Li Guanding: Ningbo aims high to boost B&R Initiative
Ningbo strives to be a pioneer in serving Belt and Road Initiative construction announced Li Guanding, deputy mayor of Ningbo, the Zhejiang province city, on June 5 at a news briefing for the 3rd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo.
The China-CEEC Investment Trade Expo, which has been held in Ningbo for two consecutive years, is regarded as one of the city's major moves to reach its Belt and Road Initiative goals.
Li said the city will further improve the influence of the expo and make it a significant platform for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.
A series of measures have been taken to strengthen cooperative ties and several notable achievements have already been reached, Li explained.
A special fund of 85 million yuan ($12.5 million) used for China-CEEC economic and cultural cooperation is established every year for related projects. Currently, there are two expo venues under construction, one will be used in 2018 and the other in 2019.
The import and export trade between Ningbo and CEE countries exceeded 2.3 billion dollars in 2016, accounting for 4 percent of the total China-CEEC import and export trade. Ningbo's investments in CEE countries in 2016 increased 15-fold compared to previous years.
Furthermore, cultural exchanges between the two sides have been enhanced with Ningbo establishing friendly relations with 20 cities of CEE countries. It currently enjoys partnerships with more than 50 colleges and universities in the region. Already, more than 400 exchange students have reaped the rewards of these collaborative relationships.
This year's expo in Ningbo will run from June 8 to 12 with a total of 15 activities set to take place including conferences, forums, exhibitions, and cultural exchanges.
Li Guanding, deputy mayor of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, speaks on June 5 at a news briefing for the 3rd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo that is to be held in Ningbo from June 8 to 12. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]