BRATISLAVA, Slovakia: President Hu Jintao said at yesterday’s breakfast with Chinese and Slovak business people that China hopes to advance sustained trade development with Slovakia and Europe, especially in times of global financial crisis.
"It is all countries'responsibility to push for the world economy to recover with the determination that we should cooperate and tide over the crisis together,"Hu said.
The global economic slowdown has affected the trade and businesses between the two countries. Xu Buyang, Board Chairmen of the China Buyang Group, said his company’s business in Central and Eastern Europe– a series of doors including burglar-proof, garage and armored doors – has dropped by nearly 60 percent.
Hu encouraged small-and-middle-sized firms from both countries to explore more practical areas of cooperation to create new engines to drive economic growth.
He said the Chinese government supports its businesses to actively participate in infrastructure construction for energy, highways, railways and telecommunications in Slovakia and encourage them to partner with Slovak businesses to create new trade growth engines in research and development for new energy, labor and engineering
He applauded the signing of new deals yesterday between the Chinese and Slovak businesses in the areas of agricultural products processing, manufacturing of LCDs and new energy, saying that Slovakia has become China’s important economic and trade partner in Central and Eastern Europe.
He asked both countries' governments to enhance their services for businesses from both countries to increase their communications.
Prior to Hu's speech, Slovak president Ivan Gasparovic called for Slovak businesses to recognize the potential of the big market inChina, lamenting the fact that Slovak's export to China accounts for a fraction of its total exports.
While welcoming more Chinese to visit Slovakia as tourists, Gasparovic said Slovakiaalso hopes the Chinese to join the local leisure and vacation businesses.
According to local Chinese firms, Slovakia has become a springboard for them to expand their businesses not only in Europe, but into the Middle East and Africa.
Lenovo set up a laptop custom and support center in Slovakia three years, making use of the country’s geographic location, relatively inexpensive labor and good investment environment.
Today, the center employs some 600 highly skilled professionals and workers, 90 percent of whom are Slovak, Yang Yuanqing, chief executive officer of Lenovo, said yesterday at the breakfast.
President Hu Jintao arrived in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, later Friday for state visit of the southeastern European country. He is scheduled to hold talks with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic and President of the Parliament Luka Bebic.
Hu and his entourage is also scheduled to wind up the week-long trip of Russia, Slovakia and Croatia and depart Zagreb in Saturday evening.