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Chinese premier raises proposals for "16+1" pragmatic cooperation
Last Updated: 2016-11-06 00:02 | Xinhua
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang addresses the Sixth China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries Economic and Trade Forum in Riga, Latvia, Nov. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday put forth five proposals for expanding pragmatic cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC), in light of the slower-than-expected world economic recovery and lackluster global trade.

In a keynote speech delivered to the Sixth China-CEEC Economic and Trade Forum here, Li proposed measures including promoting trade and connectivity, stepping up production capacity and tourism cooperation, and exploring innovative ways of financial cooperation.

The Chinese premier arrived in Latvia Friday morning, continuing an eight-day Eurasia tour that has already taken him to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and will conclude in Russia.

He also attended a meeting here between the heads of government of China and 16 CEE countries, also known as the "16+1" summit.

To expand two-way trade, an investment-friendly environment should be created, while customs and quarantine coordination mechanisms should be established and improved, Li said.

The premier also called for development of cross-border e-commerce, promising China will import from CEE countries quality agricultural and industrial products while urging easier access of Chinese products and businesses to the CEE market.

For greater connectivity, China encourages capable Chinese enterprises to participate in infrastructure construction in CEE countries through various forms, Li said, adding that China supports the early completion of the Hungary-Serbia railway and the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line, and backs the construction of Asia-Europe transportation channels, increasing the number of trains running between China and Europe, and setting up more logistic centers in CEE countries.

To promote production capacity cooperation, Li pledged China's willingness to build industrial and technological parks together with CEE nations.

On financial cooperation, he noted that a 16+1 financial holding company will be established, which mainly supports the purchase of Chinese equipment and products in connectivity and production capacity cooperation projects under the 16+1 framework.

Li also proposed that all sides should promote tourism cooperation by easing visa policies, simplifying border entry procedures and launching more direct flights.

The Chinese premier hopes that the number of tourists between China and CEE countries will double in five years.

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