SANTIAGO, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Latin America's
economy complements China, Li Meng, vice chairman of the National Committee
of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said here
In a speech at the opening ceremony of the first
session of the China-Latin America Business Summit, Li said China's stable and
speedy growth offers enormous opportunities for Latin America, whose economies
complement that of China in many areas.
He praised the groundbreaking role played by Chile,
which was the first Latin American nation to sign a free trade agreement with
He also recommended business people foster staff
exchanges and mutual understanding. He said the conference which "reflects
China's and Latin America's willingness to deepen their business relationships,"
should become a mechanism for permanent business collaboration.
The summit in the Chilean capital was opened by Chile
President Michelle Bachelet, who said free trade was a lever for greater
economic growth. She said Chile's exports to China had grown by 140 percent and
imports from China by 40 percent since the free trade agreement between the two
countries took effect last year.
Bachelet insisted on the need to boost friendship
between the Pacific Ocean nations. "We had looked at the Pacific as something
that divides us. Now we see it as something that unites us," she said.
The president said Chile could be a platform for
trade and investment ties between the two sides. "China has replaced the United
States as Chile's biggest trading partner." she said.
Entrepreneurs from 16 countries, including China,
Argentina and Brazil, and representatives from several international
organizations are taking part in the meeting which ends on Wednesday.