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China-CEEC Expo yields concrete results

By Cai Jingwen ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-06-15

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As Ningbo's hosting of the first China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo came to a close, the city's importance along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road has been highlighted once again.

With the theme of "expanding opening-up and cooperation and jointly building the Silk Road", the China-CEEC Expo was held under the Belgrade Guidelines for Cooperation between China and the CEE countries, which was signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and CEE leaders in Belgrade, Serbia, in December 2014.

The first China-CEEC Expo, held in Ningbo, June 8-12, was attended by thousands of government officials and representatives of business enterprises from both China and 16 CEE countries.

The five-day event saw a string of investment symposiums, trade exhibitions, business forums and cultural activities, which were organized to promote further cooperation between China and CEE countries, expand Zhejiang province's international prominence and facilitate Ningbo's port economy.

At the China-CEEC Investment Cooperation Seminar, over 70 government departments and enterprises from CEE countries held in-depth talks with more than 200 government sector representatives, investment promotion institutions and companies from China about 132 cooperation projects featuring infrastructure, tourism, manufacturing, food and medicine.

The organizers also hosted a CEE specialty products fair at the Ningbo International Convention Center, aiming at domestic buyers in China. The fair was attended by a total of 201 enterprises from 16 CEE countries, exhibiting more than 3,000 kinds of products such as wine, honey, handicrafts and cosmetics.

Upon its success, a 70,000-square-meter exhibition hall to exhibit the specialty products from some CEE countries will start construction with a total investment of 4 billion yuan ($644 million), the organizing committee announced.

As the main activity of the China-CEEC Expo, the China-CEEC Forum on Cooperation Development was attended by many high-level government officials from both China and the CEE countries, such as Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Republic of Montenegro's Deputy Prime Minister Vujica Lazovic, to talk about how to strengthen the cooperation between China and the CEE countries within the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Initiative was put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the purpose of reviving the two ancient trading routes and further opening markets in a mutually beneficial manner.

Meanwhile, the Expo organizers held a large number of activities in an effort to foster the culture and tourism ties between the two sides.

The 2nd CEE Countries Contemporary Artwork Exhibition at the Ningbo Museum of Art on June 8 brought together 74 oil paintings by 19 artists from 16 CEE countries. The artwork exhibition provides a common platform through which Chinese and Eastern European artists can have art exchanges and help peoples of both sides understand each other better.

A number of tourism cooperation agreements were also signed between the two sides during the China (Ningbo) - CEEC Tourism Cooperation and Exchange Conference on June 10, to help facilitate bilateral tourism development.

All these activities and bilateral agreements are likely to provide a strong impetus to revive China's economy, trade, culture and tourism cooperation with the CEE countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Edited by Mevlut Katik