Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos will visit China and Singapore on an official state visit next month in hopes of expanding ties with the fast-growing Asian market.
“China is becoming the most important market, the fastest growing in the world, and we must have a presence there,” said Santos, who in turn called Singapore “the most successful country in the world in innovation, entrepreneurship and port and customs management.”
China is already Colombia’s second largest trading partner, with trade valued at $8.23 billion in 2011, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua. China’s Ambassador to Colombia, Wang Xiao Yang expressed the economic giant’s desire to carry on building economic ties between the two nations.
“Chinese companies are keen to participate in infrastructure projects like roads and power plants, so during the visit of President Juan Manuel Santos we will introduce a number of tools to support future relations in economic cooperation and scientific technology,” he told Radio Caracol.
Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maria Angela Holguin said that trade and investment would be the main issues on the agenda during Santos’ visit to Asia, which begins May 9. Colombia’s head of state plans to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister Wen Jibao, the head of the National Assembly and leading entrepreneurs and investors.
“I think the trip will further improve relations with a country like China that is becoming an important market for Colombia,” said Holguin.
The two countries signed five bilateral agreements Monday tightening economic and technical ties.