Over 700 Chinese and Latin American businessmen are in Bogota for the third China-Latin America Business Summit, which seeks to strengthen investment ties and reciprocity in trade between the two regions.
200 hundred Chinese, 300 Colombian and 300 other Latin American businessmen are attending the summit, the first of its kind in Colombia, according to the Colombian Foreign Ministry.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez will meet privately with the Chinese government delegation during the summit to discuss developing bilateral trade options. The two countries signed a bilateral investment treaty in 2008.
“This meeting is very important for Colombia,” David Barriga, president of Asia Consulting told El Tiempo, “because our country was recently approved as a destination for Chinese citizens”.
Minister for Commerce, Industry and Trade Luis Guillermo Plata said the Colombian government hopes to cement a formal business relationship with China and its investors.
“The idea is that this event sets the stage for more Chinese businesses to come to Colombia to invest and generate employment,” Plata said.
According to Plata, Chinese investment in Colombia is already on the rise with US$15.3 million invested in 2008.
In the first China-Latin America summit held in Chile in 2007, entrepreneurs from China and 19 Latin American countries attended. The second meeting held in China last year involved approximately 800 entrepreneurs from China and 23 Latin American countries, in addition to diplomats and government officials. During that meeting, entrepreneurs signed a series of agreements on trade cooperation. Some Chinese companies like Alibaba (e-commerce giant) reached various cooperation agreements with companies from Brazil, Uruguay and Peru, among other countries, totaling more than US$70 million.