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Li Keqiang Attends the Fourth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries

2015/11/25

On the afternoon of November 24, 2015, Premier Li Keqiang attended at the Taihu International Conference Center in Suzhou the fourth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries together with leaders of 16 Central and Eastern European countries. Li Keqiang chaired the summit. Representatives of the EU, Austria, Greece and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development were present at the summit as observers.

In his speech, Li Keqiang noted that the cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries opened a new avenue of cooperation between China and European countries. Both sides have advanced and expanded 16+1 cooperation covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, finance, tourism, education, agriculture, culture, local cooperation and many other areas, which is getting increasingly enriched and mature and have benefited its members and their peoples. The 16+1 cooperation has moved in parallel with the greater interests of China-EU cooperation, shows the commitment to achieving all-win outcomes for China, Central and Eastern European countries and the EU, and has explored a new model of practical cooperation among countries in different regions of the world and with different systems.

Li Keqiang proposed a "1+6" cooperation framework for bilateral cooperation, which includes one goal and six priorities dedicated to building the new model of partnership featuring openness, inclusiveness and win-win outcomes:

First, implement the roadmap for advancing cooperation. China and the EU have agreed that the two sides will work to synergize the Belt and Road initiative with the development plan for Europe, the international cooperation on industrial capacity with the Investment Plan for Europe, and 16+1 cooperation with China-EU cooperation. This has laid a solid foundation for medium- and long-term cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries. China will work with the Central and Eastern European countries to share each other's development opportunities, and join efforts to implement the Medium-term Plan for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and the Suzhou Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries issued during the summit.

Second, promote synergy between the development strategies and promote connectivity. The Central and Eastern European countries enjoy a distinct advantage in location. Both sides should form synergy between their respective policies and work faster to build demonstrative projects. China is willing to work with relevant nations to kick-start and advance the Belgrade-Budapest railway project, build the China-Europe land-sea express line, carry out customs cooperation to make customs clearing more convenient along the land-sea express line, expand cooperation in logistics, develop China-Europe rail links and expand exchanges and cooperation on civil aviation.

Third, set new examples for cooperation on production capacity. China will work with the 16 countries to draw on our comparative advantages and the characteristics of our industries and conduct diverse forms of two-way cooperation on production capacity to support the Central and Eastern European countries to improve their industrialization. China has put forward the cooperation initiative involving the ports of the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas and build industrial clusters in ports where conditions are readily available. China needs to step up support for the enterprises of both nations to take part in and expand the combination of China's equipment and products, Europe's technology and market of the Central and Eastern European countries so that more projects of production capacity cooperation will emerge and become highlights of 16+1 cooperation.

Fourth, keep looking for new ways for investment and financing cooperation. China proposes all parties to discuss on the establishment of a 16+1 finance company and explore new models such as "Internet-based e-commerce+financing", supports establishing RMB settlement arrangements in the Central and Eastern European countries and encourages Chinese financial institutions to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with regional and international multilateral financial institutions in order to provide more financial support for 16+1 cooperation.

Fifth, promote the growth of both trade and investment. China stands ready to promote trade and investment facilitation together with the 16 countries, supports new platforms to connect SMEs of both sides in innovation cooperation, boost agricultural cooperation and expand bilateral trade in agricultural produce and food to promote the growth of trade in a balanced way.

Sixth, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China suggests that the year 2016 be made the year of 16+1 people-to-people and cultural exchanges to fully leverage existing cooperation platforms in education, science and technology, culture, youth, health and the media through an array of events in people-to-people and cultural interactions.

Li Keqiang stressed that the 16+1 cooperation now stands at a new historical starting point, and the prospects ahead are only brighter. All parties should join efforts to embroider a masterpiece of cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries.

The leaders of Central and Eastern European countries present at the summit highly appreciated the results yielded in the "16+1" cooperation, fully affirmed the significance of the formulation of the Medium-term Plan for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, and supported the one goal and six priorities in deepening 16+1 cooperation put forward by Li Keqiang. The leaders expressed that the Central and Eastern European nations enjoy sound relations with China. The 16+1 cooperation, with great potential and robust dynamics, is a bond linking the Central and Eastern Europe and China and provides an effective platform for the Central and Eastern European countries to jointly address challenges, develop economy and improve people's livelihood, and for beefing up cooperation between the Central and Eastern Europe and China, Europe and China as well as among the Central and Eastern European countries. Based on the sound bilateral cooperation, the Central and Eastern European countries are willing to, together with China, dock development strategies, innovate cooperation modes, expand mutually beneficial and practical cooperation in politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges, implement cooperation projects including the land-sea connectivity and push the 16+1 cooperation to a new level.

After the summit, China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries together issued the Medium-term Plan for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and the Suzhou Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries.

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