SANTIAGO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The next Chinese government to be in place in March will usher in a new phase in China-Latin America relations, an Latin American official told Xinhua Wednesday.
At the latest summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Santiago, leaders of the member states ordered their foreign ministers to work toward the establishment of a CELAC-China cooperation forum, said Osvaldo Rosales, director of International Trade and Integration at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The installation of the new Chinese government will coincide with CELAC's new focus to seek permanent dialogue with China, especially around the cooperation agenda proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to Latin America in 2012, Rosales said.
The ECLAC official said there are political will and strategic needs from both sides to build direct dialogue. He believed that 2013 will be a very active year for bilateral exchange.
This June, Chinese and Latin American agriculture ministers will meet in Beijing, which was one of Wen's proposals, he said, adding that ECLAC has organized regional talks to prepare an agenda for the meeting.
He said Latin America offers multiple investment opportunities and a very dynamic market.
That is why Europe now sees with new eyes its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean and some sectors are talking about a tripartite partnership between Europe, Latin America and China through free trade and by taking advantage of the ports in the Pacific Ocean, he said.
CELAC was created in February 2010, and has 33 member countries, which together represent some 590 million people.