Li Keqiang Attends Opening Ceremony of Seventh China-CEEC Business Forum with CEEC Leaders and Delivers Speech
2017/11/28

On November 27, 2017 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the seventh China-CEEC Business Forum in Budapest.

Li Keqiang said that located at the two ends of Eurasia, China and CEEC are far away from each other, but the foundation of our relations is solid. The "16+1 cooperation", which was jointly launched by China and CEEC, is a pioneering endeavor of China-Europe friendly cooperation with broad development prospects. Being a business-led, government-supported and market-driven process, the "16+1 cooperation" has followed internationally accepted rules, and helped us to reap win-win outcomes. The "16+1 cooperation" has been an important component of and beneficial complement to the overall China-Europe relationship, which contributed to the development of China-Europe relations.

Li Keqiang emphasized that we should forge synergy between the "Belt and Road" initiative and the development strategies of CEEC and make CEEC an early beneficiary of the outcomes of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in line with the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration. We need to speed up the building of the Budapest-Belgrade railway and other connectivity projects, work for the sound development of freight train services, expand international industrial capacity cooperation, and jointly build a number of economic and trade cooperation zones, with a view to developing better integrated chains of industry, of value and of logistics with stronger impetus and broader benefits.

---We need to vigorously promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. We should enhance cooperation among customs authorities, and speed up logistics operations. We should establish a sound mechanism for communication and coordination on inspection and quarantine, and explore the possibility of setting up an e-commerce cooperation mechanism for China and CEEC. In 2018, China will host the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. CEEC companies are more than welcome to take part in the Expo.

---We need to further expand financing channels. China supports commercial and development financial institutions in financing China-CEEC cooperation projects and encourages RMB financing in these projects. The China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association is officially established today, and the China Development Bank will provide two billion euros equivalent development finance facility. The second stage of the China-CEEC Investment Cooperation Fund has been completed with a fresh capitalization of US$1 billion, most of which will be invested in Central and Eastern Europe.

---We need to enhance cooperation among SMEs so that enterprises of all sizes will be able to forge synergy and grow together. We will set up more cooperation mechanisms and service platforms to help SMEs to trade with each other and identify cooperation projects.

Li Keqiang introduced China's economic situation and pointed out that China's economy has maintained steady progress and delivered a better-than-expected performance. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held last month formulated a grand blueprint and program of action for China's future development. China's economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a period of high-quality development, which will definitely provide more open markets and greater growth, investment and cooperation opportunities for various countries in the world including CEEC. It is believed that far-sighted and ambitious companies of all countries will make full use of the China-CEEC cooperation platform to get on board the express train of China's development and share in the benefits of growth.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary said that CEEC would like to cooperate with all countries with an open mind and that China is the most important cooperative partner of CEEC. Over the past five years, the development of the "16+1 cooperation" has covered various fields such as economy and trade, connectivity and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, which is not only conducive to the development of CEEC, but also serves as an effective mechanism as well as an important part of the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between Europe and China. In the context of a changing world political order and economic pattern, 16 CEEC are willing to, in line with the spirit of equal treatment and mutual respect, take the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation towards China as a development opportunity, actively participate in the "Belt and Road" initiative and create a better environment for Chinese enterprises to invest and establish business, thus promoting the long-term development of exchanges and cooperation between CEEC and China.

More than 1,000 representatives of entrepreneurs from China and CEEC attended the opening ceremony of the forum.

Afterwards, Li Keqiang and Viktor Orban came to the site of the "16 + 1" SMEs Matchmaking Event held on the sidelines of the forum, visited the exhibition of the achievements of the event, and warmly interacted and communicated with the entrepreneurs.

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