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The Ministry of Commerce Holds the 2nd Press Conference on China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and Trade Cooperation and China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo

Wang Xuekun: Friends from media, good morning! Welcome to the 2nd Press Conference on China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and Trade Cooperation and China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo. Firstly, I'd like to introduce you the leaders present at the press conference: Zhou Xiaoyan, the Director of the MOFCOM Department of European Affairs, and Wang Jianhou, the Deputy Mayor of Ningbo City. They will introduce you the status of economy and trade cooperation between China and CEEC and the preparation progress of China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo, and answer the questions of your concerns. I’m Wang Xuekun, the Deputy Director of the General Office of MOFCOM and the host of today's conference. Now, let’s welcome Director Zhou Xiaoyan to introduce the status of economy and trade cooperation between China and CEEC.

Zhou Xiaoyan: Friends form media, I’m glad to attend the 2nd Press Conference on China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and Trade Cooperation and China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo. Now, I’ll introduce the overall conditions of China-CEEC economy and trade cooperation, then I’ll brief on the preparations for the Ministerial Conference and the Expo.

I. About the China-CEEC Cooperation

In April 2012, China-CEEC Leaders Meeting was first held in Warsaw, which officially started China-CEEC operation mechanism.

In 2013, president Xi initiated to co-build the “One Belt and Road”, winning CEEC’ s broad response and active participation and starting the win-win cooperation between china and CEEC. In November 2015, at the fourth China-CEEC Leaders Meeting held in Suzhou, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and CEEC state leaders jointly declared the mid-term planning for China-CEEC cooperation and Suzhou Guideline, which showed the direction and planned the roadmap for the future cooperation. At present, China-CEEC cooperation mechanism has been improved, with increasingly broad influence and notable results. Economy and trade cooperation has always been the important content of China-CEEC cooperation. In recent years, under the joint efforts of both sides, the China-CEEC economy and trade has made solid progress, mainly in three aspects:

Firstly, the bilateral trade grows steadily. Statistics from the China Customs show that the bilateral trade between China and CEEC reached USD 56.2 billion in 2015, increasing by 28% compared with 2010. The trade structure between the two sides is constantly optimized and the trade field is constantly expanded.

Secondly, the mutual investment is continuously extended. According to incomplete statistics, the investment by Chinese enterprises in CEEC has exceeded USD 5 billion so far, primarily in the sectors such as machinery, chemicals, telecommunications, logistics, commerce and trade, new energy, finance and agriculture. The investment by 16 Central and Eastern European countries has exceeded USD 1.2 billion, including such sectors as mechanical manufacturing, auto parts, chemicals, finance and environmental protection.

Thirdly, breakthrough has been made in the cooperation of infrastructure constructions. The Danube Bridge at Belgrade, Serbia, the first project implemented by CEEC with the loan of China, was completed and opened to traffic. Other projects, such as the thermal power station in Steiner, Kostolac power plant in Serbia, E763 expressway, two lines of expressway in Macedonia, the North-to-South expressway of the Republic of Montenegro and dredging and flood control engineering as well as the power transmission and transformation installation and construction in Wroclaw riverway, Poland are in smooth progress. The launching ceremony of Serbia section of Hungary-to-Serbia railway modernization reconstructing and rebuilding project was held on December 23, 2015. Besides, the China-Hungary and China-Czech Republic direct flight is available successively. Several central and eastern Europe flights were put into operation. Under the concern and support of China and CEEC leaders, the economy and trade cooperation of both sides has stepped into the stage of rapid development. In other words, the central and eastern Europe is the most active region with greatest potential in Europe. A big potential lies in the cooperation of both sides in aspects of trade, investment and infrastructure etc. For example, at present, the amount that China has invested in CEEC is 2% of the amount invested in EU, which means that both sides still have considerable space for collaboration.

At present, China and CEEC are both in the key stage of economic development. The continuously intensified economy and trade cooperation and the complementary advantage realization of both sides not only make for the mutual benefit and development of China and CEEC, but also speed up the European integration and push the cooperation to deeper development. With the goal of mutual benefit and win-win result, the MOFCOM will make efforts, together with the economy and trade department of CEEC, to dig cooperation opportunities, continuously broaden cooperation field and further improve the economy and trade pragmatic cooperation level of both sides.

