Beijing, April 18 (IANS/EFE) The value of China's trade with Latin America rose 31.5 percent last year to $241.5 billion, a senior Chinese official said.
Exchanges between the Asian giant and Latin America totaled just $10 billion as recently as 11 years ago, Chinese Trade Ministry Counselor Yu Zhong Lu told foreign correspondents in Beijing.
China exported $121.7 billion worth of goods to Latin America last year while importing $119 billion in merchandise from the region.
Only the US exceeds China in the level of trade with Latin America.
The Asian nation is interested not only in importing commodities from Latin America, but also in buying high-value-added manufactured goods from the region, Yu said.
"All kinds of products from Latin America will find consumers in China," the official said, adding that Beijing has "high expectations regarding trade and economic cooperation" with the region.
Authorities in Beijing are also encouraging and fostering Chinese investment in Latin America, in sectors ranging from agriculture, energy and mining to high-tech manufacturing, Yu said.
He identified China's top five Latin American trade partners as Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela and Argentina.