World / China-Peru

China, Peru eye on closer economic ties, cultural exchange

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-22 14:05

LIMA - While China and Peru look forward to much closer economic ties, they also wish to promote cultural exchange and better understand each other so as to build the "community of common destiny".

And Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Peru will inject fresh impetus into such endeavor between the two sides.

In his first trip to Latin America since taking office in 2013, Li proposed enhancing cooperation on expanding production capacity between China and Latin American countries.

After decades of rapid development, China has sharpened its competitive edge in equipment manufacturing and infrastructure construction. And it is willing to export its manufacturing and infrastructure building expertise, as well as capital, to Latin America.

One major construction plan between China and Latin America is the proposed transcontinental railway connecting the Brazilian Atlantic coast with the Peruvian Pacific coast.

During Chinese Premier's official visit to Brazil, the two countries signed agreements worth $27 billion.

Now a trilateral team will be set up to conduct feasibility study on the transcontinental railway, which is expected to facilitate land transport, spur regional economy along the route and create jobs during construction and management.

The railway will not only help South America improve its transportation system and promote regional trade, but also boost the economic and trade cooperation between China and Latin America.

Peru, an important trading partner of China, will benefit from the regional inter-connectivity and closer cooperation with China. China's trade volume with Peru reached $14.32 billion in 2014, with bilateral free trade pact being implemented for five years and bearing fruitful results. China's investment in Peru had reached $14.24 billion by the end of 2014.

The weak recovery of world economy and downturn pressure affect major raw material exporters, such as Peru. The Peruvian government has worked to diversify domestic production by boosting nontraditional exports, such as seaweed meal, giant squid, fruits and vegetables, to reduce its reliance on raw material exports.

As part of that push, Peru's nontraditional exports to China reached more than $467 million at the end of 2014, double that four years ago, and with a further estimated goal of $25 billion in 10 years.

Peru's agricultural and fishery products are seeking new markets such as China, where the need for natural food is growing steadily.

During his visit to Peru, the Chinese Premier will hold talks with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and meet with Chinese business people in Peru.

In addition, the leaders of two countries will also attend some cultural exchanges activities. Both China and Peru boast splendid civilizations and cultural exchange may lead to better understanding of diverse civilizations and subsequently benefit overall relations of different countries.

In a South American country which has preserved great Inca civilization sites such as Machu Picchu, the ancient Chinese culture may also arouse a lot of interest.

In Peru where a sizable portion of people have either Chinese origins or certain connections with China, cultural exchange could be a plus to economic ties.

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