II. Preparation for the Ministerial Meeting and Expo.

According to the Suzhou Guideline for China-CEEC Cooperation co-issued by the Prime Minister Li Keqiang and CEEC leaders on November 2015, the MOFCOM will host the 2nd China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and Trade Cooperation in Ningbo City in first ten days of June 2016. At the same time, it will hold China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo during the International Consumer Goods Fair. The Ministerial Meeting will be held on June 8 and 9. The ministerial officers responsible for economy and trade affairs and representatives of 16 CEE countries, including three deputy prime ministers, will attend this meeting in Ningbo. Centering on the theme of “based on new starting point and creating new ‘16 plus 1’ economy and trade cooperation”, the meeting will discuss such important topics as digging special products, fostering new trade growth point of both sides, broadening cooperation fields, promoting capacity and equipment manufacturing cooperation, innovating financing pattern and building new model of capital construction. To show new achievements, the meeting will, for the first time, issue the Ningbo Declaration and arrange China-CEEC enterprise negotiation and interaction session. The Ningbo Declaration will promote the interaction of “One Belt and Road” initiative and the development of CEEC, showing the confidence and measures of economy and trade department of various countries for promoting China-CEEC cooperation. The special negotiation and interaction meeting, including agricultural and sideline products interaction meeting, light industrial products interaction meeting and investment negotiation and interaction meeting, will become the platform for exchange and cooperation of both sides. It will also promote the exportation to China and attract more investment from Chinese enterprises.

The Expo will be held during June 8 to 12. It includes such activities as CEEC special product expo, the 3rd China-CEEC Investment Promotion Linkage Mechanism Meeting, the 2nd China-CEEC Investment and Cooperation Meeting, China-CEEC Provincial and State Governor and Mayor Forum, Inspection Cooperation and Dialogue and Tourism Cooperation and Communication. The main guest of honor country of the Expo is Hungary.

So far, the CEE countries are extremely active since more than 260 enterprises from 16 countries have applied for taking part in the Expo. The products to be shown in the Expo mainly include liquor, dairy products, skin care products, agricultural and sideline products, crystal amber and leisure food etc.

To hold ministerial meeting on promoting economy and trade and the investment and trade expo is not only agreed by China and CEEC leaders, but also a great opportunity for intensifying the cooperation between China and 16 countries. MOFCOM and Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province attach great importance to these two events. To ensure their success, Gao Hucheng, the Minister of Ministry of Commerce, made important instructions on their preparation. The leader team for the preparation of ministerial meeting and the expo was established among the Ministry of Commerce. Zhong Shan, the China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce of PRC, acts as the team leader. At present, the preparation is in smooth progress. I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my special thanks to Zhejiang Province, especially Ningbo City, for the considerable preparation and coordination they have done. Several minutes later, Wang Jianhou, Deputy Mayor of Ningbo City, will introduce the details to us. The Ministry of Commerce will continuously strengthen the coordination of related aspects with 16 CEE countries and Ningbo city, Zhejiang Province. It will also make efforts to ensure the success of these two events.

My brief introduction is over. Thank you!

Wang Xuekun: Thank you, Director Zhou! Now let’s welcome Mayor Wang to brief on the preparation for the Expo.

Wang Jianhou: Friends from the press, good afternoon. First, I would like to extend my thanks to the Ministry of Commerce for holding this press conference. My thanks also go to our friends from the press for taking part in this press conference. Now I will introduce to you the preparation made for this 2nd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo, as well as the economy and trade cooperation between Ningbo City and CEEC.

In 2014, Ningbo successfully undertook China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and Trade and CEEC Special Product Fair. In 2015, Ningbo undertook the 1st China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo again. In November last year, Suzhou Guideline of China- CEE Cooperation, co-issued at the 4th China-CEEC Leaders Meeting, confirmed that Ningbo would host the 2nd China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and Trade and the 2nd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo during June 8-12 in 2016r. It shows recognition and trust of Central Government and 16 CEE countries for the efforts made by Ningbo city. We will make persistent efforts to finish every task.

