BEIJING – The resort city of Punta del Este in southeastern Uruguay will be the venue for the 11th China-Latin America Business Summit in 2017, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin said on Tuesday.
“We are signing a memorandum of understanding making Uruguay the venue for the summit,” Nin said in a press conference.
Nin met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and is scheduled to meet with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Council of State, on Wednesday.
The foreign minister said Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez may travel to China in mid-October for the 10th China-Latin America Business Summit.
There are “28 agreements ready to be signed, covering several areas,” Nin said.
One agreement would establish a Confucius Institute in Montevideo to teach Mandarin, and health protocols pertaining the export of Uruguayan food products to China also await signing, Nin said.
“Citrus and blueberries have already obtained health permits, and we are now talking about sorghum, corn, soy and rice,” the foreign minister said.
Uruguay already exports high volumes of soy to China, but it wants to update health regulations.
Nin opened the new Uruguayan Embassy in Beijing, a modern villa in the district where the U.S., French and Japanese embassies are located.
A statue by Fernando Foglino greets visitors at the entrance to the embassy.
Uruguay, pro tempore chair of the Mercosur trade bloc, is interested in promoting negotiations for trade pacts between the South American group and China, Nin said.
With the recent political changes in Argentina and Brazil, Mercosur’s two major economies, the conditions for such an agreement are more favorable, the Uruguayan official said.
Uruguay may be interested in China’s “New Silk Road” project, Nin said.
“The New Maritime Silk Road may have a connection with the southern Atlantic region and Montevideo is a strategic place,” Nin said, adding that “Uruguay is the most stable country in the region, with the highest per capita income, political confidence and democracy.”