Friday, August 17, 2007

China's first ambassador to Costa Rica presents credentials

(AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)(Xinhua News Agency) - Diplomat Wang Xiaoyuan formally presented his credential letter to Costa Rican President Oscar Arias on Thursday, becoming China's first ambassador to the Central American country in six decades.

On June 6, Arias established diplomatic relations with China, five days after his country broke ties with Taiwan.

Wang told a press conference that the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Costa Rica would benefit both countries.

"We are examining points of interest relating to possible joint ventures in economy, trade and even tourism," he added.

Speaking at the same conference, Arias said he was pleased to have made official his country's relationship with China. "The most important part of this relationship is not trade, but the investment that China is making here," he said.

"China is a nation with immense prosperity and greatly accelerated growth. We hope we will begin to speak about a free trade agreement with China," he added.

In 2006, Costa Rica's export volume to China reached nearly 1.1 billion U.S. dollars and it imported 618 million, riding the wave of a 10-year growth of bilateral trade.

Wang, China's business attache until Thursday, began working as a diplomat in 1975 and has worked in Mexico, Cuba, Spain and Brazil. He has been Chinese ambassador in Equatorial Guinea and Uruguay.

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