Ningbo has always been an important trade port of China, and the port of origin of Maritime Silk Road. President Xi Jinping pointed out during his work in Zhejiang that Ningbo boasts of its port resources and its openness is a great advantage. Due to its regional, port and openness advantages, Ningbo has formed unique private, port and open economy. In 2015, Ningbo Zhoushan Port topped others and ranked the fourth place respectively among global ports in terms of the handling capacity of cargo and container. In the past three consecutive years, the export amounts of Ningbo were more than USD 100 billion, recording higher portion among national ports. The export and import trade of Ningbo accounted for 2.4% of national trade last year, in which the export accounted for 3.14%. The total foreign capital used was USD 43 billion. More than 2300 enterprises were established in 116 countries.

Since 2014, regarding the support of CEEC economy and trade events as an important measure to undertake the state “One Belt and Road” strategy and an important opportunity to promote comprehensive cooperation with CEEC, Ningbo has taken a series of important measure and got real results. First, the work mechanism of cooperation with CEEC has been set and the leader team for promoting CEEC cooperation, in which the Mayer serves as team leader, has been established. Secondly, it has pioneered encouragement policy for CEEC cooperation among the state. The Municipal Finance Bureau takes RMB 85 million as special fund to facilitate economy and trade as well as cultural and educational cooperation with CEEC. Thirdly, it has created important supporter for CEE Expo. The conference hall and the perennial exhibition hall are being built for China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo. Fourthly, it has set up perennial exhibition and trading platform for CEE commodities and established CEEC commodity exhibition and trading center. Pavilions of such nations as Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech, Slovakia and Poland are open. Pavilions of such nations as Rumania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Macedonia are opening soon. 14 CEEC commodity direct-selling offices are set around the country and online mart of CEEC export commodity has opened up. Fifthly, it has promoted two-way investment and cooperation with CEEC. 41 enterprises funded by China have been set up in CEEC with checked investment amount of USD 190 million. At the same time, we encourage CEEC businessmen to make investment and start business in Ningbo. CEEC logistics park and industrial park have been set and the China-Czech industrial park will be built. Besides, representative office of Hungary bank is established in Ningbo and the representative office of Latvia Investment and Development Department is being set in Ningbo. Sixthly, it has strengthened cultural and educational cooperation with CEEC. In tourism, it puts forward “hundreds of groups thousands of people travel to CEEC” activities last year and was well-received. This year, the tour routes and amount of travelers greatly increase. In education cooperation, it has signed 35 educational cooperation agreements and set up CEEC students special scholarships. The number of CEEC overseas students in Ningbo was 210 and doubled as compared with that of last year. In sister-city cooperation, Ningbo has built sister city relationship with 20 cities of 16 CEE countries and is the first city that establishes sister city relationship with CEEC in China.

As a key city for “One Belt and Road” planning, Ningbo puts forward its goal that it will fully display its advantage and become the first choice for bringing CEEC products into Chinese market, two-way investment and cooperation as well as cultural and educational exchanges between China and CEEC. Next, I’ll brief on the preparation for the 2nd China- CEEC Investment and Trade Expo.

The 2nd CEEC Expo will be held in Ningbo by the Ministry of Commerce and Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government and supported by relevant departments of the Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Government of Ningbo City during June 8 to 12. This expo is themed “intensifying cooperation and create win-win result”. It arranges 16 main activities including four topics such as investment and negotiation, trade expo, meeting forum and cultural and educational exchanges.

In terms of investment and negotiation, it includes the 2nd China-CEEC investment cooperation and negotiation meeting and the 3rd cooperation meeting of China (Ningbo)-CEEC commercial association etc.

As for trade expo, it includes CEEC special products fair, China-CEEC high-tech and cooperation expo and the interaction and negotiation meeting between cross-border e-commerce and CEEC exhibitors.

In terms of meetings and forums, it includes Linkage Meeting of China-CEEC Investment Promotion Agency, China (Ningbo)-CEEC provincial (state) officer and Mayor Forum, China-CEEC Inspection Cooperation and Dialogue Meeting and Ningbo Summit for Overseas Chinese Businessman in CEEC etc.

