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Minister Muñoz inaugurated the II CELAC-China Forum Ministerial Meeting: "The alliance between Latin America, the Caribbean and China seems fundamental to us"

Monday, January 22, 2018

"I would like to welcome you to this historic event", with those words, Minister Heraldo Muñoz began his opening speech at the II Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and China Forum, in which 25 Foreign Ministers and delegations from 31 countries are participating in the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago. The opening ceremony was also attended by President Michelle Bachelet, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Salvador's Ambassador to Chile, Víctor Manuel Valle, representing Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez.

The CELAC-China Forum, which has as its motto "Working for more development, innovation and cooperation for our people", seeks to establish an integral cooperation partnership together with a new structure of relations between the member countries of the bloc and China, based on equality, mutual benefit and common development. Politically, it aims to build trust, while economically it seeks to strengthen cooperation, shared benefits and mutual learning.

In that regard, Minister Muñoz stressed in his speech that "the alliance between the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and China is fundamental to us. Cooperation, investment, trade and connectivity are areas where we can work together, but not only together, but also at the multilateral level where we have strong similarities".

The Secretary of State said that "we consider this meeting to be very important at a time when multilateralism would seem to weaken, where there are countries that have withdrawn from fundamental agreements, such as the Paris Agreement to combat climate change". In this regard, he added that "we believe that we must open more doors to free trade, that we must build more bridges to cooperation, that we must know how to open doors and regulate immigration, that we must know how to handle globalization, it is inevitable, and that it is a globalization for all".

During this meeting, they are expected to approve the Santiago Declaration and a Joint Action Plan of Cooperation that defines the priority areas for the 2019-2021 exchange of CELAC and China, highlighting renewable energy, innovation in science and technology, infrastructure, environment (natural disasters and ocean pollution) and tourism.