Emil Boc: Romania strives for mutual benefits through China-CEEC cooperation

Updated:2019-06-09 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Emil Boc, former prime minister of Romania and mayor of Cluj-Napoca attends the Dialogue Between CEEC Mayors and Ningbo (Jiangbei) Private Enterprises in Ningbo, Zhejiang province on June 8. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Romania, the third country in the world to establish diplomatic ties with China in 1949, is keen to work for mutually-beneficial outcomes through the Belt and Road Initiative and China-CEEC cooperation, said Emil Boc, former prime minister of Romania on June 8. 

Boc made the remarks in an exclusive interview with China Daily during the ongoing China-Central and Eastern European Countries Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. 

With strong political and cultural ties, we have a strong basis with which to build up our future relationship, said Boc, who is also the mayor of Cluj-Napoca, which became a sister city of Ningbo in 2014.

The former leader suggested that it's time to put relations on a more pragmatic footing and develop projects in infrastructure, information technology, innovation, tourism and the environment.

"We are very interested to get Chinese investment for the nuclear power plants that we have in Romania; these represent one of the biggest fields for potential investors to enter. At the same time, gaining access to China's advanced technology and experience in metro systems would be an advantage for us," he said.

Noting that innovation is the core of the new economy, Boc called for talented young people to work together in artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, internet of things, and machine learning to build a brighter future. 

The China (Ningbo) Central and Eastern Europe Youth Innovation Center is a place where our skilled young people can work together in the field of innovation to offer better solutions to today’s problems. Unfortunately, artificial intelligence will lead to some job losses as we go forward, but new jobs will be created thanks to the innovative efforts we are making today." 

As a regular visitor to China, and an admirer of the country's economic development, Boc has been to Ningbo four times within five years and has witnessed some of the dramatic changes that have taken place in the city, especially with the rise of its e-commerce industry. 

He hailed Ningbo's home-grown e-commerce platforms which facilitate the transportation of products between China and Romania, as well as other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. 

The e-commerce platforms are fast, providing us with good quality products at low prices, he said. 

Later this year, Romania will assume the rotating presidency of the European Union, something that also fills Boc with optimism.

Romania will use its presidency to serve as a bridge and facilitator between Europe and China, benefiting every single one of us, he pledged.