In terms of cultural and educational exchange, it includes exchange meeting for China (Ningbo)-CEEC education cooperation, China-CEEC tourism exchange and cooperation meeting, “Hungary Day” main guest of honor activities, CEEC micro-film competition, CEEC knowledge contest and China-Croatia sports camps etc.

Besides, the 15th China International Consumer Goods Expo and the 18th China Zhejiang Investment and Trade Negotiation Meeting will be held at the same time with the 2nd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo and the 2nd China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and trade cooperation and China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo.
This CEEC Expo mainly has five features:

Firstly, there are plenty of innovation activities. Such activities held for the first time as China-CEEC Inspection Cooperation and Dialogue, China-CEEC Investment Promotion Linkage Mechanism Meeting, Ningbo Summit for Overseas Chinese Businessman in CEEC, China-CEEC high-tech and cooperation expo, CEEC micro-film Competition etc. The state level platform is higher and the communication is broader.

Secondly, it invites higher level guests. Under strong support and promotion of the Ministry of Commerce, the level of CEEC participants of this expo is apparently higher than that of the past expo. By now, it has basically confirmed that some deputy prime ministers and a batch of ministerial level officers will go to Ningbo. Apart from ministerial meetings, they will participate in other activities related to the Expo. Representatives of World Top 500 transnational enterprises such as Siemens in Germany, SK in Korea and Honeywell in the US have also received invitation.

Thirdly, it receives enough participants. All members of CEEC are applied for participating in CEEC special product expo two months ago. Enterprises taking part in the expo are 260 and 282 enterprises apply for the expo, which is 30% and 15% higher than those of last year. So far, 10379 businessmen and 179 groups from 74 countries confirm to attend the Expo in Ningbo. Meanwhile, the 1st China-CEEC high-tech exhibition boasts quite a lot of highlights. Such high-tech products as nuclear power, new energy, electromobile, 3D printer, Holographic phantom imaging and Smart City Administration will be displayed.

Fourthly, special policy has been issued. To motivate the exhibitors and purchasers, Ningbo has taken strong encouragement measures. During the expo, purchasers whose orders are more than USD 20 thousand and perform the appointment before the end of this year will be awarded RMB 0.1 to 0.2 for each United States dollar.

Fifthly, it boasts of practical safeguard measures. The direct freight flight from Ningbo to Europe has been opened and the chartered airplane of Ningbo to Budapest will be opened during the Expo. Besides, such issues as the reception, customs declaration, transportation, publicity, security and volunteering service are ready.

Friends from media, several days after, the 2nd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo will be held in Ningbo. We’re well prepared. You're welcomed to attend this grand meeting in Ningbo. We will make efforts to serve all of our guests.

Wang Xuekun: Thank you, Mayor Wang! Now is the question time. Please ask question centering on the theme of this news conference and indicate your employer before asking questions. Thank you!

Reporter from China News Service: I have a question for Director Zhou. We all have noted that among 16 CEE countries, 11 countries are EU members and the other 5 countries are applying themselves to the EU integration. What’s the relationship between China-CEEC and China-EU cooperation? Thank you.

Zhou Xiaoyan: your question is to the point and many people may be concerned about it. The China-CEEC cooperation is an important part of China-EU cooperation. It is not only a new form for developing the bilateral relationship, but also a new measure for continuously intensifying China-EU relationship. Such cooperation model agrees with the respective development features and cooperation needs of both China and CEEC, and also meets the common wishes and benefits of the people in China and CEEC. As a result, it has widely welcomed and actively participated by CEEC.

The cooperation between China and CEEC will not affect China-EU relationship. China is always in favor of European integration and wishes to see a more united and prosperous Europe. China-CEEC cooperation will help to improve the scale and quality of China-Europe cooperation and promote the comprehensive and balanced development of European regional cooperation. So far, under this cooperation mechanism, there has been held four times leaders meeting, once ministerial meeting and twice Expos. The CEEC actively participates and some European countries also take part in some of activities as observers, which shows that China-CEEC cooperation mechanism meet the needs of all sides.
Reporter from International Business Daily: My first question is for Mayor Wang. Since the 1st ministerial meeting on trade and especially since the 1st CEEC Expo, what achievements have been made in aspect of the economy and trade cooperation between Ningbo and CEEC? My second question is for Director Zhou. In terms of China-CEEC cooperation, what topics will be stressed or what problems will be solved in this ministerial meeting? As you mentioned that we count less in investment amount, so we still have more space to improve. Next, what measures will we take to improve the amount? Thank you.

