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PM Sobotka: Looking forward to President Xi's visit


03-28-2016 12:41 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Visits Czech Republic, Attends Nuclear Security Summit

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has given a written interview says President Xi Jinping’s visit will be a great opportunity for the two countries to develop bilateral relations. He hopes the Czech Republic will become China’s aviation and financial hub in Central Europe. He looks forward to more cooperation with China on finance, healthcare, sports and education.

Sobotka says given the importance of the People’s Republic of China and its important role on global scene, deepening ties with China is one of his government’s chief priorities.

He says, “We have intensively dedicated ourselves during the last two years to the strengthening Czech-Chinese relations and these efforts now start to bear fruit.”

Sobotka expressed his personal delighted at this first historic visit of the Chinese president in the Czech Republic.

Sobotka mentioned the agreement on cooperation between the two countries concerning the Belt and Road Initiative. The Czech Republic’s primary objective for its cooperation with China is to become the aviation and financial hub for China in Central Europe. His country also wants to deepen cooperation in industry.

On financial co-operation, Sobotka says China’s financial institutions more resemble Czech financial groups rather than Czech banks. Entry of these large institutions to its market will not only be an impetus for the financial sector but in essence, for all sectors of the Czech economy.

Sobotka also comments on the Chinese-European Initiative “16+1.” He says the platform is viable and important. He expresses pride that the Czech Republic became one of the drivers behind this platform. He says the Czech government closely cooperates with China in many areas. Tourism and aviation are two examples. He cites the direct air route between Prague and Beijing, which opened last Autumn. Another air route will be opened in the coming weeks between Prague and Shanghai, and in the near future, to Chengdu.  He says healthcare is another sector which is going great. The Czech Republic became a base for traditional Chinese medicine.

The prime minister says China remains one of the largest economies in the world. He says its economic restructuring will contribute to further development of the Chinese society.

Sobotka says China is now headed toward transformation of its production, in the direction of a more demanding and better quality production. This means both competition and cooperation. The prime minister hopes high-quality Czech technology and products in the industrial sector could have more chances in Chinese market.

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