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China, El Salvador to Begin Free Trade Talks in Near Future - Ambassador

CC0 / Pixabay / El Salvador
El Salvador - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.11.2022
MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - China and El Salvador will begin negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement in the near future against the backdrop of the significant growth in turnover, Chinese Ambassador to El Salvador Ou Jianhong said on Wednesday.
The ambassador said that the trade between China and El Salvador has increased significantly in recent years, stating that "this fully demonstrates the sustainability and opportunities for the development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries."

"In order to further explore the potential and level of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, promote sustainable, stable, and diversified development of bilateral trade and investment, China and El Salvador express their readiness to begin the process of talks on a free trade agreement in the near future," the ambassador said at the ceremony for the transfer of 2,500 tonnes of wheat and fertilizers to El Salvador to negate the effects of the global economic crisis, as quoted by the press office of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.

Bukele, for his part, said that the prospective agreement with China will open up a wide range of opportunities for El Salvador, adding that the country is planning to produce goods of interest to China.
The rapprochement between the two countries comes days after El Salvador officially suspended the free trade agreement with China's breakaway region Taiwan, under which El Salvador had been delivering significant amounts of sugar to the island. The agreement had been negotiated by ex-Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and remained in force despite the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and El Salvador in 2018.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.
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