Wang Jianhou: Thank you, friends from media. Since the 1st China-CEEC Expo, we should attach greater importance to how Ningbo can strengthen economy and trade cooperation with CEEC. The CEEC mainly concerns three aspects. First, they want us to make investment; secondly, they want us to buy their commodities; thirdly, they want us to travel in their countries. Therefore, the economy and trade cooperation have become an important action for our city government since the 1st Expo was held. In terms of investment, we actively encourage qualified enterprises to make investment in CEEC. Until now, 41 Ningbo enterprises are approved to set their office in CEEC. China’s investment amount is up to USD 190 million. The investment amount of Ningbo enterprises in CEEC last year is 28.5 times than that of two year ago.

During January to May this year, our direct investment in CEEC was 15 times more than that of the same period last year. Besides, this CEEC Expo will sign project agreements with amount of more than USD 256 million, which is a very momentum. It also welcomed by CEEC. Meanwhile, oversea enterprises of Ningbo also have steady investment in CEEC. According to incomplete statistics, we have 4 overseas enterprises with total investment amount of more than USD 60 million. We have investment projects in such relevant countries as Rumania.

In terms of trade, the import and export amount of Ningbo from and to CEEC was USD 2.233 billion last year. The CEEC consumer goods import had outstanding performance. By setting direct-selling center across the country all year round, consumer goods import last year increased by 63% than that of two years ago. Until June 8, the CEEC national pavilion was mostly set in Ningbo. During January to May this year, the export and import amount of Ningbo from and to CEEC is USD 4.58 billion, 7.2% higher when compared with last year. I think both investment and trade are our cooperation advantages with CEEC. Therefore, our next step is to scale up our efforts, especially take solid measures in investment and trade. We should make CEEC feel our sincere and genuine willingness to cooperate with them. Thank you.

Zhou Xiaoyan: I mentioned in my introduction that this ministerial meeting of economy and trade is mainly held for promoting the interaction of “One Belt and Road” initiative and connecting with the development plans of CEEC and implementing the agreement reached in 4th China-CEEC Leaders Meeting in November 2015, that is, the Suzhou Guideline and Mid-term Planning of China-CEEC Operation.

The topic of this meeting is “Based on New Starting Point and Initiating the New Economic Cooperation Situation of ‘16 plus 1’”. We also design some specific topics, including trade, investment and financial cooperation. For example, to dig special products and foster new growth point of bilateral trade; to broaden cooperation field and promote productivity and equipment manufacturing cooperation; to innovate financing pattern and to build new sample of capital construction cooperation etc.

As for the previous question that the cooperation space of both sides is still large and what the new growth point in future cooperation is, I should say, with the progress of “One Belt and Road” construction, the cooperation between the two sides will boast broader space. Recently, we are interacting with government officers from 16 countries. They all have enthusiasm and motivation to take part in the “One Belt and Road” construction. I think this can provide a solid foundation for the future cooperation. The cooperation in aspects of infrastructure construction, connectivity, productivity and equipment manufacturing will be our new bright point and growth point for 16 plus 1 economy and trade cooperation. Now, CEEC urges to construct and update their infrastructure. Many of them keep infrastructure of 1950s and 1960s, which should be updated urgently. China boasts apparent advantages in aspects of infrastructure fund, technology and management. Large space and potential exist in the cooperation of infrastructure construction and connectivity. We complement each other's advantages and achieve win-win results. At present, both sides are promoting Hungary-to-Serbia railway and land and marine express, which is a key channel to link CEE and Southern Europe. This will also be an important project for cooperation and connection between China and CEEC.

