Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

New model to boost South-South ties

By Gina Caballero (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-30 08:57

President Xi Jinping visited four countries in Latin America between July 15 and 23, where he held decisive bilateral and multilateral meetings. On his second visit to Latin America and the Caribbean within a year, Xi highlighted China's commitment to advancing Sino-Latin American comprehensive cooperation. Judging by the countries (Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba) he visited and the China and Latin America and Caribbean Leaders Summit at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, last week, China has not only demonstrated its great interest in expanding relations with the region at large, but also has invited it to take active part in defining them.

The developing world's contribution to the growth and prosperity of the world economy has been increasing. Trade among developing countries has been on the rise over the past two decades. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, their share of total world goods trade grew from 8 percent in 1990 to 28 percent in 2012. Also, they have become dynamic players in the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI). UNCTAD estimates show developing economies received a record $759 billion in 2013, accounting for 52 percent of the world's total. Their share of outbound FDI increased, too, to a historic high of 31 percent in 2012.

It is against this surge in South-South relations that China and Latin America and the Caribbean are seeking to deepen their development cooperation. They are doing so also because their developing paths are moving toward a crossroad. Both are embarking on reforms and crafting social pacts to trigger systematic changes that raise productivity, technological capacities and living standards. Hence, as China and the region intensify trade and economic relations they are becoming increasingly aware of the need to edify a new cooperation architecture, which creates the right incentives for joint endeavors pursuing inclusive and sustainable development.

Latin America and the Caribbean are now beginning to approach China with a more regional focus. The joint declaration of the leaders at the summit in Brasilia is a remarkable outcome of the efforts China and the region have made throughout the years to upgrade relations.

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