SAO PAULO – The executive director of the Uruguayan government’s export and investment promotion agency called for closer trade ties between Latin America and China during Thursday’s presentation in Brazil of the China-Latin America and Caribbean Business Summit, which will be held in late November in the Uruguayan seaside resort of Punta del Este.
“Some Latin American countries have trade agreements with China, like Mexico and Chile, and last year Uruguay’s president (Tabare Vazquez) visited China to take part in the China-LAC and raised the possibility of a trade agreement, which is on the agenda of the Mercosur” trade bloc, Uruguay XXI’s Antonio Carambula told EFE.
In that regard, Carambula said the Asian giant was very attentive to food safety and that many Latin American countries – and Uruguay in particular – were poised to benefit because they have focused on that issue.
But for Latin America to achieve those export objectives, the region must sign trade deals with Beijing and insert itself into the “New Silk Road,” an initiative promoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders that is shaking up global trade, Carambula said.
The China-LAC Business Summit, which is to run from Nov. 30 until Dec. 2 in Punta del Este, is the most important business gathering linking China and Latin America and is expected to attract the participation of more than 700 companies from both regions.
Latin America, “which according to the (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) is the world’s top food producer, needs markets for its products, and China needs those products to feed its population and markets in which it can invest,” he added.
China is the Latin American and Caribbean region’s leading trade partner and has become the world’s second-leading source of outward foreign direct investment, while Uruguay is looking to leverage its geographical location to serve as Beijing’s main gateway to the region, Uruguay XXI said in a statement.