global mar­ket and the fall­ing prices of com­modi­ties, and as a re­sult, China’s in­vest­ment will be of great im­por­tance”.

China’s ex­cel­lent pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, es­pe­cially in ar­eas in­clud­ing high-speed rail, hy­dropower and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion, could be ex­ported to Latin Amer­ica to im­prove the in­fra­struc­ture there, he added.

XIA DIWEN / CHINA DAILY

Source: China Daily

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