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Chilean President Bachelet and China’s Xi Jinping Confirm Potential for Greater Economic and Political Ties

Chilean President Bachelet and China’s Xi Jinping Confirm Potential for Greater Economic and Political Ties


Nov. 12, 2014 (EIRNS)–Prior to departing Beijing, where she attended the APEC summit, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet met with her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, during which, as she reported afterward, the two reviewed their bilateral ties and “agreed on accelerating our efforts so that our joint action plan can become reality as quickly as possible.”

Recalling the countries’ 45 years of diplomatic ties, Bachelet emphasized that “China is our most important trading partner and we see ample opportunity for [this relationship] to continue growing,” Chile’s {24Horas} reported today. The Asia-Pacific, she said, “is the most dynamic region in the world economy and an area of great relevance for our natural ties, in which, rather than separating us, the Pacific unites us.”

In another pointed reference to the desirability of creating the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), proposed by China, Bachelet noted that the two leaders had identified several goals for the next year, leading into the 2015 APEC summit in the Philippines, including greater inclusive economic growth, and “to begin to take much more rapid steps, so that, in the not-too-distant future, we may sign a Free Trade Agreement with {all} the nations of the Asia-Pacific, and, in particular, all the nations of APEC.”

The Chilean President also highlighted the importance of the upcoming meeting of the China-Celac Forum–Celac is the organization of Latin American and Caribbean States–that will be officially inaugurated in Beijing in January. Chile, she added, can play a vital role as a bridge between the Asia-Pacific region and South America.

During her speech at the “Invest in Chile” seminar in Beijing, Bachelet reported that she was “very happy about the good news” that the China Construction Bank (CCB) will soon be opening offices in Santiago, Chile, to offer services to Chinese companies investing in the region. CCB already has offices in Brazil, and will soon be opening branches in Lima, Peru, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but Santiago will serve as the bank’s regional headquarters, according to Andreas Pierotic, the commercial attache at the Chilean embassy in Beijing, told {Mercopress} that CCB is China’s second-largest and most important bank, and first in investment in Chinese projects, and thus has “a lot of experience in project financing… If we’re looking for Chinese investment in Chile, having this bank as a `partner’ is very positive for Chile,” he underscored.

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