Chinese VP's visit to Uruguay to promote bilateral trade relations

16:08, June 09, 2011      

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China's Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Uruguay will enhance China's relations with the country and other Latin American countries, said Qu Shengwu, Chinese ambassador to Uruguay.

During the visit, Xi will meet with Uruguayan President José Mujica, hold talks with his Uruguayan counterpart Danilo Astori and sign a series of cooperation agreements, Qu said.

Qu said that 2011 marks the 200th anniversary of the independence of Uruguay and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. This is the first visit by a Chinese leader to Uruguay since Mujica took office and is an important diplomatic visit in the development process of China's relations with Uruguay and other Latin American countries.

Qu said that although Uruguay is far away from China, there is a solid friendship between the people of the two countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1988, the two countries have carried out fruitful cooperation, conducted frequent high-level exchanges and continuously enhanced political mutual trust.

Furthermore, the increasing cultural exchanges have also increased the understanding and friendship between the people of the two countries. China and Uruguay have maintained close communication and cooperation in handling international affairs and safeguarding the interests of developing countries. China is satisfied with the smooth development of its relations with Uruguay.

As for the bilateral economic and trade ties, Qu said that the trade between China and Uruguay has maintained a rapid development momentum over recent years. The bilateral trade value set a new record in 2010, reaching about 2.6 billion U.S. dollars. This represents an increase of 69 percent from a year earlier. China has become Uruguay's second largest trade partner. Both the goods exported from Uruguay to China and the export structure are increasingly diversified.

It is noteworthy that China's cumulative non-financial investments in Uruguay exceeded 12 million U.S. dollars as of the end of 2010, which mainly focused on the auto manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. Although the investment scale is not large, the investments have had considerable influence. For instance, Chinese automaker Chery has become a well-known enterprise in Uruguay. The company's investment projects in Uruguay have not only created job opportunities but also made China's cheap and quality autos available to local citizens.

Qu said, "The two economies are highly complementary, and their economic and trade cooperation has great potential. I believe that Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping's visit will greatly advance the sustainable, stable and sound development of the bilateral economic and trade ties."

Along with the ongoing deepening of China-Uruguay relations, the two countries have also made increasingly close exchanges and cooperation in terms of culture and sport. Qu said that more and more Uruguayans have started to learn Chinese, and Chinese people are familiar with Uruguayan soccer stars, such as Diego Forlan and more and more Uruguayan soccer players have come to play for Chinese soccer clubs.

Qu said that the two sides are expected to sign tourism and cultural cooperation agreements during the visit, which will promote the cultural exchanges between the two countries. Furthermore, some local universities have shown interest in setting up Confucius Institutes in Uruguay.

By People's Daily Online
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