Meetings are under way among Premier Li Keqiang and leaders from the 16 different countries which make up Central and Eastern European countries.
Polish observers keeping tabs on the meeting in Latvia are suggesting the sessions are going to be a great opportunity for that country, given its strategic location within the region.
The 16+1 Summit, including representatives from central and eastern European states, along with China, was first initiated in Poland’s capital Warsaw in 2012.
Sylwester Szafarz is Poland’s former Consul-General in Shanghai.
He says the cooperation mechanism has yielded fruitful outcomes since the last time the group met in the Chinese city of Suzhou last year.
During that session, the two sides prioritized sectors for cooperation in the 5-year period to 2020 in areas such as infrastructure, finance, agriculture and people-to-people exchanges.
Szafarz says he expects this year’s summit is likely going to hear about business deals that have resulted from last year’s talks.
“I’m optimistic about cooperation under the 16+1 mechanism. We’ve talked a lot about that. And now it’s time to implement related projects. The central and eastern European region is a corridor that links China to Europe. Though the European market is not as large as the one in China, it still has 500 million consumers. I believe with our collective efforts, the agreements reached in the Riga meeting will give a leg up to cooperation in the future.”
Official figures show that bilateral trade between China and Poland reached over two billion euros last year, a 15 percent increase from a year earlier.
China is Poland’s second largest source of imports at the moment.
The two countries are now in talks connected to fruit exports from Poland to China.
Liu Lijuan is a counselor with the Chinese embassy’s business department in Poland.
She says the 16+1 mechanism has already helped accelerate China’s investment in Poland, noting Poland became the first country to float yuan-denominated bond issues in China back in August.
“we hope more Chinese companies could enter the Polish market and show their competitive edge in capacity and management while exploring the new energy sector. I hope Chinese companies could make good deal in investment in projects in the sector.”
China and Poland are expected to sign a series deals on clean energy and power projects on the sidelines of this year’s 16+1 session in Latvia.