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China to Host China-CEE Leaders' Meeting for First Time

The fourth leaders' meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries will be held in east China's Suzhou city from November 24 to 25, the first time for China to host the meeting.

Leaders' meeting

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the leaders from the 16 CEE countries will attend the meeting in Suzhou, Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet the 16 countries' leaders in Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao said.

Leaders' meeting is the most important schedule under the framework of China-CEE cooperation this year, Wang said, noting it will lay a stronger foundation for future development.

The meeting in China this year will be meaningful to the sustained, balanced and in-depth relationship between China and Europe, Wang said.

Li will also attend a "16+1" round table meeting and an economic and trade forum.

The 16+1 meeting mechanism, launched in 2012, has helped to deepen traditional friendship, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote China-Europe relations, Wang said.

CEE countries that attended the meeting included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

New milestone

China is willing to be a good host and make the meeting a new milestone to the development of China-CEE cooperation, Wang said.

The theme of the meeting this year is "New beginning, New fields, New vision" , Wang said.

It is the first time for China to host the China-CEE leaders' meeting, Wang said, so the new beginning means it's an important period to inherit the past and usher in the future.

The meeting will propose new measures and expand new fields for China-CEE cooperation, covering inter-connectivity, investment and trade, finance, agriculture, people-to-people exchanges and so forth, Wang said.

The leaders will also plan the new vision of development in the next five years, aiming to strengthen top-level design for the cooperation, Wang said, adding that some outcome documents will be released after the meeting.

Wang said China-CEE cooperation has expanded into new areas and produced greater results, thanks to the increasingly mature mechanism and emerging platforms.

Trade and investment

Li will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony of a trade and investment forum in Suzhou, Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan said, adding that about 1,000 China and CEE business leaders will participate in the forum.

In 2010, the trade volume between China and CEE countries was $43.9 billion. The figure increased to $60.2 billion in 2014.

China-CEE economic and trade cooperation faces new chances, Gao said, calling on the two sides to deepen cooperation in industrial capacity and equipment manufacturing.

According to Gao, at present, Chinese companies have invested more than $5 billion in CEE countries and the 16 CEE countries have invested more than $1.2 billion in China.

Gao said both sides are expanding investment areas and diversifying investment forms.

China and CEE countries are closely linked by the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative, Gao said, adding the two sides have huge potentials in energy and infrastructure cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2015)

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