MONTEVIDEO, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Uruguayan business conference of China and Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) countries is enjoying a high turnout and will see promising cooperation in different fields between the two regions, an Uruguayan official has said.
The China-LAC 2017 Business Summit, to be held in the Uruguayan resort Punta del Este from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, has over 2,500 business people signed up, including 700 from China.
"We have had a very important response. Being the host of this event is a great opportunity," said Antonio Carambula, executive director of Uruguay XXI, the country's foreign trade promotion bureau.
Easily surpassing last year's scale, this year's event will attract about 700 Chinese businessmen and a similar number from the rest of Latin America, Carambula said, adding that over 1,000 Uruguayan executives would also attend.
Some 150 Chinese businessmen attended last year's summit in Mexico's western city of Guadalajara.
This is a great opportunity for Uruguay as China is "our main trading partner for goods. There is also great potential for services and the investment flow," Carambula said.
"At a time when protectionist tendencies are rising in the world, China has transformed into a champion and its initiatives, especially the Belt and Road Initiative, have doubtless caught the attention of the world," he said, adding that Latin America should definitely be involved.
The initiative China proposed in 2013 comprises the overland Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, seeking to revive and expand the ancient Silk Road trade routes and connect Asia, Africa and Europe through better infrastructure, greater trade and enhanced people-to-people exchanges.
China is playing a crucial role in collaborating "with the infrastructure plans pushed by the Uruguayan government," he said, while mentioning cooperation opportunities in agriculture, forestry, global services, renewable energy, smart cities and e-commerce.
"We are using the platform of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to allow business meetings to take place between companies. We already have over 1,000 meetings scheduled to straighten bonds and create new links," Carambula said.
Aside from the discussions, the Punta del Este Convention and Exhibition Center will host an expo covering 3,000 square kilometers with stands of around 150 companies.
"It is a challenge. I think Uruguay, and Punta del Este in particular, will rise to the occasion to receive such an important crowd, in terms of both numbers and quality," Carambula said.
More than 2,000 business leaders, government representatives and experts from various fields are attending the summit, an annual gathering started in 2007 and organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the IDB.