(ECNS) -- Since the establishment of the China - Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) cooperation mechanism in 2012, economic and trade cooperation between the two sides has made significant progress, said Li Fei, vice-minister of commerce at a press conference on Friday.
The two-way investment between China and CEEC has reached nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars, Li said. In the first quarter this year, China's direct investment in all sectors in CEEC increased by a significant 148 percent year-on-year.
Chinese enterprises have a strong willingness to invest in the region, covering various fields such as automotive parts, household appliances, medicine, logistics, energy, and mining, he added.
Li said since 2012, the average annual growth rate of trade between China and CEEC has been 8.1 percent, and that China's imports from these countries have grown at an average annual rate of 9.2 percent. In the first quarter this year, the trade volume between the two sides reached $33.3 billion, an increase of 1.6 percent, which indicates sound development.
The 3rd China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair will be held in Ningbo, East China’s Zhejiang province from May 16 to 20.
The Expo has attracted about 3,000 exhibitors, a 30 percent increase from the previous event. Currently, it has attracted approximately 380 exhibitors from the Middle East and European countries, involving a wide range of products such as smart manufacturing, daily fashion, agricultural and food products, tourism and logistics.
The exhibition is divided into three areas totaling 220,000 square meters. As many as 2,030 Middle East buyers have registered, while the total number of participants is expected to exceed 100,000.