Half a decade after it was started, cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) has made remarkable headway, officials and experts said ahead of the annual China-CEEC summit.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will join his 16 CEEC colleagues in Budapest, Hungary, for the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and the CEEC from Nov. 26-29.
A crucial mechanism to facilitate bilateral cooperation, this year’s summit is set to broaden and deepen cooperation between the two sides, experts said.
“Five years have passed and together, we have made great achievements in policy coordination, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges and many more…fields,” Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Duan Jielong said at a recent think tank conference.
Calling the current ties between China and the CEEC “at their best in history,” the ambassador highlighted the booming trade and investment between the two sides since the 16+1 cooperation mechanism was established in 2012.
Chinese investment in CEEC is now over 9 billion U.S. dollars while CEEC invested 1.4 billion dollars in China. In the first three quarters this year, their trade exceeded 49 billion dollars, marking an increase of 14.5 percent year-on-year. China’s imports from CEEC have risen 21.9 percent.
The two sides have also expanded infrastructure and industrial partnerships, with a number of flagship projects underway.
The projects include the Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway, the China-Serbia Friendship Bridge across the Danube in Belgrade, and highway projects in Macedonia and Montenegro.
In the financial sector, China established the 10-billion-dollar China-CEEC Investment Cooperation Fund last year and it has already invested in 12 projects in five CEE countries.
Hungary, Lithuania and Poland have participated in China’s bond market.—Xinhua