China and the 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries signed an action plan for cooperation in forestry.
The action plan aimed at sustainable and multipurpose forest management, boosting green economic cooperation and exchanging of information, scientific experience and joint research.
With the signing of the plan, Slovenia has formally taken on the coordinating role. A Slovenia-based coordinating body, including representatives of ministries in charge of forestry from the CEE and China, will be formed.
Dejan Zidan, Slovenian Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister, said the protection of forest was one of the main challenges facing the world today.
"The action plan contains a broader vision and mission of cooperation in forestry and concrete goals we are going to follow in cooperation between the 16 CEE countries and China," he said.
Slovenia was looking forward to new business opportunities through the cooperation, he added.
Zhang Jianlong, director of the State Forestry Administration of China, said that forestry was playing an increasingly important role in China's economic and society development.
"Today's first high-profile meeting represents the beginning of joint cooperation and assistance in joint growth. Together, we can take cooperation to a higher level," he said.
CEE countries all emphasized the vital importance of forests in the efforts to improve living conditions, stimulate green growth, mitigate climate change and boost sustainable social and economic development.
A 16+1 forestry industry business and investment conference was also held with focusing on exchanging views of the forestry industry, particularly on wood and wood products and non-wood forest products.
(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2016)