Ningbo expo to further reinforce China-CEE ties

NINGBO, China, June 3, 2018

Ningbo, a coastal city in East China’s Zhejiang province which has the busiest port in the world by cargo tonnage, is set to host the 4th China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo (China-CEEC Expo) from June 8 to 11. It is hoped the expo will further strengthen cooperation and trade ties between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.

The trade ties between China and CEE countries have been stronger since the establishment of “16+1 cooperation” mechanism in 2012, which was launched with the aim of increasing economic activity and trade between China and the potentially lucrative CEE market.

“As stipulated in the Budapest Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries in November of 2017, Ningbo was chosen to be the host city of the expo for the fourth time,” said Liu Changchun, vice mayor of Ningbo at a news conference in Beijing on June 1. Moreover, the Guidelines proposed the establishment of a demonstration zone under the “16+1 cooperation” mechanism in Ningbo as well.

Ningbo was once a significant port on the ancient Maritime Silk Road and has been an important hub for China’s foreign trade down the ages. In recent times, it has once again become a port of high significance. In 2017, the value of foreign trade between Ningbo and the other countries exceeded $10 million for the third consecutive year and the foreign investment in the city surpassed $50 billion. The Ningbo-Zhoushan Port became the world’s first to have a year’s cargo throughput of 1 billion metric tons last year.

Ningbo has been attaching great importance to the exchanges and cooperation with CEE countries, a crucial region in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In 2017, the value of foreign trade between the city and 16 CEE countries reached $2.92 billion, accounting for 4.3 percent of the nation’s total. The number of investment projects between the two regions to date is 125.

Ningbo and CEE countries have also advanced cooperation in other sectors, including education, culture, tourism and logistics.

As explained by Liu, the expo will offer 16 activities in forms of conferences, forums, exhibitions and cultural exchanges. With an exhibition area of 84,000 square meters, the expo will set up 310 booths for 257 companies of CEE countries.

A ministerial conference on economy and trade will also be held at the expo. Ministers from China and CEE countries will hold in-depth discussions on trade, investment, finance, e-commerce and small and medium-sized companies.

“China is opening wider to the world and we hope the ministerial conference will link the two regions further and encourage mutual cooperation,” said Yu Yuantang, deputy director general of the Department of European Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce.

Along with the 4th China-CEEC Expo, the 20th China Zhejiang Investment & Trade Symposium and the 17th China International Consumer Goods Fair will take place in Ningbo.

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