SAN JOSE, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao, who arrived here on Sunday for a state visit to Costa Rica, expressed his hope that the visit would further China's cooperative relations with the Central American nation.
In a written speech issued upon his arrival at the airport, Hu said Costa Rica is an important country in Central America and also an important cooperation partner of China in the region.
Since China and Costa Rica established diplomatic ties in June 2007, bilateral relations have developed rapidly and friendly cooperation has been expanded in various fields, he said.
"China and Costa Rica, both as developing nations, share the common task of safeguarding world peace and promoting common development," Hu said.
The Chinese leader said that during his visit he will exchange views with President Oscar Arias Sanchez and other Costa Rican leaders on bilateral ties and major international issues of common concern.
Hu expressed his belief that his visit would fulfill the goal of deepening friendship, strengthening mutual trust, enhancing cooperation and seeking common development.
During his visit, the two countries are expected to sign agreements on cooperation in the economic, trade and technological sectors.
This is the first state visit to Costa Rica by a Chinese head of state since the two countries set up diplomatic ties last year.
President Oscar Arias Sanchez visited China in October 2007, laying a solid foundation for the mutually beneficial and friendly cooperative relations between the two countries.
China is Costa Rica's second biggest trade partner. In 2007, bilateral trade registered a 33-percent increase over the previous year, totaling 2.8 billion U.S. dollars.
The Chinese president, who is on a five-nation trip, flew into San Jose from Washington, where he attended a Group of 20 summit on the current international financial crisis.
He will later visit Cuba, Peru and Greece, and attend the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the Peruvian capital of Lima.