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China, CEE nations agree to expand cooperation

China and 16 leaders from central and eastern Europe have agreed to bring their economic ties closer. Premier Li Keqiang picked out key areas for future cooperation during a forum held in Suzhou of East China’s Jiangsu province on Nov 24.

Premier Li said construction of infrastructure should be increased for greater interconnectivity. That includes a railway linking Hungary and Serbia, which is set to be completed within 2 years. China is also willing to invest in the building and upgrading of ports.

Premier Li said China and the CEE nations complement each other’s production capacities. China is considering buying key equipment for high speed railways, and looks to export cost efficient products such as vehicles, steel and heavy machinery to CEE nations.

China is a big consumer of agriculture products, Premier Li said, so cooperating in deep processing of farm products has great potential. China plans to import more of these products.

All these plans need financing, so China calls for a multilateral financing firm to reduce the cost, and to make full use of a $10 billion investment fund.