BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- China and Latin American countries should make concerted efforts to weather the financial crisis, Cheng Siwei, chairman of the China-Latin America Friendship Association, said Tuesday.
He made the comment at an academic forum, stressing further cooperation as the financial crisis poses challenges for both China and Latin America.
As developing countries, China and Latin American nations should focus on building confidence, maintaining economic growth, boosting employment and enhancing social cohesion, he said.
He said there is huge potential for cooperation and they should forge links to a new higher level.
Wang Weiguang, executive vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said further cooperation would help maintain stability and sustain the world economy.
China has become the third largest trade partner of Latin America and the largest in Asia, according to a yellow book issued by CASS on Tuesday.
China's trade with Latin America reached about 143.4 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 39.7 percent year on year, according to the General Administration of Customs.
The report said Latin American countries are expecting more cooperation with China and suggested Chinese companies should adopt a long term strategy to expand investment in Latin America.