Li makes pitch for business in­vest­ment

Cen­tral and East­ern Europe could ben­e­fit from Chi­nese ex­pe­ri­ence

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By QIN JIZE in Bel­grade, Ser­bia and ZHANG YUNBI in Beijing

In front of key gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and more than 1,500 busi­ness­men from Cen­tral and East­ern Europe, Premier LiKe­qiang laid out Beijing’s lat­est vi­sion for in­tro­duc­ing Chi­nese equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers to ad­dress mount­ing de­mand for in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion in the re­gion.

In­fra­struc­ture, trade and fi­nanc­ing dom­i­nated the topic of the premier’s busy day as he at­tended the third lead­ers’ meet­ing and the Fourth Eco­nomic and Trade Fo­rum be­tween China and 16 Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries.

The premier made sales pitches on be­half of Chi­nese equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­nesses who seek more deals in the re­gion.

Li spoke of China’s deep ex­pe­ri­ence and tech­nol­ogy in equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing as well as the at­trac­tive qual­ity and cost-ef­fec­tive prod­ucts in rail­ways, elec­tric­ity, ports, and the chem­i­cal and me­chan­i­cal sec­tors.

“A win-win sit­u­a­tion will be seen” after the coun­tries com­bine the made-in-China el­e­ments with the in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion in the re­gion, he said.

China en­cour­ages its en­ter­prises to es­tab­lish fac­to­ries in Cen­tral and East­ern Europe, ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in in­dus­trial parks and boost lo­cal em­ploy­ment, Li said.

China’s busi­nesses are also ex­pected to act as a driv­ing force for “the up­grad­ing and trans­for­ma­tion of Chi­nese in­dus­tries”, he said.

China’s strength in in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, es­pe­cially in high-speed rail­way, sees an ex­pand­ing mar­ket in the re­gion, and the projects them­selves will pro­vide a ro­bust boost to trade, said Wang Wei, a re­searcher at the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

Pro­mot­ing new en­ergy pro­grams in the re­gion will in re­turn prompt the de­vel­op­ment and trans­for­ma­tion of en­ergy-sav­ing in­dus­tries back in China, Wang said.

On the fi­nanc­ing front, the premier pro­posed set­ting up a newframe­work for joint in­vest­ment and fi­nanc­ing be­tween China and the 16 coun­tries.

China en­cour­ages the coun­tries to con­tinue us­ing the $10-bil­lion spe­cial credit line, and another $3-bil­lion in­vest­ment fund will be es­tab­lished to en­cour­age Chi­nese com­pa­nies and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to par­tic­i­pate in pub­lic-pri­vate co­op­er­a­tion and the pri­va­ti­za­tion process in those coun­tries.

China will also launch the sec­ond phase of the $1-bil­lion In­vest­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Fund for China and East­ern Europe to support its in­vest­ment projects in th­ese coun­tries, Li said.

The co­op­er­a­tion is adding di­ver­sity and va­ri­ety to the re­la­tion­ship, which will re­sult in great ben­e­fits for the evolv­ing part­ner­ship, said Kong Tian­ping, a re­searcher on Euro­pean stud­ies at Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

Kong said Beijing’s ex­pec­ta­tions that the trip will “forge a new en­gine” for the re­la­tion­ship will make ties de­velop in a bal­anced way.

To boost trade, Li said, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment will work with the gov­ern­ments of Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean na­tions to fa­cil­i­tate per­son­nel ex­changes, cre­ate fa­vor­able con­di­tions for ex­pand­ing trade and im­prove trade struc­tures.

A guide­line un­veiled on Tues­day voiced support for es­tab­lish­ing the ex­ec­u­tive body of the Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean Coun­tries in War­saw, Poland.

The Bel­grade Guide­lines for Co­op­er­a­tion said the coun­tries also wel­comed the es­tab­lish­ment of a sec­re­tariat in Beijing andWar­saw for the pro­mo­tion of in­vest­ment be­tween China and Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries.

They an­nounced a decision to hold a bi­en­nial min­is­te­rial meet­ing to pro­mote trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story. Con­tact the writ­ers through zhangyunbi@ chi­

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