|Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Fortaleza, Brazil for a summit of the BRICS countries, July 14, 2014. (Photo/Xinhua)|
China's economic cooperation with Latin America is accelerating due to the country's expanding domestic demand and the region's economic restructuring, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
"Latin America is a vibrant and promising market. China and Latin America highly complement each other economically," a ministry official said.
"China's huge domestic market has a great future, while Latin American countries are restructuring their economies and boosting infrastructures. This is not only an important base for further expanding China-Latin America economic cooperation, but also the biggest advantage for cooperation in the near future."
Bilateral economic ties have developed rapidly since China was admitted into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and have seen increasing convergences in recent years.
China is Latin America's third-largest trade partner after the United States and the European Union, while the region is China's seventh-largest trade partner.
Bilateral trade in 2013 edged up 0.1 percent year-on-year to $261.57 billion. China's exports to the region dropped by 0.7 percent to $134.27 billion while its imports grew by 1 percent to $127.3 billion, according to the General Administration of Customs. China's trade with Latin America was $12.6 billion in 2000.
Through the first four months of the year, bilateral trade rose by 6.1 percent from a year earlier to $80.09 billion. China's exports to the region declined by 1.9 percent to $39.35 billion while its imports surged by 15.2 percent to $40.74 billion.
"On the whole, bilateral trade still centers on traditional products, but both sides should encourage the trade of high-tech and high-value-added products," said the ministry official.
"But the two sides need to further expand cooperation. China has advantages in areas such as solar power and large equipment while Latin America is promoting low-carbon economy, leaving great potential for entrepreneurs to usher in new cooperation into these areas."
The official also suggested greater two-way direct investment because of the region's rich resources, stable economic environment and sound legal framework.
"The Chinese government encourages domestic enterprises to increase their investment in Latin America and welcomes more investment from the region. Investment cooperation can center on sectors such as new energy, new materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, bioindustry, technology innovation and advanced manufacturing. Great potential is also envisioned in aerospace, auto manufacturing, electronic information, mechanical equipment and large-scale infrastructure," the official said.
In recent years, China's direct investment in Latin America grew rapidly in energy and minerals, manufacturing, power, agriculture and finance. In 2013, China's nonfinancial direct investment in the region jumped 42.9 percent year-on-year to $15.16 billion, according to the ministry.
From January to May, China's spending in the region reached $5.33 billion, according to the ministry.