In terms of productivity and equipment manufacturing, China may rely on the technology and fund advantage of such advanced manufacturing industry as high-speed rail and nuclear power and such basic industry as steel, concrete and chemical engineering to take over a great number of project construction in CEEC and to intensify the industrial cooperation of both sides, promote the regional economic development and broaden employment by way of building local factory, co-building industrial parks and trade logistics parks.

Reporter from CCTV News Center: I have two questions. My first question is for Director Zhou: in the common files issued in1st China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Economy and trade cooperation, all parties agreed to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation in such infrastructure construction as railway, electric power, port and highway. Could you please update us its progress? My second question is for Mayor Wang: China-CEEC Expo is the 1st comprehensive Expo centering on investment and trade among China-CEEC cooperation. To ensure its success, what measures has Ningbo taken?

Zhou Xiaoyan: The Ministerial Meeting is held every two years. The ministerial meeting on economy and trade was held two years ago. Since the 1st China-CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Economy and Trade, great progress has been made in railway, electric power, port, highway and other infrastructure construction and Internet field. Several CEEC infrastructure projects supported by China, including Wroclaw urban flood control project in Poland, Belgrade across Danube Bridge project, Kostolac power station (phrase I) project in Serbia, thermal power station in Steiner, Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been completed. At present, projects supported by China including two sections of expressway in Macedonia, the North-to-South expressway of the Republic of Montenegro and Kostolac power station (phrase I and phrase II) project in Serbia are in smooth progress, especially Hungary-to-Serbia railway, which is a landmark project on China-CEEC cooperation. The section of Serbia held commencement ceremony in December last year. It is certain that China and CEEC are seeking more possibilities in the infrastructure field such as energy and transportation. As economy and trade management department, the Ministry of Commerce is ready to strengthen cooperation with NDRC and the Ministry of Communications to promote China-CEEC cooperation in infrastructure and make contributions to “One Belt and Road” construction. We hope that we can promote cooperation in connectivity and smooth trade through the cooperation on infrastructure construction.

Wang Jianhou: As a key city for “One Belt and Road” planning, Ningbo regards the success of CEEC expo as an important grasp for the government to participate in the state “One Belt and Road” strategy. A successful expo must win satisfaction of both exhibitors and purchasers. To realize this goal and based on the three questions that CEEC concern, we have done the following things since last year. As I mentioned before, we have made much efforts in investment, economy and trade, including tourism. It can be sure that CEEC is satisfied with our work. Secondly, we carefully invite exhibitors and purchasers. Since last year, the government organized some representative team of entrepreneurs to inspect CEEC’s investment environment and discuss cooperation projects, which harvested good results. Meanwhile, we actively organized purchasers around the country to participate and buy CEEC product during the Expo. Therefore, there are more than 450 CEEC exhibitors and more than 350 Chinese purchasers present at the Expo. This year, we also issue policies for the purchaser. During the Expo, purchasers whose orders are more than USD 20 thousand and perform the appointment before the end of this year will be awarded. For every 1 United States dollar, RMB 0.1 to 0.2 will be awarded to encourage CEEC commodities to go into Chinese market through the platform built by Ningbo. Thirdly, we have provided better service in traffic facilities. On the one hand, we fully display the advantage of Ningbo Zhoushan Port and open Ningbo to Frankfurt freight flight on the other. During the Expo, the chartered airplane of Ningbo to Budapest is opened, which facilitate CEEC businessman to fly from Budapest to Ningbo as well as from Ningbo to Budapest. Meanwhile, Yong Xin’ou railway has been put into operation. Fourthly, we arrange more enterprise negotiation meetings this time, 5 to 6 more than that in the past. Our enterprises on Cross-border Electronic Commerce, food import and investment and trade are face-to-face with CEEC relevant enterprises to discuss business. The AQSIQ also arranges dialogue with the inspection and quarantine department of 16 CEE countries mainly on how CEEC commodities enter into Chinese market. These events are welcomed by relevant department and enterprises of CEEC. Thank you.

Reporter from Die Welt newspaper: I have two questions. Firstly, do China and CEEC have any plan on nuclear project? Which countries have such intention? Secondly, which countries among CEEC support and recognize China’s market economy status? Thank you.

