East and West dialogue still paying dividends
The China-CEEC Expo held in Ningbo has achieved success in exhibitions, investment cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and mechanism partnership.
The four expos between 2015-18 invited more than 1,000 companies from Central and Eastern European countries to exhibit, showcasing more than 3,000 goods. At each session of the expo, nearly 10,000 companies nationwide held business talks and purchased goods. The purchase spend totaled 1 billion yuan ($144.7 million yuan).
It has produced 712 investment cooperation projects for CEEC, involving infrastructure, tourism, machine manufacturing, food and medicine, and investment amounting to nearly 4 billion yuan.
More than 100 educational cooperation agreements and nearly 50 tourism partnership agreements have been signed at the expos. The total investment exceeds 100 billion yuan. An annual event related to the expo, which organizes Ningbo tourists to visit Central and Eastern Europe, has become a brand welcomed by countries in that region.
Several important activities have been held during the expo promoting cooperation between China and CEEC. The Ministry of Commerce hosted the Ministerial Conference of China and Central and Eastern European Countries on Promoting Trade and Economic Cooperation in Ningbo in 2016 and 2018.
The third China-CEEC Customs Inspection and Quarantine Cooperation Dialogue was held last year in Ningbo. It released a three-year (2018-20) action plan for cooperation and agreed to establish a process of consultations at regular meetings.
As part of the fourth expo, the dialogue released a shared vision document. It said all the countries will strengthen cooperation on customs inspection and quarantine, guaranteeing the safety of imported and exported food and agricultural products.