Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai (R) shakes hands with President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in Reykjavik, capital of Iceland, on Oct. 27, 2013. (Xinhua/Fu Yiming)
REYKJAVIK, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to expand cooperation with Iceland in multiple areas, Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai said here on Sunday.
"China is willing to expand pragmatic cooperations with Iceland in fields of economy, trade, geothermal energy, Arctic research, environment, science and technology and social development," Ma said when he met with President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.
"China and Iceland have been genuine friends based on mutual trust and support, and reliable partners for mutually-beneficial cooperations on an equal basis," said the Chinese vice premier.
The constantly advancing cooperations, including the bilateral free trade agreement signed earlier this year, would certainly propel the bilateral relations into "an all-new stage," he said.
Grimsson said that he believed the bilateral relations would advance faster and better, based on true friendship, especially given the multiple economic, trade and financial cooperations China had with Iceland during the financial crisis.
"The Iceland-China relations have become a model of cooperation between countries of different sizes and historical and cultural backgrounds," Grimsson said.
During his official visit to Iceland, Ma also held talks with Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson on Saturday.
Currently, the all-round bilateral cooperations between the two countries are faced with crucial development opportunities, and both sides should keep close high-level communications and enhance political mutual trust, Ma said.
Gunnlaugsson said Iceland sees China as an important partner, and with the gradual usage of the Northern Sea Route, Iceland expects to expand the bilateral trade and join hands with China in effort to build the "Northern Silk Road."