Zhou Xiaoyan: In terms of the first question, I’d like to say that nuclear power is an important part of infrastructure construction. As I mentioned before, China and CEEC is strengthening the cooperation of infrastructure. In the existing and ongoing project, if memory serves, we have cooperation in aspect of nuclear power probably in Rumania and Bulgaria. Some are under negotiation and some are under feasibility research. We may under nuclear power negotiation in Slovakia.

As for the 2nd question, as I mentioned before, among 16 CEE countries, 11 countries are members of EU, which implements unified trade policy. The legislation and policy measures about trade are unified decided by EU. The other 5 countries, which haven’t join EU, have clear attitude in this aspect. These countries didn’t take anti-dumping and surrogate country measures against Chinese products. I think this question should be interpreted like this: WTO agreements has not defined the meaning of market economy status, but it defined clearly that 15 years after China joins WTO, that is, until December 11, 2016, WTO members should cancel their surrogate country measures in anti-dumping. This is a treaty obligation that WTO members must perform. Therefore, China requires that after Article 15 is due in WTO protocol, some members of WTO should perform their obligations based on the agreement and cancel their surrogate country measures.

Reporter from Financial Times: Director Zhou, you have mentioned that among 16 countries, only 11 countries are members of EU, the other 5 are not. From other perspectives, countries of Eastern Europe do have some differences. Some Northern Countries think that they have not much in common with Southern Europe. Then why we should put these 16 countries together? For what considerations should we put these 16 countries together?

Zhou Xiaoyan: Your question is similar to the question of the 1st reporter. I have answered this question when I answer his question. We always think that China-CEEC cooperation is a part of China-EU cooperation. This mechanism is for strengthening the cooperation between China and CEEC as well as intensifying China-European cooperation. It meets the needs of China and CEEC development. As I mentioned just now, some European countries attend as observers in the China-CEEC Leaders Meeting and 16 plus 1 cooperation mechanism meeting held in Suzhou last year. Our cooperation is open. We welcome EU members to take part in the economy and trade cooperation activities as observers. Therefore, China wishes to further strengthen the cooperation with Europe, promoting a comprehensive, overall and balanced development. At the same time, by the cooperating with CEEC and promoting European integration, China wishes to see a united, prosperous Europe. By China-CEEC cooperation, China wishes to achieve comprehensive and balanced development for the relationship with CEEC.

Reporter from Ningbo Daily Newspaper: Director Zhou, with the implementation of “One Belt and Road” strategy, more and more platform has been established for the interaction between China and CEEC. How does Ministry of Commerce think of that Ningbo supports the China-CEEC Expo and Minister Meeting on Economy and trade? What efforts should Ningbo make in next step to keep these two events?

Zhou Xiaoyan: So far, the CEEC Ministerial Meeting on Economy and Trade and China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo may be the only platform in economy and trade cooperation field. It has been held for several years. The Ministerial Meeting of this year is the 2nd Meeting and the Investment and Trade Expo has been held three times. Therefore, we can say that the platform has been built and the Expo is welcomed and highly praised by 16 CEE countries. The Ministry Meeting has also received concern and participation from CEEC. To get new results from this Ministry Meeting, we arrange special meeting for enterprise interaction and negotiation, including interaction and negotiation on investment, agricultural product and light industrial product, which are arranged to enrich the Meeting. Some hot issues are not only discussed but also solved by specific measures at the meeting. For example, what CEEC most concerned is that how they can broaden export to China and appeal more Chinese enterprises to make investment in their countries. Therefore, we arrange special negotiation meetings, interaction meetings only to know their concern, but also to make these two platforms more productive. We can say that so far, both the Ministry of Commerce and the economy and trade departments of 16 CEE countries are very satisfied with and highly praise this expo. We also hope that the Ministerial Meeting on Economy and Trade and Negotiation Meeting on Investment and Trade will be better and better over the year and will continue to be held to achieve more fruitful results.

Wang Xuekun: Thank you, Director Zhou and Mayor Wang, and all friends from media. That’s all for today’s conference. Welcome all of you to attend this expo and thank you again.

Translated by Hou Zuowei

(All information published on this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)