Chinese premier arrives in Colombia for official visit
Updated: 2015-05-22 06:04
Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, to start his official visit to the country on May 21. [Photo/english.gov.cn]
BOGOTA - Premier Li Keqiang arrived Thursday for an official visit to Colombia, during which a series of cooperation deals will be signed. This is the first visit to the Latin American country by Chinese premier in 30 years.
During his visit, Li is scheduled to meet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. They will jointly meet with press and attend a seminar on people-to-people exchanges between China and Latin America.
The Premier said that China is willing to work together with Colombia to strengthen cooperation focusing on infrastructure construction, product capacity, equipment manufacturing and agriculture. He also said that China and Colombia should fully use their complementary advantages, consolidate their traditional friendship and expand cultural exchanges.
An array of business contracts and governmental accords ranging from trade, investment, infrastructure construction to manufacturing, agriculture and culture are expected to be signed.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Colombia.
Premier Li Keqiang (L) accompanied by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, reviews the guards of honor at the Presidential Palace after Li's arrival in capital Bogota on May 21, 2015. [Photo/ english.gov.cn]
Beijing and Bogota have seen frequent exchange of high-level visits and steady development of bilateral relations over the past years.
China is now Colombia's second-largest trade partner and two-way trade increased almost 50 percent year-on-year in 2014 to reach $15.6 billion.
Li's visit, the Chinese premier's first trip to the South American country since he took office in 2013, comes about four months after the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in Beijing.
It was at the meeting that China and Latin American countries agreed to increase their trade to 500 billion dollars by 2025. China also pledged to bring its accumulative investment in the region to 250 billion dollars by then.
Colombia is the second leg of Li's four-nation tour to Latin America which has taken him to Brazil and will also take him to Peru and Chile.