By Xinhua Writers Ye Shuhong, Mao Pengfei
BUENOS AIRES, May 26 (Xinhua) — Increased cooperation between China and Latin America is a boon to both sides.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s just-concluded four-nation tour of Latin America, which took him to Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile, has greatly enhanced bilateral cooperation in various field.
A spate of agreements signed during Li’s visit are mutually beneficial as Latin America is now keen to expand infrastructure and upgrade industries while China boasts cost-effective capacity, integrated technology and financial power.
Li’s proposal to have China-Latin America collaboration re-oriented to industrial capacity cooperation and the equipment manufacturing sector, with a focus on logistics, electricity and IT industries, fits well in with regional integration strategy proposed over the past five years by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to improve the manufacturing industry, infrastructure construction and intra-regional communications, analysts here said.
Latin American entrepreneurs have hailed Li’s insight and welcomed the bilateral agreements, which will bring investment and technology and create new points of growth.
Cooperation between China and Latin America has progressed gradually over the years, with political trust increasing in pace with personnel exchanges, and bilateral trade expanding beyond exchanges of raw materials, to links through market, investment and financing.
According to ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena, Latin America has become an investment destination for China.
Bilateral trade rose to 263.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 from 12.6 billion dollars in 2000. By the end of last year, Chinese direct investment in Latin America amounted to 98.9 billion dollars, making China the latter’s second-largest trading partner and third-largest investor, according to Chinese official figures.
The IT market, for example, has seen the share of Chinese businesses on sharp rise. In July 2014, Chinese firm Baidu launched a new Portuguese-language search engine in Brazil, and three months later, it purchased the latter’s leading online discount shopping site Peixe Urbano.
Another Chinese firm, Alibaba, via Aliexpress, has raised its online business volume to 20 percent of Brazil’s total online commerce.