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Chinese, European governors meet in Bulgaria
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-19 21:49

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PLOVDIV, Bulgaria, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Government representatives, business leaders and researchers from China and countries from Central and Eastern Europe held a working meeting in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv on Thursday.

It was the third working meeting for the China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Association of Provincial Governors under the 16+1 bloc of nations, a platform created in April 2012 by China and 16 CEEC countries.

The purpose of the event is to enhance cooperation in the areas of culture and tourism, innovation and economic zones, as well as agriculture.

"As the eastern door of Europe, the CEEC have always been a bridge that connects the East and the West, and a bond that combines Asia and Europe," Ye Changqing, deputy director general of the Hebei Foreign Affairs Office, said at the opening ceremony on behalf of all members of the Chinese delegation.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 bloc meet the needs for development of China and CEEC, Ye also said.

In the past five years, the 16+1 has been more complete, the basis of which more concrete, and the prospect of which more promising, Ye said.

"With such a great cooperative situation, we are all looking forward to a complete success for the Fourth Local Leaders' Meeting, which will be held in Bulgaria in 2018," Ye said.

Zdravko Dimitrov, regional governor of Plovdiv Region, said the 16+1 is an integral part of the cooperation between China and Europe and contributes to the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the European Union (EU).

"Although the China-CEEC Association of Provincial Governors is the youngest format under the 16+1, we can clearly state that our intentions to build a working model of partnership with openness, inclusion and profitable results, are in place," Dimitrov said.

He added that regional economic integration is a driving force in promoting liberalization and facilitating trade and investment, as well as in maintaining China-CEEC markets open to each other.

Chinese Ambassador to Bulgaria Zhang Haizhou, who also addressed the event, said the 16+1 cooperation has become a strong driving force for the economic and social development of China and CEEC, an important auxiliary power for the Belt and Road Initiative, and an important platform of the development of China-EU relations.