BizBeat Ep. 36: Keeping the momentum, working together for a new chapter in China-CEEC cooperation
By Michelle Van den Bergh

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a keynote speech at the China-CEEC Summit in Beijing. He revealed China's plans to import more than $170 billion worth of goods from Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) in the next five years and double agricultural imports. 

Other initiatives include deepening ties in the green economy, e-commerce and health care.

Speaking of health care, President Xi said China stands ready to provide CEE countries with coronavirus vaccines if needed. Chinese companies have already provided one million vaccine doses to Serbia, and Hungary is already cooperating with Chinese vaccine companies.

Compared with nine years ago, the trade volume between China and the CEE countries has increased by nearly 85 percent and the number of two-way tourist exchanges has increased by almost 400 percent. The China-Europe Railway Express covers most of the CEE countries, with more than 30,000 trains running. 

President Xi said cooperation between the two sides is based on four principles.

The first one is making decisions through consulting one another. The second is making sure that cooperation is beneficial to both sides. The third is pursuing mutual development through openness and inclusiveness, and the fourth principle is achieving future growth through continued innovation.

Economists say that China is hoping to cooperate with CEE countries in areas in line with the European Union's interests. They have geographical significance for China's aspirations to boost interconnectivity.

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