Foreign and Military Affairs

China key partner for Chile: Chilean minister

Updated: 2011-06-11 10:42
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SANTIAGO - China is a fundamental partner for Chile in its effort to become the first developed country in Latin America, Chile's Minister Secretary-General of the Presidency Cristian Larroulet said Friday.

During the 5th meeting of the Chile-China Business Council, which was also attended by visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Larroulet said China "is a fundamental partner to reach one of the main objectives of the Coalition for Change government - for Chile to become the main developed country in Latin America at the end of this decade".

"The government will continue encouraging the exchange and the excellent ties between both countries," he said.

He added that Chile is an excellent destination for Chinese investments because of its dynamic economy, transparency and strong democracy.

Larroulet said that despite the great impact of the February 2009 earthquake, the Chilean government has reactivated economic growth, which this year is expected to reach 6.5 percent.

Xi, on his first visit to Chile after becoming the Chinese vice president, met Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Thursday noon, when both leaders pledged joint efforts to enhance trade and investment links.

Later both witnessed the signing of nine cooperation agreements on mining, agriculture, communications and other areas.

Xi arrived in Santiago early Thursday morning. Chile is the last leg of Xi's current four-nation trip that has already taken him to Italy, Cuba and Uruguay.