BELGRADE — China’s new round of reform and opening-up will provide important opportunities for the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, said Premier Li Keqiang on Dec 16.
When addressing the Fourth Economic and Trade Forum between China and CEE countries in Belgrade, Serbia, Li said there is tremendous potential for the two sides to work with each other.
Deepened cooperation between China and CEE countries is conducive to the balanced development of Europe, said the Premier, who raised a four-point proposal on pushing forward economic cooperation between China and CEE countries.
CEE countries boast good port resources and should connect their ports with traffic arteries, including railways and highways, to form a gigantic logistic network and thus expand their trade, the Premier said.
China welcomes Serbia to lead the effort to establish a consortium on China-CEE transport infrastructure cooperation to serve participating firms from both sides, he said.
The premier hoped to combine China’s advantages in equipment manufacturing with the needs of CEE countries for infrastructure upgrading to make good use of China’s equipment production capacity and promote the economic development of these nations.
He proposed setting up a new framework for joint investment and financing between China and CEE countries as a way to serve the real economy.
China encourages CEE countries to continue using the $10 billion special credit line, said the Premier, adding that another $3 billion investment fund will be established to encourage Chinese companies and financial institutions to participate in public-private cooperation and the privatization process in CEE countries.
China will also launch the second phase of China-CEE Investment Cooperation Fund worth $1 billion to support its investment projects in these counties.
To boost bilateral trade, Li said the Chinese government will take joint measures with the governments of CEE nations to facilitate custom clearance and personnel exchanges, so as to create favorable conditions for expanding trade and improve trade structure between the two sides.
In their speeches, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka expressed their will to expand cooperation with China in economy and trade, investment, infrastructure, aviation, energy, finance and people-to-people exchanges, so as to jointly promote economic growth and common development.
About 1,500 businessmen from China and 16 CEE countries attended the forum.