BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- More than 300 Chinese and Ukrainian officials, business executives and traders gathered at a trade forum Friday to seek bilateral business opportunities.
"As China and Ukraine enjoy excellent prospects for economic and trade cooperation, both countries should make joint efforts to usher in a new era," Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang said at the opening of the forum.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, in Beijing on his first ever visit to China, addressed the forum, saying the new Ukrainian administration gives priority to developing ties with China.
China-Ukraine trade topped 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of the year, up 31.3 percent year on year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
In their talks Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Yanukovich promised to increase two-way trade to 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2012.
To expand bilateral business potential, Zhang proposed companies in the two countries play a bigger role while both governments increase exchange, explore ways to cooperate, take care of each other‘s concerns, and seek mutually beneficial outcomes.
Yanukovich, the first Ukrainian President to visit China since 2002, echoed Zhang‘s proposal.
He said his country would like to work more closely with China in trade, economics, agriculture, science, aviation, aerospace and investment.
Zhang said the Chinese government welcomes Ukrainian businesses developing and marketing products tailored to the Chinese market.
He also encouraged Ukrainian companies to expand exports to China and to seek balanced trade.
Zhang said increased investment is key for bilateral economic cooperation.
Zhang also underlined the importance of protecting the legitimate rights of business people, including the safety of personnel and property.
Yanukovich briefed the audience on the Ukrainian economy.
He reassured Chinese entrepreneurs the Ukrainian government will facilitate Chinese investment.
During his stay in Beijing, Yanukovich will also meet with top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Yanukovich will fly to Shanghai Saturday to attend the 2010 World Expo.