Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos and Chinese President Hu Jintao presided over the signing in Beijing May 9 of nine agreements to boost cooperation in a range of industries, emphasizing the oil sector. One pact calls for Colombian parastatal Ecopetrol to join with Sinochem conglomerate and the China Development Bank to build an inter-oceanic pipeline through the Andean country. The plan for the “Oleoducto al Pacífico” is to begin with a feasibility study to be lead by Sinochem’s local subsidiary Emerald Energy. Colombian Energy Minister Mauricio Cárdenas, who was also on hand for the signing, said Chinese partners have taken the decision “to enter our country in full, with activities of exploration, with activities of production…” (Portafolio.co, Reuters, May 11; EFE, May 9)
The new pact builds on plans unveiled last year by Bogotá and Beijing to cooperate on a inter-oceanic rail link.