SOFIA — The outcomes of cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) achieved in the past six years have exceeded expectation, visiting Premier Li Keqiang said here on July 7.
Premier Li made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the seventh leaders’ meeting of China and the CEEC and the Business Forum held in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on July 7.
Cooperation between China and the CEEC is based on openness, consultation on an equal footing, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, Premier Li said.
In the past six years, the trade volume between China and the CEEC grew to almost $70 billion from $40 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent, which currently accounts for 11 percent of the total trade between China and Europe, up from 9.3 percent, Premier Li said.
The two sides have seen steady growth of two-way investment, Premier Li said, adding that China’s accumulated investment has reached nearly $10 billion while the CEEC have invested more than $1.4 billion in China.
Infrastructure interconnectivity has been promoted in an orderly manner and there have been nearly 9,000 China-Europe freight train services, Premier Li said.
The number of Chinese citizens visiting the CEEC has increased more than fivefold and the number of Chinese students studying in the CEEC, and visa versa is close to 10,000, Premier Li said, adding that tourists from China and the CEEC make more than one million trips to each other every year.
Cooperation between China and the CEEC has achieved mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, promoted common development and improved people’s livelihood, Premier Li said.
Bulgaria is the first leg of Premier Li’s weeklong trip to Europe. It marks Premier Li’s first tour to Bulgaria after taking office, and also the first visit to Bulgaria by a Chinese premier in 18 years.