Foreign Affairs Minister, Francine Baron, will be part a three person delegation which will represent Dominica at the 1st ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC forum to be held in Beijing from Jan 8 – Jan 9, 2014.
Foreign ministers or representatives from China and CELAC, together with heads of some Latin American regional organizations will attend the meeting, according to a CCTV website.
The two sides will use the forum for collective dialogue on politics, economics, trade and culture.
China is willing to engage in dialogue with other Latin American organizations to build a cooperative network enabling the two sides to complement each other with their own advantages, Hua Chunying said.
CELAC was established in December 2011 in Caracas, Venezuela and comprises all countries in North and South America with the exception of the United States and Canada.
China is the second largest trade partner and the third largest investor of Latin American and Caribbean countries, a release from the Chinese Embassy in Dominica states.
In 2013, the bilateral trade volume between China and CELAC countries reached USD $261.57 billion, according to the information from The Embassy.
The release adds that China’s total investment to the region was USD $86 billion. In January-November 2014, trade volume between China and CELAC countries amounted to USD $241.93 billion, an increase by 1.3% as compared with the same period in 2013 and in the first half of the year 2014, investment to the region from China was USD $9.06 billion.
It says further that cooperation has also been fruitful in areas such as energy, natural resources, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, manufacture and high-technology.
According to the Chinese Embassy statement, in January, 2014, the 2nd CELAC Summit adopted the Special Declaration on the Establishment of the China-CELAC Forum, which laid down the important groundwork for initiating the comprehensive cooperation between China and Latin American and the Caribbean countries.
In July, 2014, at a “historical” meeting in Brazil, leaders of China and Latin American and the Caribbean countries jointly announced the establishment of China and Latin American and the Caribbean “partnership of comprehensive cooperation featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development, the official set-up of China-CELAC forum,” the release from the Chinese Embassy states.
The leaders also agreed to convene the First Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum.