China-CEE leaders' meeting boosts connectivity, cooperation

Updated: 2014-12-17 16:30


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BELGRADE -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended Tuesday the third leaders' meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in Belgrade, and held a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, to introduce achievements of the meeting.

There is tremendous potential for China and CEE countries to work with each other, Li said, saying the Belgrade Guidelines for Cooperation between China and CEE countries released after the meeting sets the direction of future cooperation.


The two sides agreed to enhance connectivity and hailed the signing of cooperation agreements on building a railway running through Belgrade and Budapest to connect China, Hungary and Serbia.

The countries pledged to continuously improve China-Europe international railway container transportation, making it a priority project in deepening mutually beneficial cooperation and enhancing connectivity 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 highways, railways, seaports and airports.

Serbia will lead to establish a consortium on China-CEE transport infrastructure cooperation to serve participating companies.

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


When addressing the Fourth Economic and Trade Forum between China and CEE countries in the Serbian capital, Li raised a four-point proposal on pushing forward economic cooperation between China and CEE countries.

The premier asked to combine China's advantages in equipment manufacturing with the needs of CEE countries for infrastructure upgrade to make good use of China's equipment production capacity and promote the economic development of these nations.

He proposed setting up a new framework for joint investment and financing between China and CEE countries as a way to serve the real economy.

China encourages CEE countries to continue using the 10-billion-U.S.-dollar special credit line, and another 3-billion-dollar investment fund will be established to encourage Chinese companies and financial institutions to participate in public-private cooperation and the privatization process in CEE countries.

China will also launch the second phase of China-CEE Investment Cooperation Fund worth 1 billion dollars to support its investment projects in these counties.

To boost bilateral trade, Li said the Chinese government will take joint measures with the governments of CEE nations to facilitate personnel exchanges to create favorable conditions for expanding trade and improve trade structure between the two sides.


China and CEE countries agreed to strengthen cooperation in such fields as tourism, science and technology, culture, education, health care, youth, women and media.

Li called for well-designed activities for the China-CEE tourism year of 2015 and urged support for the creation of a think tank.

He said that all sides should continue to simplify visa procedures to facilitate travel, adding that his country will double the number of CEE students studying in China next year.

CEE countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.