SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile’s businessman president met with the Chinese vice president Thursday and offered his country as a platform for China to expand its business dealings in Latin America. After signing a series of economic agreements, President Sebastian Pinera stressed the importance of China for the Chilean economy, one of the region’s strongest. China is the second largest market for Chilean exports.
“We hope not only to deepen the ties between both countries, but offer Chile as a platform for China to integrate with the rest of Latin America,” Pinera told Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. Xi, who arrived on his final stop of a swing through Latin America, did not directly address Pinera’s comment. He praised the Chilean leader for the recovery from last year’s earthquake and tsunami and the rescue of 33 miners trapped far underground for more than two months.
“There have been major successes in all areas,” said Xi, who is widely mentioned as the likely next president of China. In their meeting, Pinera and Xi signed nine agreements on economic cooperation, including financial, telecommunications and mining. Trade between Chile and China totals about $17 billion a year. China is the primary destination for Chilean copper, this country’s key export.
Pinera became a billionaire by introducing credit cards to Chile and building the region’s biggest airline. – Yahoonews