MONTEVIDEO, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Uruguay will be significant for strengthening political mutual trust and deepening friendly cooperation between the two countries, Chinese Ambassador to Uruguay Qu Shengwu told Xinhua in an interview.
The two-day visit that starts from Friday will be Wen's first visit to Uruguay and meanwhile part of his first trip to the South American continent.
It will be another major diplomatic event between the two countries after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Uruguay last year and Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro's visit to China earlier this year.
Bilateral relations have been developing smoothly and friendly cooperation between the two sides in various fields has been deepened continuously thanks to the great attention paid by and joint pushing by the two governments since China and Uruguay established diplomatic ties in 1988, Qu said.
China and Uruguay have become good partners that trust each other and are engaged in reciprocal cooperation, the ambassador said.
Two-way trade volume topped 3.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, growing nearly 30 percent year-on-year, despite the international financial crisis and the sluggish world economy, he said.
Currently, China is Uruguay's second largest trade partner and the largest importer of Uruguay's wool, soybeans and paper pulp.
Qu hopes that new areas of trade could be explored and trade could be expanded and optimized with the support of the two governments.
As bilateral ties forge ahead, people-to-people exchanges have become closer between the two countries, Qu said.
More and more Uruguayans are interested in learning the Chinese language and culture. Over 30 students from Uruguay are studying in China, Qu said.
During his stay in Uruguay, Wen will meet with Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, Vice President Danilo Astori, and President of the Chamber of Representatives Jorge Orrico.
The two sides will release a joint statement and sign a series of cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, technology, agriculture and quality surveillance.
Qu believes that Wen's visit will inject new vigor into China-Uruguay friendship and cooperation.