China has reiterated its commitment to push for more business opportunities in Latin America by issuing special calls for broadening investment on both sides of the Pacific.
Meeting for the VII China, Latin American and Caribbean Business Summit in San Jose, Costa Rica, more than 1,000 private and government sector officials from China and across the region gathered to discuss how to accomplish their goals.
“Widening the entries in markets is where the potential for trade lies on both sides,” said Wang Qinmin, vice president for the Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the consultative arm of the Chinese Communist Party.
Trade between Latin America and China multiplied by 21 in the past 12 years, from $12 billion in 2000 to $250 billion in 2012
With economies slowing down in Europe and the United States, China is looking for new horizons. The plan is expected to consolidate business by taking advantage of three free trade agreements signed between Beijing, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.
Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González said that more than 1,500 meetings and discussions of numerous projects had set the pace for the summit. Costa Rica established relations with China in 2007.
China is looking directly at Latin America for new markets. “On this international stage, China is a valid option,” said González, explaining that the region should look to penetrate Chinese markets further. The foreign trade minister helped negotiate the Central American free trade pact with the United States.
As one of the largest investors in the world, China is seeking to encourage investment flows and it hopes to cultivate more business in Latin America, despite the region’s infrastructure problems. Among the sectors being looked at by Chinese businessmen are the telecommunications industry, hydraulic networks, and maritime and air transportation systems.
“Chinese investment has been diversifying and getting away from just exploiting natural resources,” González said.
For his part, Wang said that China will continue to clean up its bureaucracy, “broaden incentives and give advice to encourage Chinese companies to invest abroad.”