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Visit to boost China-Colombia trade, infrastructure cooperation

Updated: May 21,2015 4:16 PM     Xinhua

BOGOTA — Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Colombia is expected to enhance bilateral practical cooperation, particularly in trade and investment and infrastructure.

Li is scheduled to arrive in Bogota on May 21 for an official visit after his trip to Brazil, the first leg of his four-country tour which will also take him to Peru and Chile.

During his stay in Colombia, Li is expected to meet President Juan Manuel Santos. They will meet with the press and attend a seminar on people-to-people exchanges between China and Latin America.

A joint declaration between the Chinese and Colombian governments is expected to be issued during the visit.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It will be the first time in three decades for a Chinese premier to visit Colombia.

Nonetheless, Beijing and Bogota have seen frequent exchange 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.

“Cooperation between China and Colombia is facing a new opportunity,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao said before the trip.

He said that during Li’s visit, China and Colombia will sign an array of business contracts and governmental accords in areas including trade, investment, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, culture and education.

Li’s visit 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.

At the meeting, China and Latin American countries agreed to increase their trade to $500 billion by 2025. China also pledged to bring its accumulative investment in the region to $250 billion by then.

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