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China's Hebei to host 10th China-LatAm Business Summit

THE 10th China-Latin America Business Summit will take place on Oct. 14-15 in Tangshan, a city in northeast Hebei province, visiting Chinese officials announced this week in Costa Rica's capital San Jose.

At the presentation on Friday, China's Ambassador to Costa Rica Song Yanbin underscored the importance of business leaders from both countries actively participating in the event.

The summit is the first institutional mechanism designed by China expressly to promote economic and trade cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, said Song.

John Fonseca, Costa Rica's deputy minister of foreign trade, said the day's presentation and upcoming summit aimed to allow the two's business sectors "to get to know each other better."

"Since we established diplomatic ties and our bilateral free-trade agreement, our trade flows have developed and diversified," said Fonseca, adding official figures show trade between Costa Rica and China amounted to 2.02 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

Hebei, which covers some 188,000 square kilometers, is China's sixth-largest regional economy, officials highlighted during the presentation.

The province boasts solid industrial foundations and a thriving agricultural sector that produces vegetables, grains and meats. Hebei can move a billion tons of goods through its five airports and three ports.

Costa Rica's former ambassador to China and former minister of foreign trade Marco Vinicio Ruiz said the summit offers Costa Rican and other Central American business owners a significant opportunity to meet and network with their counterparts in China, especially Hebei.

"The province of Hebei is one of the leading zones for trade and development with China," said Ruiz.

"For Costa Rica, which already has a free-trade agreement with China and a reciprocal investment promotion accord, it is an enormous opportunity, because it allows us to offer the country as a center of operations for Chinese companies from the region (Hebei) that want to come and do business," Ruiz added.

Hebei has the infrastructure needed for logistics and storage, as well as for such activities as roasting and selling Costa Rican coffee, said Ruiz.

Hebei has seen significant growth in recent years, benefiting from a Chinese government strategy to boost development.

China and Latin America alternate host the summit, which is organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Costa Rica hosted the summit in 2013.


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