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China-EU cooperation steadily progresses under Belt and Road

Updated: Jun 5,2017 11:46 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Trade and economic cooperation between China and EU under the Belt and Road Initiative has steadily progressed, said Wang Yiwei, Director of China-Europe Academic Network of Renmin University of China.

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, China-EU relations have witnessed great progress, Wang said, referring to the achievements made in policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges.

As for the policy coordination, China and the European countries are committed to promoting open economy and free trade while combating de-globalization and protectionism, he said.

Trade and investment between the two sides has increased, which is gradually driving away the shadow cast by global financial crisis and Europe’s debt crisis, he added.

As for infrastructure connectivity, Wang said, China-Europe freight trains services have played a significant role in boosting bilateral infrastructure connectivity.

“The cost [of China-Europe freight trains] is only one fifth of that of air freight, and the time of transportation is less than half of the ocean shipping,” he said.

“China-Europe freight trains not only promote the provincial and city-level cooperation between China and Europe countries, but also stimulate the dynamism of China-EU trade and economic cooperation with convenient logistics and abundant information flows,” Wang noted.

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the establishment of China-EU diplomatic relations.

While having laid solid foundation of cooperation in traditional areas, China and the EU are looking to embracing cooperation in new areas, such as service markets, e-commerce and service trade, Wang said.

Both sides are also committed to further opening up financial markets and promoting free trade, he added.

“European countries, especially the Central and Eastern European Countries with prosperous economic outlook, are increasingly interested in conducting trade and economic cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative,” he added.

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