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Uruguay seeks trade, investment boost through China-LAC Business Summit

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-22 10:09

MONTEVIDEO - Uruguay is working hard to ensure the upcoming China-LAC (Latin American & Caribbean) Business Summit 2017 is successful, as it hopes to boost its business volume with the Asian giant.

In its 11th edition, the fair, which is promoted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), will take place from Nov 30 to Dec 2 in the eastern resort town of Punta del Este.

The government "has fought hard to ensure the (event) is based here... due to the possibility of boosting trade and capturing greater flows of investment to the region and Uruguay," said Antonio Carambula, executive director with Uruguay XXI, the country's foreign trade promotion bureau, in an interview with Xinhua.

"We have a great opportunity to seize this window and see more investments arrive," explained Carambula.

With the objective of promoting this event, Agriculture Minister Tabare Aguerre was in China this week, while Carambula will present the forum to Chinese entrepreneurs.

While Carambula said it is "difficult to calculate" how many people will attend the event, he is hoping for the presence of at least 500 Chinese and Latin American companies. However, he added that "quantity is not as important as quality."

China is the main trading partner for a number of Latin American countries but Carambula feels Uruguay has not received much investment, relative to the region.

He is hopeful that the strategic partnership established between Uruguay and China, during President Tabare Vazquez's state visit to China in October 2016, will represent a turning point.

The forum in Punta del Este will focus on the topics of infrastructure, renewable energy and agribusiness, revealed the executive.

Food security "has allowed us to gain a good presence in the Chinese market and in agribusiness in general," pointed out Carambula. "Uruguay has positioned itself in the Chinese market as an important exporter of agricultural products, including meat, soy, cellulose and dairy."

Carambula pointed out that "in this year so far, Uruguay is the country that has exported the most meat to China."

"We are a country of just over 3 million inhabitants but we have 11 million heads of cattle and the capacity to produce foodstuffs for almost 30 million people. We could even provide it for around 50 million," concluded the executive.

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