Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with his El Salvadoran President, Nayib Armando Bukele, underscored “excellent” growth in bilateral ties, which is “in a gradual but continual process,” said Economist Julia Evelyn Martinez.

“Little by little, I don’t expect it from one day to the next, we are going to see the results of cooperation,” said Martinez, a professor in economics at the Central American University in San Salvador.

President Xi met with Bukele at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, presiding over the signing of nine cooperation agreements in such areas as trade, agriculture, investment and tourism, among others.

El Salvador has much to gain from the well-planned bilateral cooperation, said Martinez.

“If within this framework for cooperation we can establish a link with China’s technological development, I think we could see much more gain than from boosting exports or expanding the economy in the short term,” she said.

El Salvador could make the most of knowledge and technology to change the country’s productive matrix, she added.

As part of President Bukele’s first State visit to China, the two governments exchanged letters of agreement on Chinese aid projects, including the construction of a new national library and a water plant, according to a joint declaration.

The two countries should align their priorities for development, so El Salvador can join such Chinese proposed projects as the Belt & Road Initiative for global growth, said the economist.

China can serve as a bridge for El Salvador, providing it with alternative ways to join the rest of the global economy, said Martinez. China & El Salvador established diplomatic ties in August 2018.

Also Read: El Salvador to jointly build Belt & Road with China