Economic Watch: China, Central and Eastern Europe see closer economic ties
So far, two-way investment between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) has reached nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars, Vice Minister of Commerce Li Fei told a press conference.
China's direct investment in CEECs rose by 148 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2023, Li said.
"Chinese companies are keen to invest in these regions in areas such as auto parts, home appliances, medicine, logistics, energy and minerals," the vice minister said.
China's trade with CEECs has grown at an average annual rate of 8.1 percent since 2012, with China's imports from these countries rising 9.2 percent year on year on average, data shows.
Two-way trade reached 33.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier, showing a steady and positive start.
"China has become a key trading partner and source of imports for CEECs, since the China-CEEC cooperation mechanism was launched in 2012," said Yu Yuantang, another official with the Ministry of Commerce.
The number of China-Europe freight trains stood at 16,000 in 2022, up 9 percent year on year. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and other countries have become key destinations for China-Europe freight trains.
Talking about the third China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair, officials at the press conference said that it has become a trade propeller between China and CEECs, providing opportunities for exhibitors and buyers from home and abroad.
The expo will be held in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province, from May 16 to 20.
There are about 3,000 exhibitors at this year's expo, an increase of 30 percent over the second one, said Lu Shan, deputy governor of Zhejiang.
So far, 2,030 buyers have registered for the expo, with the number of participants expected to exceed 100,000, Lu said.
Companies in CEECs are also encouraged to leverage other Chinese expos to further expand the popularity of their products, Yu said.
Future prospects for trade between China and CEECs are "still very broad," he said.
"We will focus on expanding cooperation in new fields such as green, digital and health industries in addition to traditional areas, so as to further promote the sustainable development of trade between China and CEECs," Yu noted.