China, CEE countries pledge closer co-op on interconnectivity

Updated: 2014-12-17 11:30


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BELGRADE - China and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries on Tuesday agreed to enhance cooperation on interconnectivity, according to fresh guidelines issued following the third leaders' meeting between China and 16 CEE countries.

In the Belgrade Guidelines for Cooperation between China and CEE countries, the leaders agreed to support exploring the possibilities of bilateral cooperation on interconnectivity, hailing the signing of cooperation agreements on building a railway running through Belgrade and Budapest to connect China, Hungary and Serbia.

The countries also pledged to continuously improve the China-Europe international railway container transportation, making it a priority project in deepening mutually beneficial cooperation and enhancing interconnectivity and market-access between Asia and Europe.

Under the guidelines, the countries will encourage relevant parties to facilitate customs clearance, create new logistics routes and hubs, and strengthen cooperation in infrastructure development including the construction of roads, railways, ports and airports.

All parties welcomed Serbia's leading effort to establish a consortium on China-CEE transport infrastructure cooperation to serve participating firms from both sides, and encouraging the participation of relevant Chinese and CEE institutions, business circles and organizations, say the guidelines.

Moreover, both sides will support the smooth functioning of existing direct flights between China and CEE countries, the opening of more air routes at an early date, and the establishment of the China-CEE consortium on logistics cooperation at an appropriate time.

The trade and economic cooperation between China and CEE countries enjoys broad prospects. From January to October this year, bilateral trade volume has reached $50 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 10.1 percent, according to Chinese official figures.

So far, Chinese enterprises have invested more than $5 billion in CEE countries, covering such fields as machinery, chemical industry and telecommunication, while relevant sides are now actively expanding collaboration on investment in nuclear power, thermal power and others projects.