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InvestChile meets with a hundred potential investors at China-LAC Uruguay

  • Some 3,000 businesspeople, of whom 700 were Chinese, attended the Summit.

A record of over 700 Chinese companies attended the XI China-LAC Business Summit, which took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, between November 30 and December 2.

InvestChile investment promotion executive, Alicia Zhu, attended the annual event where she was able to meet around a hundred potential Chinese investors, principally from sectors such as infrastructure, energy and global services. 

“There is an extremely positive perception of Chile among Chinese companies. A few years ago, they knew little about the country but now recognize its economic and political stability and show a great deal of interest in investing in all the region,” reported Zhu, who also pointed out that a number of the delegations to the Summit also subsequently visited Chile.

Zhu also noted the participation in the Summit of the China-LAC Cooperation Fund, a Chinese government initiative that promotes and co-finances Chinese investment in Latin America. “This shows true interest on the part of the central government in increasing the flow of Chinese capital to the region,” she added.

The China-LAC Summit is organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Inter-American Development Bank. It brings together company representatives and government authorities. In 2018, it will be held in the city of Zhuhai in China.

The Belt and Road

Inaugurating the Summit’s plenary session, Uruguay’s President Tabaré Vázquez indicated that “our aim is to agree on a joint action plan of cooperation.” He added that he had received an “interesting proposal from China” with “audacious” ideas such as the establishment of a free trade area between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and China, the intensification of financial cooperation and the development of infrastructure.

Former President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, Chile’s ambassador for Asia-Pacific, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying that “we have top-level political, economic and trading relations, we are strategic partners and we are working in multiple sectors.” 

“The Belt and Road is a policy that will allow us to implement great infrastructure projects in the region. It will mean lending, investment and complementarity with companies from our countries and opportunities to compete in global markets. That means development. That is what the Road and Belt means,” said Frei.

Chile and China have had a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since October 2005 and China is Chile’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching US$31,474 million in 2016.