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Trade between China and Latin America increases

Trade between Latin America and China multiplied by 21 in the past twelve years, from 12,000 million dollars in 2000 to 250,000 million in 2012. Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister, Anabel González, described the figures as stunning and emphasized that they still needed to work on the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to facilitate trade between the parties.

Gonzalez revealed the data during the VII China, Latin America and the Caribbean Business Summit. "We need to accompany the building of an enabling environment for business with actions, such as this summit, to foster closer business levels that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and understanding between the parties, and that will ultimately lead to an increase, diversification and sophistication of trade flows," stated the minister.

González commented that, in 2012, China was the largest investor in the world, so one of the goals of future for Latin America and the Asian giant is to encourage investment flows. "We are facing a change in the Chinese model that is leaning towards domestic consumption, so their economy will open up," added the Colombian, Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the IDB, during the Business Summit.

Moreno said that with this change in Chinese policies, the country would need more imports of Latin American goods; hence, it was necessary to have more interaction between the businessmen from both sides. "There is no doubt that Latin America produces basic commodities and has a very competitive food sector. This region accounts for 18% of the arable land in the world," said Moreno, referring to the opportunities that Latin American agricultural products had.

The President of IDB also indicated that both regions could cooperate in the exchange of information and strategies on issues such as urban development. "80% of Latin Americans live in cities, this is the most urbanized region in the world, while, currently, in China, 51% of the population lives in the cities; a figure that could increase. This is a very important area of communication," Moreno said.

In turn, the Vice President of CCPIT, Yu Ping, mentioned in the press conference that "both parties have a strong demand for the products of the other party and their trade complements each other very well."

Source: FAO

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