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China, CEEC pledge to deepen cooperation at local level
Source: Xinhuanet     Date: 2018-10-20
SOFIA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) on Saturday expressed their will to deepen cooperation at the local level within the framework of the 16+1 (16 CEE countries and China) mechanism.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory letter to the 4th Local Leaders' Meeting of China and CEEC held in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, calling for enhancing cooperation at the local level between China and CEEC.
At the meeting, Cao Jianming, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said that in recent years the 16+1 cooperation has achieved very good results at the local level.
The 16+1 Association of Provincial Governors has adopted more than 50 regions from China and CEEC, and they have deepened their cooperation, Cao said.
"When we focus our efforts on local cooperation, the results become visible to people, and I am sure that it will develop more and more in the future," Cao said.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said that this local leaders meeting was held just three months after the 7th China-CEEC Summit in Sofia and a day after the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Brussels, "two very important forums that trace our further cooperation."
When government relations are good, local authorities become the driving force of bilateral cooperation because the development of investment is directly dependent on mayors and district governors, Borissov said.
The 4th Local Leaders' Meeting, held under the motto "Global Thinking, Local Action," gathered more than 700 delegates from the 16 CEE countries and 16 Chinese provinces such as Liaoning, Hainan, Shandong, Henan, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Gansu.
It held two plenary sessions including "Agriculture and Tourism" and "Industrial and Demonstrative Parks and Zones and SMEs."
Delegates are expected to adopt a joint document called the Sofia Consensus. The draft of this document states that cooperation at the local level "represents an important part of the 16+1 cooperation".
It says that the participants welcome continued trade growth between China and CEEC and stand ready to make an effort for a more balanced trade partnership and better trade facilitation between China and CEEC.