The China-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and China-LAC Business Council Annual Meeting 2018 were held in Santiago, Chile on January 23.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaotao and Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Chen Zhou attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the forum.

Wang Yi said, China’s economic structure is continuously optimizing and upgrading. In 2017, domestic consumption has contributed more than 65 percent to China’s economy. Recently, an international authoritative institution estimated that the total scale of domestic consumption of China will overtake that of the US in 2018 for the first time. It means that after 2018, China will become the world’s largest market. Regardless of whether this estimation is accurate or not, the scale of China’s potential market is four to five times larger than that of the US. It is also a foreseeable future prospect since it is constantly changing from potential to reality. It is because the power of market exists here. We get markets not by snatching with force, but by diligently exploring.

Wang Yi added, as time goes by, the trade structure between China and the US as well as that between China and other countries will fundamentally change sooner or later. Exports to China by many countries including the US will exceed their imports from China. The trade structure among China and foreign countries will be reversed and it is China who is likely to face deficit. By that time, we will neither threaten anyone with the “Section 301” nor politicize trade issues. We will as always deal with new situations brought by the rules of market from a positive perspective, and promote the greater development of our economic and trade relations with various countries around the world by means of making the cake much bigger.

Munoz said, the China-Latin American relations are at its best period in history. Despite the remote distance apart, the cooperation between the two sides have gone beyond the limit by geography and become much closer. Enterprises of both sides are indispensable for the bilateral cooperation. China-LAC Business Council, established by CCPIT has become major ways of carrying out achievements of China-LAC Economic and Trade Forum and provided an important platform for the dialogue and exchanges for companies of both sides.

Wang Xiaotao made three proposals for deepening China-LAC investment cooperation. First, the investment cooperation will come onto a new stage with the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative. Second, China and Latin American countries shall seize opportunities to explore new growth points for investment cooperation. Third, both sides shall create favorable conditions for deepening China-LAC investment cooperation.

Chen Zhou said, China-LAC relations have seen rapid development in the past few years. The economic and trade cooperation has witnessed an accelerated and high-quality trend.

“Chinese economy has transformed from the growth at high speed to the development with high quality. The consumption and industrial structure has been upgraded. A coordinated development has been achieved between urban and rural areas and among regions, which will definitely provide with a broader market and more precious cooperation opportunities for the world, especially Latin American countries. As China’s largest trade promotion agency, CCPIT is willing to further cooperate with the chambers of commerce and industry of Latin American countries to provide more business opportunities and quality services for enterprises of both sides,” added Chen.

Meanwhile, CCPIT Representative Office in Chile was unveiled at the opening ceremony.

The China-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and China-LAC Business Council Annual Meeting 2018 were co-hosted by CCPIT, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chilean-Chinese, Foreign Investment Committee Chile and ProChile.

About 300 delegates from government departments, chambers of commerce and industry and business community of China, Latin America and Caribbean countries participated in the forum, discussing about the new opportunities for China-LAC cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

(Part of the text from Xinhua)

Source: CCPIT