China and Costa Rica to Boost Cooperation
   2012-08-17 17:54:59    Xinhua      Web Editor: Liuyuanhui

China's President Hu Jintao shows the way to his Costa Rican counterpart Laura Chinchilla during an official welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Aug 16, 2012. [Photo: Asianewsphoto]

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda met in Beijing on Friday, and outlined how they planned to boost cooperation with each other.

China and Costa Rica will look to cooperate in areas including transportation, power, education, science and culture.

The countries will explore ways of working together in transportation, power and other infrastructure development as well as strengthening exchanges in education, science and culture, Wen said.

Diplomatic relations between China and Costa Rica have progressed since being established five years ago. "It has not only benefited the two countries and their people, but also contributed to friendly ties between China and Latin American states," Wen said, adding that the relationship was based on mutual respect.

China will implement all the cooperative documents, make use of the bilateral free trade agreement, increase imports from Costa Rica to diversify trade relations and expand investment in its ally.

The countries signed their bilateral agreement in April 2010, with it coming into force on Aug. 1, 2011. It has enabled a majority of Costa Rican products to enter the Chinese market, free of duty.

China is Costa Rica's second-largest trade partner, with trade volume totalling 4.72 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.

Wen voiced appreciation for Costa Rica's active role in supporting China's dialogue with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. He said the country will work with Costa Rica to create a new chapter in China-Latin America relations.

Chinchilla hailed the progress of the relationship and said the free trade agreement has helped bilateral trade to grow.

She said her country attached great importance to the opportunities provided by China's development and hoped to boost cooperation in the economy and trade, infrastructure development, education, culture, justice and science.

Premier Wen's policies to enhance Latin America-China relations were mentioned in his speech at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean in June.

On Friday afternoon, Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo also met with Chinchilla and called on the two countries to enhance cooperation between legislative bodies.

Wu said the two countries' increasing parliamentary exchanges and cooperation played an important role in the development of relations.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress(NPC), China's top legislative body, said the NPC attached great importance to cooperating with the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.

The NPC is ready to conduct more exchanges in broader areas with the assembly, according to Wu.

Chinchilla echoed Wu, and hoped for more contact between senators to help strengthen relations.

In a meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, the two leaders reviewed the fruits achieved by the two countries since their establishment of ties and pledged further development of the relationship.

Xi said the two countries, with joint efforts, have witnessed stronger political mutual trust, fruitful economic and trade cooperation, and increasing cultural exchanges in the past five years.

China attached great importance to friendly ties with Costa Rica and was ready to join hands with it to promote in-depth development of the bilateral relations, Xi told his guest.

Chinchilla said the consensus reached by the two sides during her China visit will help further progress of the ties, and she voiced willingness to promote the relations in all areas.

The president also reiterated Costa Rica's steady adherence to the one-China policy.

Xi stressed the importance of Latin American countries in international affairs and called for stronger cooperation between them and China.

He said China will coordinate more closely with Costa Rica, and exchange views on the development of China-Latin America relations, so as to promote continuous development of their comprehensive relationship of cooperation.

Chinchilla arrived in Shanghai on Sunday to start her state visit to China, her first since taking office in May 2010.

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