Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with his Uruguayan counterpart Rodolfo Nin Novoa in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, on Jan. 24, 2018. (Xinhua/Ni Ruijie)
MONTEVIDEO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- China will join Uruguay in advancing trade between the two countries while looking for colloborative opportunities in innovation, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Uruguayan counterpart Rodolfo Nin Novoa on Wednesday.
Wang said China supports Uruguay's efforts to play an important role in the Belt and Road Initiative in the south Atlantic.
The second ministerial meeting of the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Forum that concluded Monday in Chile issued a special statement, saying that the Belt and Road Initiative is being implemented across Latin America, Wang said.
China and Uruguay can become good partners in the process of co-building the initiative, which will help Uruguay become a regional logistics and transportation hub and contribute to their common development and prosperity, according to the Chinese diplomat.
China also appreciates Uruguay's willingness to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement and wishes to maintain close contact with the Uruguayan side and other members of Mercosur, Wang said, referring to the South American trade bloc aimed at promoting the fluid movement of goods, people and currency.
During the 30 years since China and Uruguay established bilateral ties, the relationship has seen a steady and healthy development, Wang said, expressing China's readiness to design a blueprint together with Uruguay for the next three decades.
Mutual trust has injected new impetus into the increasingly enriched and mutual beneficial cooperation, Wang added.
Nin Novoa, for his part, said Uruguay will increase trade cooperation and sign a free trade agreement with China, Uruguay's biggest trade partner. The people of Uruguay admire Chinese culture and long to increase people-to-people exchanges with China.
Historically, Latin America was a natural extension of the ancient Silk Road trade routes, Nin Novoa said, noting that Uruguay supported the Belt and Road Initiative from the very start.
The two foreign ministers also signed an agreement on the issuance of ten-year business visas and attended a reception for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations.