|Wu Bangguo Meets with Croatian Prime Minister Milanovic|
Chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Wu Bangguo who was paying an official goodwill visit to Croatia met with Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic in the prime minister's residence on May 18 local time. The two sides mainly exchanged views on strengthening the bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
Wu spoke highly of the bilateral relations and pointed out that sound political relations create favorable conditions for both sides to further deepen the pragmatic economic and trade cooperation. The two sides should give top priority to pushing forward the economic and trade cooperation, tap the huge cooperation potential, try to convert the sound political relations into tangible results of business cooperation, promote domestic economic and social progress and consolidate the material foundation of bilateral ties. First, both sides should further expand bilateral trade and gradually solve the problem of trade imbalance in the course of development. The Chinese market is vast. We encourage and support domestic companies to import more products from Croatia and hope Croatia actively participate in the exhibitions and trade fairs organized by the Chinese side and strengthen promotion of its competitive products. Second, both sides should step up infrastructure construction cooperation and expand two-way investment. China has advantages in infrastructure construction and has a group of companies with rich experience and great strength. Croatia has fairly big demand for port renovation and upgrading and railway and power plant construction. There is great potential of cooperation and the key is to explore practical and workable financing channels. Not long ago, China announced US$10 billion of special credit line for the cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries and initiated the establishment of China-Central and Eastern Europe investment cooperation fund. Both sides should take the opportunity to launch several landmark cooperation projects first, gradually build up experience, expand cooperation areas and raise the quality and level of business cooperation. Croatia has advantageous location, sound industrial base and high-quality labor force. It will officially join the EU in July next year, which will bring new opportunities for the mutual investment between China and Croatia. China's reform and opening up experience shows that the building of industrial parks is an effective way to attract foreign investment. He suggests the two governments make use of existing business cooperation mechanisms and build the platform to expand mutual investment and attract enterprises, especially small and medium-sized ones to carry out investment cooperation. Third, both sides should push forward tourism cooperation. Croatia has rich tourism resources and became the outbound tourism destination of Chinese citizens in 2003. He welcomes Croatia to actively participate in the China International Tourism Fair to be held in Shanghai, carefully design the best tourist routes, strengthen tourism cooperation with related Chinese areas and attract more Chinese tourists.
Milanovic extended warm welcome to Wu and expressed full agreement upon his views and proposals to strengthen the bilateral practical cooperation. China's huge development is admirable. The Chinese economy grows healthily and stably and has become a major driving force for world economic growth. The Croatian government is full of expectation to deepen business cooperation with China and will strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese government to enhance cooperation on infrastructure and tourism, try to make breakthroughs on some major cooperation projects and expand the bilateral cooperation to a wider range of areas and higher levels.
Wu conveyed the cordial greetings of Premier Wen Jiabao, for which Milanovic expressed thanks. He also asked Wu to convey his best wishes to Wen.
After the meeting, Wu and Milanovic jointly attended the signing ceremony of the memorandum of cooperation on mutual investment between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Croatian Ministry of Economy.
In the afternoon, Wu and his wife Zhang Ruizhen met in hotel with the staffs of the Chinese embassy in Croatia and representatives of Chinese-funded organizations, overseas Chinese and Chinese students there.
Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the NPC Standing Committee Li Jianguo attended the above activities.