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China, CEE countries to accelerate win-win cooperation

Updated: Nov 24,2015 8:00 PM     Xinhua

SUZHOU, Jiangsu — China and central and eastern European (CEE) countries enjoy broad cooperation prospects and the two parties should build on previous fruits and accelerate win-win cooperation, Premier Li Keqiang said here on Nov 24.

Bilateral trade between China and the 16 CEE countries reached over $60 billion last year amid sluggish global economic growth, indicating tremendous trade and investment potential, Premier Li made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the fifth economic and trade forum between China and CEE countries.

The two parties enjoy broad cooperation prospects and could speed up and deepen partnership in many fields, the Premier pointed out.

Premier Li called for the acceleration of connectivity projects to link regional transportation and Internet infrastructure development with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

China is willing to invest in the construction and upgrade of infrastructure in port areas of the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea to boost cooperation and connectivity.

Meanwhile, China will support CEE countries in their industrial upgrading with its advanced capacity in automobiles, steel, shipbuilding, port equipment and engineering machinery, the Premier said.

Trade in the agricultural sector will be another key cooperation field and China will support the imports of quality produce from CEE countries through means such as expositions, according to the Premier.

To facilitate bilateral investment, China is mulling setting up a $3-billion investment fund and has proposed to establish a “16+1” multilateral financial firm to expand financing channels and reduce financing cost.

Premier Li called for more support and involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in bilateral investment and trade to draw their wisdom and proposed setting up an innovation platform to serve bilateral cooperation of SMEs.

He reassured that the Chinese economy is resilient with huge market potential and will maintain sustainable growth with ongoing structural reforms.

“China will be able to avoid the middle income trap on the whole by 2020 so long as it keeps an average annual GDP growth above 6.5 percent in the next five years. It will continue to contribute to global economic recovery and world peace,” the Premier said.