LIMA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between China and Latin America benefits both sides and is speeding up the latter's transformation, said a Peruvian expert on Asia-Pacific economy.
Carlos Aquino made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Latin America, which will take him to Ecuador, Peru and Chile for state visits from Nov. 17 to 23.
During the trip, Xi will also attend the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
Commenting on the visit, Carlos noted that it shows China's increasing interest in Latin America.
For China, Latin America is an important market whose economy is complementary to that of the Asian giant, said Aquino, a doctor in international and Asian economy.
Latin America also presents Chinese companies with business opportunities, he added, noting that the region has an expanding middle class, which has attracted a number of Chinese companies.
"Let's not forget that in 2015, Beijing hosted the first ministerial meeting of (the Forum of) China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)," he said.
At that meeting, China pledged to work with Latin America to bring bilateral trade to 500 billion U.S. dollars and increase its investment in the region to 250 billion dollars by 2025.
Meanwhile, cooperation with China, a leading investor in Latin America, has also been a boon to Latin American countries, noted the economist.
"From the Latin American perspective, ties have been very beneficial in the past decade. China has been the leading buyer of Latin American products, and people in this region have benefited from better wages and standards of living," he said.
In addition, the 2008 international financial crisis has forced the region to adapt and advance towards technological innovation and compete to attract trade and investment, noted the expert.
Under such circumstances, he pointed out, the growing trade with China and increasing investment from the Asian country have spurred the transformation of Latin American structures.
China, he noted, has recognized that a long-lasting relationship requires greater balance and has committed itself to spurring the development of countries in region.
This week, all eyes will be on the Peruvian capital of Lima as it hosts the 24th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, which will group Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama among others.
As the second largest economy in the world and "a promoter of ideas," Aquino said, China "has a very important role to fulfill" at the international forum.