Printing supplies, modern logistics, petrochemicals, and home electric appliances led the 73 projects worth more than 3.2 billion yuan ($490 million) signed at the China-Latin America & Caribbean International Exposition as of Nov 9.
Agreements for 12 projects were signed during the opening ceremony chaired by Zhuhai Mayor Yao Yisheng at Zhuhai's International Convention & Exhibition Center, a promise of further trade ties. The signings were witnessed by leading government officials from China and many other countries.
The expo, which closed on Nov 11, was themed Bosom Friends Make Distance Disappear. It attracted 523 enterprises and associations from 24 Latin American and Caribbean states and 33 other countries.
It was a major boost for bilateral cooperation and highlighted the latest technologies and competitive products from China, neighboring countries, and from across the Pacific.
China-Latin America Economic & Trade Cooperation Park, with investment of 2.5 billion yuan ($370 million) debuted during the inauguration. The park has a construction area of 244,000 sq m, large enough to host myriad activities promoting cultural communication, tourism, cross-border e-business, and economic, trade, and modern business services.
Opening ceremony of China-Latin America & Caribbean International Exposition [Photo by Li Jianshu / Zhuhai Daily]
Chen Yunxian of the Party Leadership Group of Guangdong Province pictured a bright future in the new century for trade and economic cooperation between China, Latin America, and Caribbean states in his welcoming speech.
Chen stressed the critical connection between southern China's coastal province and Latin America as an important part of the Maritime Silk Road. The province was the birthplace of the ancient Chinese sea routes and shares many similarities with Latin America. The latter is benefiting from the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in terms of industrial development and foreign trade structure.
According to Chen, there is much room for cooperation. With this background, Guangdong will continue strengthening exchanges and cooperation with countries and regions in emerging markets such as Latin America by encouraging Guangdong enterprises to "go global," said Chen.
The expo is backed by the central government and is of significance for China-Latin American relations in the new historical period. It is being held at the right time and in the right place, according to Lu Pengqi, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
Zhuhai's advantages as host were promoted by city Party Chief Guo Yuanqiang, who cited openness, innovation, ecology, civilization, and vigor. Guo called for the conference to bring friendly and close contacts between enterprises in China and Latin America, adding new vitality to pragmatic cooperation.
Many national representatives, including Yamandú Orsi, governor of Canelones Department, Uruguay, expressed their desires for win-win cooperation and deeper bilateral exchanges.
China has become an important trade partner of Latin America. Trade volume has increased by a factor of more than 20 over the past 10 years. What's more, next year is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Uruguay and China, which is anticipated to be another new beginning for cooperation in business and investment.
As the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations arrives, Mexico looks forward to deepening exchanges with China and promoting cooperation in trade, investment, finance, and logistics, said Ambassador Jose Luis Bernal. And thanks to Zhuhai, numerous Mexican enterprises and institutions interacted with Chinese merchants, a sign of maturing bilateral relations, he added.
Ecuadorian Ambassador to China José María Borja López; Fang Aiqing, former vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce; and Hu Zhengyue, vice-chairman of the China Public Diplomacy Association attended the opening ceremony. Others included Ye Dabo, commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Macao Special Administrative Region; Sun Da, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR; Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Macao secretary for economy and finance; and Ma Iao Lai, president of the Macao Chamber of Commerce, and deputy head of the Committee for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Compatriots and Overseas Chinese of the CPPCC National Committee.
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and former Chilean president Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle sent congratulatory messages.
The exposition is sponsored by the China Chamber of International Commerce and organized by the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province, Zhuhai government, CCPIT Guangzhou Committee, and China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai.