CHINA, CEE COUNTRIES TO PROMOTE COOPERATION
While meeting with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis, Li said China is willing to align its development strategies with Latvia's, promote bilateral cooperation in connectivity, trade and infrastructure construction, and enhance people-to-people exchanges in areas like tourism and education.
Latvia looks forward to fortifying cooperation with China in transportation, innovation, logistics and agriculture, and welcomes more Chinese investment, Vejonis said.
Cooperation in trade, connectivity, production capacity, finance, agriculture and forestry were highlighted by the leaders of China and the 16 CEE countries during the Riga summit.
On trade and investment, the participants gave encouragement to the progress in the ongoing EU-China negotiations over an ambitious and comprehensive investment agreement. They welcomed further cooperation on enhancing trade through e-commerce platforms and urged Chinese and CEE countries' businesses to promote exports and imports of their high-quality and characteristic products through e-commerce.
Trade volume between China and CEE countries reached 56.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, up 28 percent over 2010. Chinese investment in the 16 CEE countries exceeded 5 billion dollars, while they have invested more than 1.2 billion dollars in China.
To boost connectivity, all sides supported the development of transport routes between Europe and Asia, including the development of Europe-China international railway container traffic, the establishment of multi-modal logistic centers in CEE countries and throughout the whole Eurasian Land Bridge areas, and the improvement of the international supply chain and border crossing rules on the transport corridors.
With regard to production capacity cooperation, China and CEE countries voiced willingness to strengthen the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea Seaport Cooperation in the Riga Declaration issued at the end of the summit.
They agreed to support the development of industrial clusters in ports, encourage cooperation in infrastructure development, such as construction of railways and roads, logistics and warehousing facilities at sea and inland ports and industrial parks, and encourage closer cooperation in financing.
On financial cooperation, related institutions and businesses from CEE countries are invited to contribute on a voluntary basis to the investment fund set by Sino-CEE Finance Holding Company Ltd. to jointly promote China-CEE cooperation on connectivity and the development of relevant industries.
Participants in the "16+1" summit encouraged Chinese financial institutions, including the Silk Road Fund, to provide financing support for China-CEE cooperation, and support China and CEE countries in boosting practical cooperation within the framework of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, including third-party cooperation with other countries and regions.
The China-CEE Countries Investment Cooperation Fund (Stage II) will be launched and put into operation in 2017.
They also planned to explore the possibility of establishing a China-CEE Countries Inter-Bank Association.
BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE TO SYNERGIZE WITH EEU
China is willing to work with Russia to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and lift the levels of China-Russia ties and cooperation, Li said during his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The Chinese initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. The EEU groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
The Chinese premier pointed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovation in particular as the areas where the two countries should step up efforts to promote future cooperation.
Li also called for more efforts to strengthen financial cooperation and increase the volume of settlement in national currencies.
He said the two sides should jointly work to expand trade, safeguard world trade system and rules, and promote trade cooperation and facilitation and mutual investment.
Medvedev asked the two countries to boost cooperation in SME innovation, while actively conducting cooperation in major projects in the areas of oil and gas and nuclear energy.
They also should boost financial cooperation, he added.
The meeting produced a joint communique calling upon the two countries to deepen cooperation in a wide range of fields, including economy and trade, investment, energy and people-to-people exchanges.
Li also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.