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Premier Li: tremendous potential for bilateral cooperation

Premier Li Keqiang has attended the 3rd leaders’ summit of China and Central and Eastern European countries in Belgrade, Serbia, and held a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, to discuss cooperation. Li said there was tremendous potential for China and the CEE countries to work together.

This is the third time leaders from China and the Central and Eastern European nation-bloc have met.

During the summit, Premier Li called for all sides to enhance cooperation, and he hopes to leverage China’s expertise in equipment manufacturing to aid infrastructure upgrades in the CEE region.

Li proposed setting up a new framework for joint investment and financing between China and the CEE, as a way to serve the real economy.

China is encouraging the CEE countries to make good use of a $10 billion credit line, while another $3 billion investment fund will be established to encourage Chinese companies and financial institutions to invest in the 16-nation bloc.

China will also soon launch the second phase of the China-CEE Investment Cooperation Fund, worth $1 billion, to support its investment projects in these counties.

To boost bilateral trade, Li said China will work with the CEE governments to create favorable conditions for improving trade structures.

He also called for a think tank to investigate into how they can better promote travel and tourism between the two regions.

He said that all sides should continue to simplify visa procedures to facilitate travel, adding that his country will try to double the number of CEE students studying in China next year.

After the meeting, Li held a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart. China and all 16 CEE members signed a document on guidelines for bilateral cooperation.