Business / Economy

Ningbo seeks to deepen ties with Central, Eastern Europe

By Shi Xiaofeng in Ningbo ( Updated: 2015-05-15 16:57

The coastal city of Ningbo in Zhejiang province recently unveiled a set of extensive new measures aimed at strengthening cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries.

The new polices are designed to transform Ningbo into the most favorable investment and foreign trade destination in China for the CEE countries. To this end, a series of streamlined application procedures, investment and financial support, and incentives in tourism and cultural programs are to be introduced and non-governmental exchanges will be supported.

Under the new measures announced, the Ningbo city government will establish a special fund to ensure the smooth organization and operation of the China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo every year. Prospective Chinese and CEE enterprises and exhibitors will be provided with support in booth renting, logistics, translation, reception and business negotiations.

Government organizations, commercial associations and enterprises from CEE countries, which will take part in the expositions held in Ningbo, will be able to take advantage of preferential policies.

The Ningbo government will also facilitate cross-border transactions with CEE countries. Goods imported from CEE countries can preferentially adopt H986 containers inspection equipment to make tracking and simultaneous supervision easier. Bulk goods from these countries can be declared to customs in advance and obtain customs clearances upon arrival.

This will help cut the logistics costs of enterprises and transportation time, which, in the end, is expected to provide a strong impetus to revive China's foreign trade with CEE countries.

In an effort to help increase Chinese exports to CEE countries, Ningbo city government will also appropriate funds every year to encourage local enterprises to invest in CEE countries. Local enterprises which win contracted projects in CEE countries and plan to establish a marketing base and a resource exploitation center can obtain subsidies, upfront, or during the construction and operation stages, every year.

Reciprocally, the new measures also envisage favorable policies for CEE enterprises which will invest in Ningbo. Such policies include support for the rental of factory premises, land acquisition and utility bills. The government will also strive to simplify its foreign exchange administration and project approval procedures for overseas investments from the CEE countries.

In the field of tourism, Ningbo-based travel agencies will receive government subsidies if they launch package tours to the CEE countries, which would serve as a growth incentive for the tourism industry in those countries. The city tourism bureau plans to call on local travel agencies to offer local residents discounted package tours to CEE countries in June.

Under new measures announced to increase bilateral ties between Ningbo city and CEE countries, cooperation in the field of education will also be intensified. To boost bilateral educational exchanges, a special scholarship for students from CEE countries will be instigated. It will also roll out specially-designed policies to encourage local universities to employ teachers from those countries and promote China-CEEC cooperation in setting up and running joint schools.

The Ningbo government will join hands with overseas communities, overseas student organizations and employment agencies in CEE countries to build an exchange platform for talents from both China and CEE countries. It will encourage the participation of local talents in key programs in CEE countries in traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese language teaching, trade, architecture and electromechanics.

Bilateral cooperation between the media organizations of both sides will also be established. The city government is currently working to send journalists to CEE countries for news coverage and to establish a mechanism for regular news and information exchanges in a bid to advance China-CEE cooperation and deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of both sides.

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