PRAGUE, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The second China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Local Leaders' Meeting concluded here on Friday, with a Chinese delegation headed by Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli having had comprehensive exchanges with leaders and delegates from the 16 countries in the region.
The Chinese vice primer and Jan Hamacek, Chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, attended the closing ceremony.
Upon conclusion of the two-day meeting, a series of cooperation documents were signed.
Addressing the ceremony, Zhang announced that the third China-CEEC Local Leaders' Meeting will be held in Hebei Province, China, adding that the Chinese government will offer all necessary help for the meeting.
SINO-CZECH RELATIONS UPGRADED
During his stay here from Wednesday to Friday, the Chinese vice premier held talks with Czech President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on further advancing bilateral ties and China-Europe relations.
In his meeting with Zeman, Zhang conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping's greetings to Zeman.
He said that on the basis of deepening mutual understanding and trust, Sino-Czech friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation will enter a new era of growth.
Noting that the Czech Republic was one of the first countries that recognized the new China founded in 1949, Zhang said Sino-Czech relations remain showing huge potential as both sides cherish strong motivation for cooperation in the fields of, among others, trade, investment, agriculture, technology, medical services, infrastructure and tourism.
Zhang said the Chinese government encourages domestic companies to invest in the Czech Republic and will work with the Czech government to create favorable environment for and actively promote cooperation between the two countries' companies.
Stressing Czech-Chinese relations have seen new opportunities of further growth as bilateral practical cooperation continued to make progress, Zeman said the Czech Republic is ready to work with China to further tap into the potential and expand the area of bilateral cooperation and expects more investment from Chinese companies.
Zeman pledged to use the platform of "16 plus 1 cooperation" to advance cooperation between China and the CEEC and other countries of the European Union.
Zhang's visit to the Czech Republic, the first of its kind by a senior Chinese leader in nearly five years, took place on the occasion when the two countries are marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Sino-Czech relations have been picking up steam since President Xi met with Zeman in Sochi, Russia, in February when the two leaders were in the Russian resort for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
During the meeting, Xi said both countries should take the 65th anniversary of the forging of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to bring bilateral relations to a higher level.