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President Petro hopes the Asian nation can help Colombia with transportation projects based on the use of trains and electric technologies.
On Thursday, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced that he will travel to Beijing, where he will meet with President Xi Jinping to discuss the future of Bogota's subway. Its construction is currently being handled by a Chinese consortium.
"I have an interview with the Chinese president on October 25," he said, adding that he hopes the Asian nation can help Colombia with transportation projects based on the use of trains and electric technologies.
With this trip, Petro will continue a pragmatic policy of friendship with China that began on Feb. 7, 1980, with the establishment of diplomatic relations during the administration of the then-Colombian President Julio Cesar Turbay. Since then, the relationship has been growing, and China became Colombia's second-largest trading partner in 2010.
In 2022, bilateral trade amounted to US$18 billion, with US$2 billion corresponding to Colombian exports and US$16 billion to imports of Chinese goods and services.
The Colombian government announced that China has approved a required health protocol for beef producers to begin exporting their products to economic giant, thereby opening the doors of a market of more than 1.4 billion inhabitants.
China's Ambassador to Colombia Zhu Jingyang assured that "China is interested in receiving more Colombian products and developing a process for more products to access the Chinese market, as recently happened with Colombian beef."
President Petro's emphasis on the relationship with China is also evident in his appointment of the film director Sergio Cabrera as ambassador in Beijing. Cabrera spent his adolescence in that Asian country, where he learned to speak Mandarin and even became a Red Guard.
Currently, Bogota's subway is Colombia's largest engineering project. For the construction of the first line, the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited and Xi'an Metro Company were selected in 2019.