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BEIJING -- China and Costa Rica will look to cooperate on a number of areas including transportation, power, education, science and culture.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda met in Beijing, on Friday, and outlined how they planned to boost cooperation with each other.
The countries will explore ways of working together in transportation, power and other infrastructure development as well as strengthening exchanges in education, science and culture, Wen said
Since establishing diplomatic relations five years ago, the relationship has progressed. "It has not only benefited the two countries and their people, but also contributed to the friendly ties between China and Latin American states," Wen said, adding that the relationship was based on mutual respect.
China will implement all the cooperative documents, make use of the bilateral free trade agreement, increase imports from Costa Rica to diversify trade relations and expand investment with each other.
The countries signed their bilateral FTA in April 2010, which came into force on August 1, 2011. It has enabled a majority of Costa Rican products to enter the Chinese market, free of duty.
China is Costa Rica's second largest trade partner, with trade volume totalling $4.72 billion in 2011.
Wen appreciated Costa Rica's active role in supporting China's dialogue and cooperation with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. He said the country will work with Costa Rica to create a new chapter of China-Latin America relations.
Chinchilla hailed the progress of the relationship and said the free trade agreement has promoted the growth of bilateral trade.
She said her country attached great importance to the opportunities provided by China's development and hoped to boost cooperation in economy and trade, infrastructure development, education, culture, justice and science.
Premier Wen's policies to enhance Latin America-China relations were mentioned in his speech at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean in June.
On Friday afternoon, China's legislator Wu Bangguo also met with Chinchilla and called on the two countries to enhance cooperation between legislative bodies.
Wu said the two countries' increasing parliamentary exchanges and cooperation played an important role in the development of relations.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, said the NPC attached importance to friendly cooperation with the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.
The NPC is ready to conduct more exchanges in broader areas with the assembly, Wu said.
Chinchilla echoed Wu, and hoped for more visits between senators to help strengthen relations.
Chinchilla arrived in Shanghai on Sunday to start her state visit, her first stay in China since taking office in May 2010.