|Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming (L) meets with Colombia's Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Sergio Diaz-Granados during a press conference in Bogota, Columbia, Oct. 2, 2012. Chen Deming has led a government trade delegation to Colombia to strengthen bilateral economic and trade ties. (Xinhua/Hou Xiwen)
BOGOTA, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming has led a government trade delegation to Colombia to strengthen bilateral economic and trade ties.
During the two-day visit, which started Monday, Chen co-chaired the eighth meeting of the China-Colombia Mixed Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation with Colombia's Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Sergio Diaz-Granados, attended a bilateral trade and investment forum and held talks with Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs Patti Londono.
Chen's visit aims to implement the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries during Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos' visit to China in May as well as a strategic measure proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to develop China-Latin America economic and trade ties in his June speech delivered at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
At the meeting of the mixed committee, the two sides exchanged views on the feasibility of reaching a free trade agreement between the two countries and agreed to hold a meeting in China next month to work on the issue.
The two sides also reached consensus on encouraging cooperation among enterprises in both countries in fields such as mining, clean energy, innovative and high technology, infrastructure and agriculture.
While meeting with Londono, the two ministers agreed to further promote bilateral economic and technological cooperation.
During the visit, the two countries signed a number of economic and trade agreements, including a bilateral agreement on economic and technological cooperation and a memorandum of understanding on strengthening trade remedy cooperation.
Trade between the two countries totaled 8.23 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, an increase of 40 percent from the previous year, making China Colombia's second largest trade partner.
In the first eight months this year, bilateral trade volume has increased 15 percent year on year.