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Xi sets $250 bn investments for Latin America, backs south-south coop
January 8, 2015, 5:30 am

File photo of Cuban President Raul Castro (C) with Latin American leaders during the 2014 CELAC meet in Havana [Xinhua]

File photo of Cuban President Raul Castro (C) with Latin American leaders during the 2014 CELAC meet in Havana [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday said China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will eke out the details of a cooperation plan for the next five years.

Xi was speaking at the two-day CELAC meet that opened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday morning.

“I believe that this meeting will achieve fruitful results, give the world a positive signal about deepening cooperation between China and Latin America and have an important and far-reaching impact on promoting South-South cooperation and prosperity for the world,” Xi said.

Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis, Ecuador President Rafael Correa Delgado, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro Moros, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, Mexico’s Minister of Tourism Claudia Ruiz Massieu and ministerial representatives from CELAC member countries are attending the meet.

The 33-member CELAC includes all South American countries and some Caribbean states plus Mexico.

The Chinese President also announced $250 billion in investment in the countries that constitute the bloc over the next 10 years.

The new China-CELAC cooperation plan will cover political security, trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, energy, resources, industry, agriculture and science, Xi said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has already stated that the cash-strapped country has secured more than $20 billion in investment from China in the run-up to the CELAC meet.

Venezuela is suffering due to the sharp downturn in global crude oil prices. Maduro has already announced his tour to China as critical to seek support and new cash injection to shore up Venezuela’s economy.

China is Venezuela’s largest investor and second largest oil customer. Chinese President Xi Jinping was quoted by state-media as saying China understands the impact of the recent oil price slide on the Venezuelan economy  and that China will continue its financial support for the country.

China has also states a new commitment of $7.53 billion in credit lines and loans to Ecuador.

“China-Ecuador ties are developing to reach a historical new high and make new breakthrough. I met President Correa last July in Brasilia and I am delighted to see enterprises, financial institutions and other relevant parties have implemented the consensus reached by us,” said Xi on Wednesday after meeting his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa.

The forum is expected to conclude with the Beijing Declaration, a 2015-2019 China-CELAC Plan of Cooperation, and internal regulations for the forum.


TBP and Agencies

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