Zhou Xiaoyan: Huge potential in China-CEEC cooperation

Updated:2017-06-06 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Zhou Xiaoyan (center), director-general of European affairs at the Ministry of Commerce, speaks on June 5 at a news briefing for the 3rd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo, to be held in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, on June 8-12. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

There is huge potential and great prospects for cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries, said Zhou Xiaoyan, director-general of European affairs at China's Ministry of Commerce, on June 5 at a news briefing for the 3rd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo, which will take place in Ningbo, Zhejiang province on June 8-12.

The 16 CEE countries, accounting for a quarter of the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, are among the most dynamic and promising regions in Europe. They want to have economic and trade cooperation with China and the two sides' markets are obviously complementary to each other, said Zhou.

The two sides have already made great progress in deepening economic and trade links. Exports and imports between China and CEE countries increased from $43.9 billion in 2010 to $58.7 billion in 2016.

Chinese companies have invested more than $8 billion in Central and Eastern European countries to date, covering fields as diverse as mechanical equipment, chemical engineering, telecommunications, household appliances, new energy, logistics, R&D, finance and agriculture.

Investment has also flowed in the other direction, with companies from CEE countries investing more than $1.2 billion in China on projects ranging from machine and auto parts manufacturing, chemical engineering, finance and environmental protection.

The upcoming China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo is expected to bring China and the CEE countries even closer together. The five-day event in Ningbo will feature a total of 15 activities, including conferences, forums, exhibitions and cultural exchanges.