Foreign Affairs
Li's visit to boost China-Romania cooperation: senior officials
Last Updated: 2013-11-23 00:24 | Xinhua
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China will enhance economic cooperation with Romania during Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to the east European country, senior officials said on Friday.

The visit, from next Monday to Wednesday, will be Li's first to central and eastern Europe since taking office in March, and also the first visit to Romania by a Chinese premier in 19 years, said Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao at a news briefing.

China and Romania are traditional friends, said Song, adding that it is the common aspiration of both nations and peoples and in line with their interests to boost substantial cooperation.

Stressing that China and Romania are highly complementary in their economies, Song said the two nations could fully exert their advantages to deepen cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, energy and agriculture.

Romania is an important trade partner to China among central and eastern European countries, though the current bilateral trading volume is not very high, said Zhang Xiangchen, assistant minister of commerce, at the news briefing.

According to statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the trade volume between China and Romania in the first ten months of this year reached 3.27 billion U.S. dollars, up from last year.

China's current total investment in Romania exceeds 160 million U.S. dollars, while Romania's investment in China stands at 280 million U.S. dollars, said Zhang.

He also mentioned that Romania's exports to China stood at 360 million U.S. dollars in 2008, while in 2012, the number surged to nearly 1 billion.

Both countries are willing to expand the scale of trade and deal with the trade imbalance, Zhang said, adding that China has taken measures to boost trade.

For example, the Chinese government has encouraged enterprises to import Romanian products and attend trade fairs in Romania, he said.

The two countries are in the process of negotiating the quarantine of animal products such as pork, said Zhang. "If agreements are reached, they will create conditions for the export of these products to China."

Romania was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). The two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1949, immediately after the founding of the PRC.

During his stay in Romania, Li will also attend a China-Central and Eastern Europe leaders' meeting.

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