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China, L. America to strengthen economic ties, explore further cooperation

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MONTEVIDEO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese financial official said on Monday that cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean has witnessed positive achievements and the two sides are seeking new ways of financial cooperation.

China would further strengthen its ties with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Liu Shiyu, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said at the 53rd annual meeting of the bank's board of governors in the Uruguayan capital city of Montevideo.

The IDB, founded in 1959, is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.

China has attached great importance to its cooperation with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region, Liu said, adding that joint projects between the two sides have been boosted in infrastructure, telecommunications, and science and technology.

"Chinese financial institutions and the IDB are jointly seeking new cooperation patterns," he noted.

The March 16-19 meeting, which drew ministers and governors of central banks of the IDB's 48 member countries as well as representatives from other countries, reviewed issues such as the European crisis, citizen security and cooperation between Asia and Latin America.

Liu also stressed the bank's significant role in promoting the region's economic and social development and supporting its member states to handle the global economic recession.

Liu Liange, deputy chairman of the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank), said "demands and expectations for technical and economic cooperation between China, Latin America and the Caribbean are gradually increasing."

Therefore, he added, China Eximbank and the IDB are working together to develop an investment mechanism that satisfies the common interest of both sides.

Uruguayan Economy Minister Fernando Lorenzo said Monday that Latin American countries were expected to introduce the yuan, the Chinese currency, into their trade with Chinese businesses to reduce risks brought by the fluctuating U.S. dollar, the dominating trade currency in the region.

Lorenzo said "the yuan-based trade is an open and possible subject."

Trade based on the yuan would be of great benefit for Latin America, Chief Advisor of the IDB Investigation Department Andrew Powell said during a press conference.

"More currencies mean greater diversity, and the risks for Latin America will be reduced because the region is not tied to only one currency."

China is the second biggest trade partner and the third largest investor of Latin America, and its economy has maintained its competitiveness among the spiraling global economy, IDB General Manager Koldo Echebarria said in an interview with Xinhua.

"China's economy will continue growing in a robust way," he said, noting that "using the Chinese currency in regional transactions will be feasible."

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