Opportunities and challenges in China-Latin America and the Caribbean cooperation in the post-crisis era (2)

16:24, May 16, 2011      

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just now, I talked about the opportunities we enjoy in our cooperation. Now I would like to talk about the challenges we face. Internationally, we face such challenges as the enormous uncertainties in the world economic recovery and the widening gap between the North and the South. We both face such problems as the rising price of bulk commodities, the mounting inflationary pressure, the excessive liquidity and the abrupt large-scale cross-border capital flows. Domestically, we shoulder such heavy tasks as the industrial restructuring and infrastructure construction. There is a long way to go for both of us to improve economic competitiveness and ensure balanced economic and social development. And in spite of the rapid development of China-LAC relations in recent years, we still need to further enhance our mutual understanding and strengthen the social foundation for our cooperation.

Under the new circumstances, we need to seize the opportunities, properly address challenges, stay united, trust each other and seek common development through cooperation. To this end, I would like to make the following four proposals:

First, we need to enhance strategic mutual trust. Over the recent years, China-LAC political relations have kept deepening. President Hu Jintao visited the LAC region four times and leaders from this region also paid visits to China. China has established strategic partnerships with Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela and maintains good communication and coordination with LAC countries in many multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the G20, BRICS and APEC. In developing China-LAC relations, we should adopt a strategic and long-term perspective, lay stress on the strategic consensus of mutual benefit and common development, promote high-level exchanges, and improve existing dialogue and consultation mechanisms. We should continue to have close coordination on major international affairs, and enhance political mutual trust so as to lay a solid political foundation for China-LAC cooperation.

Second, we need to expand practical cooperation. To expand our practical cooperation will help bind us more closely together and solidify the foundation of our relations. For the past decade, China and LAC countries have deepened cooperation in trade, investment and project contracting and, at the same time, extended the cooperation into finance, infrastructure construction, agriculture and high and new technologies. We have accomplished a number of key projects together. The Chinese government supports capable and credible Chinese enterprises in making investment and doing business in LAC countries and encourages them to pay equal attention to economic and social benefits, to help upgrade local industries, and to promote sustainable development. Mutual benefit, win-win progress and common development are the starting point and ultimate goal of China-LAC cooperation.

Third, we need to fully tap the potentials in our cooperation. While deepening our cooperation in traditional areas, we need to give further play to our comparative advantages and work together to create new highlights of cooperation. We need to focus on exploring emerging strategic areas, including new energy, new materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, green economy, bio-industry, and scientific and technological innovation. We should seize the opportunities brought by industrial restructuring, rapid economic and social development and accelerated regional integration, further tap the cooperation potentials in aerospace and aviation, automobile manufacturing, electronic information, machinery and equipment, and major infrastructure construction.

Fourth, we need to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges. We live in an era of globalization and information, and new communication media keep emerging. This has created good opportunities for China and LAC countries to transcend the differences in language, geography and culture. Over the past years, China and LAC countries have carried out many people-to-people exchange and cooperation programs in social, cultural, education and sports fields and have achieved fruitful results. However, there is much more that can be done. We need to continue to increase exchanges between political parties, parliamentarians and experts so that we can learn from each other's experience of governing the country, deepen our friendship and lay a more solid social foundation for China-LAC cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

President Hu Jintao stated clearly in his address at the just concluded third BRICS Leaders Meeting that "China welcomes the participation of all countries in its development endeavor. We will share development opportunities with other countries, and expand the dimensions of opening up. We will contribute to the development of the region and the world through our own development and share prosperity with people around the world." China-LAC relationship is now at a new historic starting point. I am convinced that with our joint efforts we will seize the opportunity and take China-LAC relations to a new high.

Thank you.

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