Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds talks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota, capital of Colombia, May 21, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]
BOGOTA — China and Colombia on May 21 pledged to seek cooperation in a host of areas including production capacity, equipment manufacturing and infrastructure construction to boost economic ties.
The move came as visiting Premier Li Keqiang met with the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the presidential palace in Bogota.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation deals in areas including trade, production capacity, infrastructure construction, culture, education, science and technology, agriculture and finance. The two governments issued a joint declaration after the talks.
The two countries also reached a consensus to launch a feasibility study on the China-Colombia bilateral free trade agreement and discuss the pact to avoid double taxation.
Premier Li said that with the two economies being strongly complementary, China and Colombia have broad prospects of cooperation.
China stands ready to expand mutual investment and advance the industrial connection with the Colombian side, he said.
The premier said that his government will focus on developing the cooperation in production capacity and equipment manufacturing with the South American country.
Premier Li said China supports its enterprises to actively participate in the infrastructure construction in Colombia, including highways, subways and ports.
He also stressed that China welcomes enterprises from developed countries to jointly push forward Colombia’s process of industrialization.
China and Colombia should discuss models of financial cooperation to support the two countries’ cooperation in production capacity and equipment manufacturing as well as infrastructure construction, the Premier said.
Premier Li’s visit to the South American country also marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Colombia.
Premier Li said that his country is willing to enhance political mutual trust and practical cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges and closely coordinate and cooperate with Colombia in international and regional affairs, so as to better benefit the two peoples amid reaffirmed friendship.
“China attaches great importance to the cultural exchanges and mutual understanding with Colombia,” the premier said.
“We stand ready to closely cooperate with Colombia in areas including culture, education, science and technology, tourism and sports to expand non-governmental exchanges,” he said.
For his part, Santos said that he believes Premier Li’s current visit will become a landmark in the development of the Colombia-China bilateral relations.
Colombia welcomes Chinese side’s active participation in the infrastructure construction including highways, subways, airports and ports and construction of the economic development zone in the country, he said.
The president said that the two sides should seek cooperation in production capacity, equipment manufacturing and agriculture, enhance financial cooperation and expand tourism cooperation.
Premier Li arrived in Bogota on May 21 for an official visit after his trip to Brazil, the first leg of his four-nation Latin America tour which will also take him to Peru and Chile.
His 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, where 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.