Leaders from 16+1 member countries met in Budapest to discuss the future of the initiative and adopt the Budapest Guidelines. The participants discussed the possibilities to promote fostering the cooperation in the field of research and education by signing Bilateral Cooperation Agreements between China and CEECs. A large business forum has taken place as side event of the Budapest summit with business stakeholders from various sectors to discuss the future opportunities and meet with business partners.
On November 27, 2017, the 6th Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (“CEECs”) were held in Budapest, Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdić of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of the Republic of Bulgaria, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Republic of Croatia, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Jyri Ratas of the Republic of Estonia, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis of the Republic of Latvia, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis of the Republic of Lithuania, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of the Republic of Macedonia, Prime Minister Dusko Marković of Montenegro, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo of the Republic of Poland, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić of the Republic of Serbia, Prime Minister Robert Fico of the Slovak Republic, Prime Minister Miro Cerar of the Republic of Slovenia, Deputy Prime Minister Senida Mesi of the Republic of Albania and Deputy Prime Minister Paul Stanescu of Romania attended the meeting. Representatives of Austria, Belarus, Greece, Switzerland, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Union were present as observers.
The Participants highlighted the significant achievements and fruitful results that have been made during the course of the past five years and agreed that 16+1 Cooperation has grown over the last five years in the field of politics, economy and trade, transport and logistics, connectivity, people-to-people exchanges as well as other areas. It was underlined that against the backdrop of instabilities and uncertainties of the world, the way forward is to enhance multilateralism, and strive for openness in global economy with WTO rules at its core.
The Participants maintained that 16+1 cooperation constitutes an important part of the cooperation between China and Europe as a whole. The Chinese side reaffirmed that it attaches great importance to China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership that it supports the road of integration chosen by EU members in an independent manner, that it wishes to see a united, stable and prosperous Europe, and that it will promote China-EU partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization. EU member states and candidate countries within the 16 CEECs are committed to the advancement of EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and EU-China Agenda 2020, including actively promoting practical cooperation in the framework of the EU-China Connectivity Platform, in the Investment Plan for Europe and supporting the conclusion of an ambitious and comprehensive Agreement on Investment between the EU and China.
With the gradual expansion of the scope of cooperation and the achievements of their efforts, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to enhance coordination, explore innovative ways of cooperation and continue to build a lasting partnership in the 16+1 framework.
As part of the Budapest summit a business forum has taken place to connect business stakeholders from various sectors to discuss the future opportunities and meet with business partners.
Business partners from:
- Agriculture and Environmental technology, Water management
- Small and Medium Enterprises
- E-commerce, Logistics and Custom
- High-tech, IT & Internet
- Artificial Intelligence
- Equipment Manufacturing and Logistics
- Medical & Health
- Environmental Protection; and
- Modern Agriculture,
have discussed the possibilities of future cooperation in their respective fields.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Budapest guidelines outlining key goals of the 16+1 initiative in its respective fields Cooperation Plan and Coordination; Trade and investment; Connectivity; Cooperation on industry, energy, science and technology; Financial cooperation; Agriculture, Forestry and Environment Protection Cooperation; People-to-People Contacts; Health Cooperation; Local Cooperation; and confirmed the venue for the 7th summit to be held in Bulgaria.