Chinese premier arrives in Colombia for official visit

2015-05-22 00:42:55 GMT2015-05-22 08:42:55(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BOGOTA, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese PremierLi Keqiangarrived here Thursday for an official visit to Colombia, during which a series of cooperation deals will be signed.

Upon his arrival, Li said that the relationship between China and Colombia has entered a new era and is faced with new opportunities, adding that bilateral practical cooperation in various areas is accelerating.

On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, Li said, the visit is aimed at consolidating China-Colombia traditional friendship and taking full advantage of their complementary competitive edges along with the Colombian side, with a focus on cooperation in such areas as infrastructure construction, industrial capacity and equipment manufacturing, and agriculture.

The two countries also need to promote future-oriented people-to-people exchanges so as to speed up Colombia's peace process and socioeconomic development, promote common development and achieve common prosperity with tangible fruits of mutually beneficial cooperation, he said.

During his stay in the South American country, Li is scheduled to meet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. They will jointly meet with press and attend a seminar on people-to-people exchanges between China and Latin America.

An array of business contracts and governmental accords ranging from trade, investment, infrastructure construction to manufacturing, agriculture and culture are expected to be signed.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Colombia.

Beijing and Bogota have seen frequent exchanges of high-level visits and steady development of bilateral relations over the past years.

China is now Colombia's second-largest trade partner and two-way trade increased almost 50 percent year-on-year in 2014 to reach 15.6 billion U.S. dollars.

Li's visit, the Chinese premier's first trip to the South American country since he took office in 2013, comes about four months after the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in Beijing.

It was at the meeting that China and Latin American countries agreed to increase their trade to 500 billion dollars by 2025. China also pledged to bring its accumulative investment in the region to 250 billion dollars by then.

Colombia is the second leg of Li's four-nation tour to Latin America which has taken him to Brazil and will also take him to Peru and Chile.


Editor: Zhao Wei
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