Interview: Chinese investment to diversify Latin American exports: commerce minister

14:04, May 14, 2011      

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Latin American countries can attract more Chinese investment to help diversify their exports to China, visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Buenos Aires recently.

Currently, Latin American countries including Argentina mainly export primary products such as farm produce and minerals to China.

"The fundamental way to change the situation is Latin American countries open their markets, improve the investment environment and offer better infrastructure, so that more Chinese entrepreneurs will invest," Chen told Xinhua in an interview.

Through cooperation with Latin American partners, Chinese companies can make a variety of products and help enrich their exports, he said.

"Many Latin American countries abound in natural resources and produce lots of farm products, and are competitive in exporting these goods," Chen said, adding China has the advantage when it comes to making manufactured products such as clothes, shoes, caps and electronics.

This has resulted in the current Latin America-China trade structure, which sees Latin America mainly export primary products to China, Chen said.

"China is willing to help diversify Latin America's exports to China, and welcomes more exports with high added value from the continent," he said.

Chen revealed that the Chinese government has adopted a series of measures to boost Latin American exports to China.

For example, he said, an exclusive exhibition area has been reserved for Latin American products at the annual China Import and Export Fair held in southern China's Guangzhou city.

"China will also help popularize some competitive Latin American goods such as Argentine wine," he said.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez met Chen Thursday, and both sides agreed to energetically promote bilateral trade.

Fernandez expressed the hope that Argentina could export more high value-added products to China, while China could invest more in her country.

Chen said China hoped Argentina would further improve its investment environment to facilitate China's investing in the country.

Chen arrived here Wednesday for a visit aimed at strengthening the bilateral strategic partnership and consolidating China-Argentina trade relations.

He was leading a delegation of some 80 Chinese entrepreneurs from the energy, mineral, auto, agriculture, infrastructure, science and technology, food and oil, telecommunications, chemical, finance and trade fields.

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