PRAGUE, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) is showing ever greater vitality and attractiveness, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said here Thursday.
Zhang made the remarks as he addressed the opening ceremony of the second China-CEEC local leaders' meeting Thursday morning.
Zhang said since the new cooperative platform of China-CEEC cooperation, also known as “16 plus 1 cooperation”, was established more than two years ago, it has been widely recognized by the international community and its concept of equality and mutual benefits has taken deep root among people.
He said the China-CEEC cooperation is picking up momentum. Under the guidance of the Bucharest guidelines issued at the successful second China-CEEC leaders meeting in the end of last year, the “16 plus 1 cooperation” achieved one fresh result after another.
Zhang said this year has been designated as the year of China-CEEC investment and trade promotion. The countries held a China-CEEC trade promotion ministers meeting and a CEEC special product exhibition. They have jointly set up a China-CEEC tourism cooperation coordinating center and are planning to set up an association of local government heads.
Zhang said with the support of Chinese capital, China-CEEC cooperation on large-scale projects such as construction of power stations and superhighway have made major progress.
The initial phase of 500 million U.S. dollars under the China-CEEC investment cooperation fund has started. The construction of the railway between Hungary and Serbia is going on steadily.
Zhang said China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries share mutual understanding and trust, high inter-complementarity among their economies and huge potential in meeting each other’s need for cooperation.
He said advancing cooperation between China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries confirms with their common interests and the general direction of deepening the comprehensive China-Europe strategic partnership of mutual benefits.
He said the countries should integrate the “16 plus 1 cooperation” with their own development process and convert their own specific demands into concrete and tangible cooperative projects.
He said the two sides should integrate China’s growing consumption demand with Central and Easter European countries’ will to expand exports by realizing the goal of boosting two-way trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars per year.
Zhang said the two sides should also strengthen cooperation in the areas of railway, highway, ports and energy.
He said the two sides should integrate China’s development with the industrial and technological advantages of CEEC countries to improve CEEC companies’ competitiveness in China market.