April 15, 2019
China and the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) on Friday agreed to enhance connectivity to achieve more development.
The agreement was part of the Dubrovnik Guidelines for Cooperation between China and the CEECs, which was released after the eighth China-CEEC leaders’ meeting in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik.
According to the guidelines, China and the CEECs are willing to promote railway projects cooperation in line with respective laws and regulations and through consultations, in particular by strengthening exchanges and cooperation on railway planning, railway organization development, management, technology development, logistics and freight terminal construction.
China and the CEECs will jointly explore utilization and construction of logistics hubs, said the guidelines, adding that China is welcome to participate in joint development of new freight lines in connecting markets in Asia and Europe, under the understanding that it respects the principles of transparency and non-discrimination.
Underscoring the increasingly important role of railway in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support for moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Europe Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-China Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.
Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperation between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the intermodal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.
Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explore the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.
The guidelines also touched upon other issues.
On investment, members of the cooperation mechanism will provide a fair and just environment and a level playing field for foreign companies doing business in their own countries by upholding the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and fair competition, according to the guidelines.
On the role and significance of China-CEEC cooperation, the guidelines said the mechanism constitutes an important part of Europe-China relationship and complements the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.
Reaffirming their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their support for the early conclusion of an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, said the guidelines.
On the Belt and Road Initiative, the participants said they recognize the importance of the initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and welcome forging synergies between them.
They are willing to conduct cooperation using the opportunities provided by the initiative and the strategy, which for the EU member states would also complement relevant EU initiatives, said the guidelines.
Announcing that 2020 will be the Year of China-CEEC Agricultural Diversity Cooperation, the participants said they support expansion and deepening of cooperation in sustainable agriculture through academic discussions, project docking, talent training and exhibitions as well as forums.