China and Chile upgraded their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership and expect to double trade in three years once the bilateral free trade area agreement is completed with investment related supplementary accords.
Premier Wen Jiabao on a Latin American tour spent this week three days in Chile and met with President Sebastian Piñera with whom they announced the China-Chile strategic partnership and a commitment to consider currency swaps and expand the use of the Renminbi in bilateral trade.
Wen called on the two nations to expand trade in goods, promote trade in services and mutual investment and double bilateral trade in three years, a goal achievable given the solid long established commercial and political relations between the two countries.
The Premier said China would like to be actively engaged in Chile's infrastructure construction projects and work jointly to promote the development of transportation networks in Latin America. He also mentioned the need to enhance cooperation in mining, expand farm produce trade and develop agriculture processing technology. Other areas of interest include polar, ocean, space and seismic cooperation.
Premier Wen praised Chile’s ever increasing international standing and competitiveness and proposed people-to-people, cultural and youth exchanges as well a greater emphasis on tourism to further boost “understanding and friendship between the two peoples”.
President Piñera underlined the significance of 42 years of close diplomatic relations with Beijing which has been particularly beneficial for both sides in trade, investment and cooperation in many fields, helping to sustainedly promote the development of Chile.
Chile was the last leg of Premier Wen’s long absence from Beijing which started at the G20 summit in Mexico, followed at the UN Rio+20 sustainable meeting in Brazil and later with visits to Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.
China is the main or second trade partner of the four South American countries.