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China-CEEC cooperation will deepen

By Ma Zhenhuan and Xu Wei| China Daily| Updated: June 9, 2021 L M S

Second expo offers key platform for bolstering two-way trade relations

President Xi Jinping highlighted on Tuesday the necessity for China and Central and Eastern European countries to keep exploring the potential for cooperation and work together to broaden the space for bilateral collaboration.

Xi made the remark as he sent a congratulatory message to the second China-CEEC Expo, which is being held in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, from Tuesday to Friday.

The expo will help bolster the knowledge about CEEC commodities in the Chinese market, expand CEEC exports to China, help various sides to tackle the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and promote economic recovery, Xi said.

The cooperation mechanism between China and CEE countries has become an important platform for the countries to enhance friendship, scale up cooperation and plan future development, he said.

Xi recalled the speech he made at the China-CEEC Summit in February, during which he stressed the importance of adhering to a pragmatic direction and expanding win-win outcomes for China-CEEC cooperation under the new circumstances.

Xi set out several targets at the February summit, including China's plan to import goods that are worth at least $170 billion from the CEE countries, double the countries' agricultural exports to China and raise two-way agricultural trade by 50 percent over the next five years. He also called for steps to continue to develop demonstration zones for China-CEEC business cooperation in Chinese cities such as Ningbo.

Xi said the outcomes of the summit are being implemented with joint efforts from various sides.

Under the theme of "New Vision, Shared Opportunities", the second China-CEEC Expo is expected to attract over 6,000 professional buyers, host multiple online and offline business matchmaking events, and display an array of products, ranging from specialties to daily consumer goods, from CEE countries.

Yuan Jiajun, secretary of the Communist Party of China Zhejiang Provincial Committee, said that Ningbo, as an important city involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, has played a pivotal role in promoting China-CEEC cooperation.

The China-CEEC trade index, co-released by the General Administration of Customs of China and the Ningbo government, stands at 273.80 points, up 4 percent month-on-month and 28.6 percent year-on-year. This indicates that China's import and export trade with CEE countries has been growing steadily in recent years.

The trade index is expected to provide a scientific basis for the formulation of relevant trade policies and offer informational support to Chinese enterprises to conduct trade with their counterparts from CEE countries, said Li Kuiwen, director-general of the General Administration of Customs' statistics and analysis department.

Cai Jingwen in Ningbo contributed to this story.