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Premier Li visits Colombia, boosting economic ties

Trade, investment and cooperation on technology and science are just some of the topics that are set to be addressed during Li’s two-day visit to Colombia.

Premier Li was received with Military honors in Bogota. The visit is the first by a Chinese Premier in three decades. His host Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos used the occasion to reiterate the importance of trade relations between the two countries.

“Our bilateral commerce, is today 15 times bigger that we had 10 years ago, we reached in 2014 more than $17,000 million, but there’s a much bigger potential to explore and increase in both directions,” he said.

During a joint press conference various agreements were signed by the leaders to advance Colombia-China cooperation on infrastructure, education, and to promote tourism, manufacturing and technology exchanges.

Premier Li pointing out China was interested in a greater variety of imports from Colombia.

“We are ready to import more products from Colombia like coffee, and other agricultural products. China is not looking for a trade surplus, contrariwise, we hope to see a balance in this bilateral commercial trade, because this balance can help to create a healthy development between China and Colombia,” he said.

President Santos thanked China for its support of Colombia’s efforts to end 50 years of armed unrest. And the visitors announced a further $8 million towards programs in support of the post conflict era.

“China will continue to support the peace process in Colombia, and we hope that Colombia under President Santos governance, can continue moving forward in this peace process,” Li said.

On May 22, Premier Li attends a celebration of 35 years of diplomatic relations between Colombia and China. Writers and the Cultural Ministers of both countries will participate in a literary exchange. From there, Premier Li moves on to the next stop on his South America tour — Peru.