China-CELAC Forum to focus on cooperation

World Today

CHINA-COSTA RICA-XI-SOLISCosta Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solis (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) hold a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on January 6, 2015. Solis is on a visit to China from January 4 to 10. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Andy Wong

Beijing is set to host the first forum between leaders from China and CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States this Thursday and Friday.

The forum, focusing on key issues to establish further cooperation across continents, will bring together ministers and delegates in the capital city of China.

Leaders from 30 of the CELAC countries confirmed their attendance on Monday, including Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Delgado and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros.

It is one of the fruits of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Latin American countries last July. Other than signing over 150 agreements to boost cooperation beyond traditional areas, leaders of both sides decided to establish a China-CELAC forum, to further carry out the consensus reached during Xi’s trip.

Xi will deliver a speech at Thursday’s opening ceremony. On Friday morning, Premier Li Keqiang is expected to meet with all delegates to discuss key areas of cooperation.

The outcome from the dialogues will be announced in a press conference later by the Chinese and Costa Rican foreign ministers.

China’s trade with the Latin American community has seen significant growth over the past decade. In 2013, bilateral trade volume reached over 260 million US dollars.

As the forum takes the theme “New Platform, New Starting Point, New Opportunity”, it is expected to set a new stage for the two sides’ future relationships.

Story compiled with information from CCTV News and Reuters. 

CELAC graphic from CCTV News