Sino-Latin American ties deepen over agriculture
Updated: July 6, 2022 10:37 China Daily

South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, recently signed agreements to establish centers at two universities in Mexico and Brazil, which combine Chinese language, agricultural science and educational development. The centers, at the Chapingo Autonomous University in Texcoco, Mexico, and the Federal University of Mato Grosso in Brazil, will be the first of their kind in Latin America.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and a number of Latin American countries, including Mexico.

"With the rapid and comprehensive development of Sino-Latin American ties, language has become a foundation of connectivity," Ma Jianfei, director of the Center for Language Education and Cooperation at the Ministry of Education, said by video link during the online signing ceremony.

Agriculture is a key sector globally, and great achievements have been made in Sino-Latin American cooperation in agricultural investment, trade and technology, he said.

China and Mexico have deepened research in fields like aquaculture and corn cultivation, said Zhu Qingqiao, Chinese ambassador to Mexico.

Since Mexico started exporting avocados to China in 2005, bilateral agricultural trade has continued to expand, reaching an average annual growth rate of 18 percent in recent years, he said.

Some 20 Mexican products, including beer, pork and bananas, are sold in China.

Frederico S. Duque Estrada Meyer, consul general of Brazil in Guangzhou, called the new agreement "an important achievement in the efforts to bring our countries together in this very important field".

"Last year alone, Brazil exported more than $120 billion in agricultural products, and more than one-third of this was to China, our biggest client," he said, adding that Brazil is a leading producer and exporter of soybeans, corn, pulp, sugar, beef, poultry, coffee, ethanol and fruit.

"Agriculture represents the bulk of Brazil's exports to China, mainly because our farms are very competitive. This is the result of the huge investments the country has made in science and technology."

Liu Yahong, president of South China Agricultural University, proposed that from the centers, cooperation can be expanded to training, research, agricultural technology, and academic and personal exchanges.

Meanwhile, the China-Latin American Agricultural Education and Scientific and Technological Innovation Alliance, which was established in late 2020, brings together 63 agriculture-related institutions from China and 15 Latin American countries, said Wang Binwei, Party secretary of the university.

About 750 students from Latin America and the Caribbean were attending schools in Guangdong during the 2020-2021 school year, said Na Jia, deputy director of the provincial education department.

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