At least a thousand investors from Latin America and Asia are expected to take part in the third China-Latin America business summit, to be held in Bogota on 25 and 26 November.
Director of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Lei Hong, said that there is “important progress and investment cooperation that exists between businessmen from both sides, that are now more willing to explore the world of business between Asia and Latin America.”
This third summit seeks to strengthen investment ties and reciprocity in trade between the two continents, which in Colombia’s case is favorable to China, as the two countries signed a bilateral investment treaty in 2008.
“We hope to increase our investment in sectors like infrastructure, technology, oil and telecommunications. Similarly we seek to Colombian products like coffee, scrap metal, ferro-nickel, raw materials and natural resources to increase their participation in the Chinese market,” said Hong, as reported by financial site Dinero.
Although Colombia has shown economic interest in the Asian continent and the Pacific Rim, it has only recently begun to take concrete actions to move closer, and to think more about attracting investment into increased exports to the advanced and thriving region, reports financial news source Portafolio.
Bogotá was selected to host the third meeting in February this year after a request made directly by President Alvaro Uribe to his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao during the APEC summit held in Lima, Peru in 2008.
Last Thursday in Bogota the Foreign Ministry and Diplomatic Academy hosted a forum entitled ‘Integration of Latin America in the Asia Pacific’, with the aim of generating interest among businesses and in academia regarding the importance of the insertion of Colombia into this region.
The Chilean director of the Division of International Trade and Integration of Cepal, Osvaldo Rosales, stressed the importance of China in the international arena: the world’s second largest economy, leading exporter of goods and seventh largest exporter of services, first holder of international reserves and treasury papers of the United States, the world’s leading automotive market, among other data which shows its exponentially growing power on the global economic market.
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.
However, intensifications of Colombo-China relations are not limited to trade and business. The Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra will tour 14 Chinese cities in November.