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Wen urges enhanced co-op with Latin America
Brief:Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing has proposed establishing a China-Latin America cooperation forum,calling for enhanced political mutual trust and strategic cooperation.
China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called for launching an economic cooperation forum to forge closer ties between China and Latin America, amid a dramatic surge in bilateral trade.

Wen announced that Chinese financial institutions will initiate a China-Latin America cooperation fund of US$5 billion to support investment in manufacturing projects, technology innovation and sustainable development. He said China will also extend a $10-billion special loan to support infrastructure cooperation between the two sides.

Earlier, Wen said Beijing was prepared to trade with the newly formed Pacific Alliance trade bloc create at the beginning of this month. The group includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

The new Pacific trade bloc -- with a market with 215 million consumers and a combined gross domestic product of more than $2 trillion -- aims to establish free trade among its members but also to open them to markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Voracious China has been eagerly purchasing raw minerals and agricultural products from Latin America.

Bilateral trade has skyrocketed in the past five years by more than 160 per cent, surging from $68 billion in 2006 to $178.9 billion in 2010.

The benefits of the boom have been shared fairly evenly. As of last year, Latin American nations exported $90.3 billion to China, which in turn imported goods worth $88.6 billion, and both sides should strive to increase trade volume to $400 billion within five years.

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