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China, CEEC banks to further strengthen 16+1 cooperation

Updated: Jul 6,2018 2:36 PM     Xinhua

SOFIA — Senior officials have said in Sofia, Bulgaria that banks from China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) would further strengthen 16+1 ties.

“We need to strengthen cooperation,” Hu Huaibang, chairman of China Development Bank (CDB), said on July 5 at the meeting of the Board of Directors of China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association.

The association, established last November, has become “a new force for multilateral cooperation,” according to Hu.

The CDB wants to work with the banks of the association to deepen cooperation for the benefit of all stakeholders, Hu said.

The CDB would continue to support the CEEC economies in areas such as infrastructure, telecommunications and agriculture, he added.

Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov said that the establishment of the China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association has become a new dimension of the 16+1 cooperation, which would further promote political ties, and support the development of infrastructure and bilateral and multilateral projects.

“The 16+1 format has already made a significant contribution to new dynamics in economic ties, political dialogues, the exchange of ideas and specialists, and the growing interest of Chinese companies to the CEEC,” Karanikolov said.

Stoyan Mavrodiev, CEO and chairman of Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB), echoed that cooperation between China and the CEEC in the fields of commerce and finance has been boosted by the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

“Our data shows that in 2017 the exchange of goods between China and the 16 countries from the CEE was $21.35 billion, which is an increase of 20 percent compared to 2016,” said Mavrodiev.

Mavrodiev also said that Bulgarian economy is growing, but the country’s enterprises need funds for innovation and technical upgrades as well as support for exports.

This is why the successful cooperation between the BDB and the CDB was of substantial importance, as well as the credit facilities by other Chinese financial institutions such as EximBank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, he added.