China’s push into the Caribbean and Latin America will take on even greater significance next month when the Asian giant hosts countries from the region at a major trade exposition.
At the same time, China will be developing special facilities in the city of Zhuhai to accommodate investors from the Latin America and Caribbean region, as it continues its push for growth while providing opportunities for several trading partners around the globe.
China has described the expo, set for November 9 to 11 in the southern city of Zhuhai, as a new chapter for relations between China and Latin America.
Vice-mayor of Zhuhai Zhu Qingqiao, in a press briefing with journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean, said China has great interest in developing further cooperation with countries from Latin America and the Caribbean and will be developing facilities to facilitate trade and investment for the region.
Zhu said the exposition will be a win-win for China and the nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, as the respective governments participating will not only be discussing investments but will be given opportunities to showcase their cultures and promote tourism. The 150,000-square-metre exhibition hall is expected to have a range of goods on display, particularly agricultural and sports products, health and medical services, and mineral products. The theme is ‘Truly Connected’.
China’s President Xi Jinping, in a message published in a special magazine for the expo, said: “At present, the relations between China and Latin America and Caribbean countries are presented with important opportunities and blessed with better conditions and a more solid foundation for further development.
“China always views its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean countries from a strategic and long-term perspective, and is ready to work hand in hand with Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote the comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit, and common development between the two sides.” This, he added, will better benefit the people of China, Latin American and Caribbean countries, and the rest of the world.
Sponsored by the China Chamber of International Commerce, the expo is jointly organised by the People’s Government of Zhuhai, Guangdong Provincial Department of Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Guangdong Committee, as well as the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone — Zhuhai Heng Qin New Area. The expo is expected to have more than 2,000 guests and executives from the political and commerce. More than 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries are expected to participate, while there has been interest from enterprises in several other countries, Switzerland, Japan and India.
Organisers say the expo is China’s platform dedicated to economic and trade cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Zhuhai is one of the early special zones that has turned from a sleepy fishing village to a modern and green city full of opportunities,” said Zhu. He added that the city of Zhuhai has undertaken robust economic and social development since the Chinese Government decided to open up its market, and has a great geographical location as it borders Macao and is close to Hong Kong.
The completion later this year of the 55-kilometre-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will usher in even greater prospects for cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the vice-mayor.
“Zhuhai is one of the most attractive regions in the country for investments,” said Zhu, as he listed the opportunities provided in the special economic zone, an efficient transportation hub, and the legal framework provided for environmental protection and investments.
Described by the vice-mayor as a suitable city for working and living, Zhuhai, has a per capita GDP of US$20,000.