Velia Govaere: BRI provides opportunities to Central America

By Yan Bin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 18, 2023
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Velia Govaere, former vice minister of economy, industry and commerce of Costa Rica, at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Beijing, Oct. 17, 2023. [Photo by Yan Bin/]

Belt and Road cooperation enhances infrastructure construction, promotes economic and trade cooperation, strengthens exchanges among civilizations and gathers strength for all parties to join hands in building a better future, said Velia Govaere, former vice minister of economy, industry and commerce of Costa Rica, during an interview with at the ongoing third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Tuesday.

"As the first Central American country that establishes diplomatic ties with China, Costa Rica signed the China-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement in 2010 and joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2018," Govaere said, adding that Costa Rica anticipates more cooperation under the BRI framework, especially in terms of infrastructure.

This year marks the 16th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Costa Rica, and also the 10th anniversary of the BRI. 

Latin America and the Caribbean are a natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road under the BRI. Costa Rica has unique advantages such as a strategic geographical location, stable political situation, a sound legal system and high-caliber labor force. As such, it has the potential to become a place for Chinese companies to develop the Central American market. It is also a model for China to promote friendly cooperation between countries of different sizes and with different national conditions. 

"Despite being separated by oceans, civilizations like Costa Rica can embrace a common vision of peace, equality and sustainable development for humanity, with greater connectivity in terms of infrastructure, cultural exchanges, shared research, supply and value chains," Govaere stressed, adding that infrastructure construction under the BRI framework provides significant new development opportunities for Costa Rica as well as other Central American countries. 

In her capacity as a professor at a public university, Govaere hopes for increased mobility of students on both sides. "Actually, we are expecting a distance learning university of China to come next month to our country and sign an MOU," she added.

In the future, Govaere envisages deeper cooperation between China and Central America in green projects. "I think on this kind of innovation, we can work together towards green development and fight against climate change," she concluded.

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