China has pledged to nearly double annual trade with Latin America to US$500 billion within 10 years as it hosts a forum with nations from the region, attempting to increase its influence in an area considered the backyard of the United States.
President Xi Jinping also pledged at the opening of the two-day meeting to boost China’s direct investment in the region to U$250 billion within a decade.
“The relationship between China and Latin America is on an upward trend. Mutual political trust between the two has also been boosted,” Xi said.
Future increased co-operation between the two sides would have a significant impact on global prosperity, he added.
Leaders and ministers from about 30 Latin American and Caribbean states are gathering for the forum in Beijing.
They will be discussing boosting co-operation with China over the next four years on security, finance, infrastructure, energy and technology.
Beijing has been strengthening its foothold in the region since last year.
China has seeking ways to meet its energy demands, triggered by its expanding economy, while Latin American nations want Chinese capital to help finance their economies.
China also agreed on Wednesday to more than US$20 billion in investment in struggling Venezuela following talks between Xi and the country’s President Nicolas Maduro.
Full article: China pledges to double trade with Latin America within 10 years (South China Morning Post)