China, Chile aim to double trade by 2015: Premier Wen
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Top metals consumer China and world No. 1 copper producer Chile plan to double their bilateral trade to $60 billion by 2015, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday during an official visit to Chile.
China has made relatively few major investments in the Andean country, despite being its main trade partner and sharing a free trade agreement.
"The president and I have agreed to double bilateral trade by 2015, to reach $60 billion in volume," Wen said during a joint press conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
Trade between the two Pacific Rim countries is currently around $30 billion. The Asian giant's avid demand for commodities has boosted the economies of many export-dependent Latin American countries.
"These are two countries that can perfectly complement each other, most of all because Chile is a highly rich country, intensive in commodities that China is going to need to continue growing at the same rhythm," said Benjamin Sierra, financial markets economist at Scotiabank in Santiago.
Wen, on the last leg of an official visit to Latin America, struck a series of accords with Chile.
The leaders signed a deal to give investors security for their investments in either of the two countries, Chile's foreign minister Alfredo Moreno told Reuters. Further details of the agreement were not immediately available.
Chinese renewable energy company Sky Solar, state-backed China Development Bank and Chilean industrial group Sigdo Koppers plan to make a Chinese firm's biggest investment in the Andean country: a $900 million solar energy park, export promotion agency ProChile said on Tuesday.
In addition to producing around a third of the world's copper, Chile has a strong wine, salmon, fruits and forestry industry.
(Reporting By Anthony Esposito; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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