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Czech Republic to anchor China and CEE cooperation

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

03-28-2016 15:46 BJT

By Xu Huan, associate researcher of Foreign Theoretical Trends

At the invitation of Czech President Milos Zeman, Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to pay a state visit to the Czech Republic on March 28-30. This is the first state visit to the nation by a Chinese president in 67 years since the two countries have established diplomatic ties.

 

From the Czech President to the ordinary people, the nation has been looking forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation, becoming a "bellwether for Beijing's cooperation with the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region."

Czech welcomes Chinese investment fever

Economic and trade relations between China and Czech have witnessed fast development. The Czech Republic is the second biggest trading partner of China in the CEE region, and China has been the Czech Republic's largest trading partner outside the European Union. In 2015, two-way trade topped 11 billion U.S. dollars.

Czech has attracted plenty of investments from China. Until the end of 2015, China's investments in Czech reached 1.6 billion U.S. dollars. Since Czech's development has lagged behind neighboring countries, such as Poland and Hungary, it hopes to benefit from China's investments.

Czech is a powerful industrial country, possessing unique advantages in machinery, automobile making and aviation. China is a manufacturing powerhouse with competitive edges in capital, technology and equipment, especially in high-speed rail and nuclear power.

China and Czech hold broad cooperation prospects in finance, telecommunications, intelligent industry, nanometer and environmental protection. Czech is expecting Xi's visit to spark investment fever for Chinese enterprises entering European markets.

China's financing institution center for Central and Eastern Europe

The Chinese currency RMB was admitted into the currency basket of Special Drawing Rights at the end of 2015, marking an important step towards internationalization. China's trades with most CEE countries were settled in U.S. dollars and euros. The procedures were complicated and generated high fees.

The two nations seek to enhance cooperation in the financial field, promoting settlements of bilateral trades and investments with the home currency and discussing an RMB business clearing mechanism in Czech. 

China's transport and logistics hub for Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe

Czech, dubbed the "center of Europe", plays a decisive role in the CEE and European Union, serving as a key transportation hub that connects the central, east, and southeast north Europe.

By responding to China's "Belt and Road" Initiative, situated at a lucrative junction point, Czech has valued its cooperation opportunities with Beijing and supports China's fast development railways.

Last November, China and Czech Republic signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to build on the "Belt and Road" initiative at the fourth leaders' meeting of China and CEE countries in Eastern China's Suzhou city. Concerning the initiative, Czech Republic is among the first group of 16 CEE countries, which sealed MOU with China. 

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has expressed enthusiasm to play a part in the "Belt and Road" initiative. Under the broader framework of China-EU cooperation or the so-called "16+1" mechanism, Beijing's close cooperation with Prague can inject powerful impetus into China-EU relations.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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