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Thursday, January 8, 2015, 11:25

Investments in LatAm to hit $250b in next decade

By Agencies

 Investments in LatAm to hit $250b in next decade
Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Gladstone Christie, left, shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they pose for photos before a bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Jan 7, 2015. (AP Photo / Andy Wong, Pool)

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that China's investments in Latin America will hit US$250 billion in the next 10 years and two-way trade is estimated to rise to US$500 billion during the same period.

Xi was addressing leaders of the Community of Latin American and Carribean States, or CELAC - a bloc of 33 countries in the region that excludes the United States and Canada - who gathered in Beijing for the first time for a two-day forum on Thursday.

President Xi, Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis, Ecuador President Rafael Correa Delgado, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro Moros and Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie attended the opening ceremony of the two-day meeting at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

Established in December 2011 in Caracas of Venezuela, CELAC groups 33 countries, including all South American countries and some Caribbean states plus Mexico.

During Xi's visit to Latin America in July 2014, he and CELAC leaders announced the establishment of the cooperation forum and agreed to hold the first ministerial meeting at an early date.

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