Interview: China is Honduras' strategic partner for exports, technological development, says minister-Xinhua

Interview: China is Honduras' strategic partner for exports, technological development, says minister

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-26 15:56:00

Fredis Cerrato, Honduras' minister of economic development, receives an interview with Xinhua in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, March 20, 2024. (Xinhua/Li Mengxin)

TEGUCIGALPA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- China is a strategic partner for Honduras with investments becoming concrete and bilateral negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) going well, a Honduran minister has said.

China-Honduras diplomatic relations, which were established in March 2023, are being consolidated in "giant steps" in different areas, Fredis Cerrato, Honduras' minister of economic development, told Xinhua.

Negotiation on the FTA has been "carried out satisfactorily," said Cerrato.

The two sides started the FTA negotiations in July 2023, about four months after the establishment of diplomatic relations.

He believed the agreement would allow more Honduran agricultural products to be exported to China and generate numerous jobs through investments from Chinese businessmen under the framework of the FTA.

Cerrato's expectations are based on the growth potential of China-Honduras trade as what he confirmed at the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai in November last year.

Honduras attended the CIIE for the first time in 2023 as the Guest Country of Honor and exhibited signature Honduran products, especially agricultural and marine products, which were "very well received" by visitors.

"We believe we are going to be able to develop an extraordinary trade relationship in the areas of tobacco, coffee, shrimp and sugar, among other products," Cerrato said, noting that Honduran coffee is already being exported to China.

Coffee is one of the distinctive items of Honduras' exports. During the CIIE last year, Honduran producers signed contracts with Chinese importers for coffee products.

China's textile supplier Texhong and consumer product manufacturer Sunda International Group have both announced investments in Honduras, which are estimated to generate more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

These investments, together with Honduras' agricultural exports to China, are expected to help the Central American country fulfill its economic and commercial development goals.

Such cooperation is going to lift the added values of agro-products, generate jobs, raise foreign exchange income, and improve social welfare for the country, said Cerrato.

The minister believed that exchanges and cooperation would promote the transfer of technology and knowledge so that young people can receive training.

"With China's growth and progress, we have no doubt that it is a strategic and fundamental partner for the development of our country," Cerrato said.

"We need to continue to build an increasingly strong long-term relationship so that we bet on a win-win situation and that both countries can bring benefits to their people," he added.