Ponta: ‘I wish Romania to be China’s best friend in the EU and in the region’

Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta saluted the great cooperation between Romania and China and reaffirmed the support for China to build stronger cooperation relations within the EU, during the press conference held yesterday at Victory Palace on the occasion of the Chinese delegation’s arrival in Romania. Gathering some 300 representatives, the delegation lead by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, visits Bucharest for the second edition of the China and Central-East Europe Economic Forum.

‘China is a privileged partner for Romania. We have a relation of 65 years, an excellent relation politically, economically, culturally and educationally speaking. There have been political changes, political leaders changed, but the relation between Romania and China remained as close as before and we wish them to be the same in the future, too. And I wish, as stated in Beijing, Romania to be China’s best friend in the EU and in the region.’ Ponta said.

He continued saying that: ‘China is an important trading and economic partner for Romania and for the countries in the region, but the potential is much higher and we need to develop these relations. I enjoyed seeing that within the first nine months of 2013 Romania’s exports to China raised by almost 30%. However, I believe that the presence of Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the other ministers in Bucharest will positively boost these economic relations and the concrete projects.’

Those projects are mainly focused on the energy sector and some of the documents the Romanian and Chinese parties signed concern nuclear power, coal power, renewable energy such as hydro and wind energy. Additionally, there are some specific projects on infrastructure, on agro-food sector and on IT. Ponta also announced that ‘right during today’s discussion we embarked on an extremely important path, that of having a first railway project in order to have in Romania a fast railway portion based on Chinese technology and I am convinced that having the Prime Minister’s support and my own, this project will take shape quickly.’

In his turn, Ponta’s counterpart, Li Keqiang, appreciated Romania’s support in the relations with the EU: ‘(...) Romania has a great influence in Central and Eastern Europe region and we believe that Romania is an important pillar of the relations between China and Central and Eastern Europe, as well as of the relations between China and the EU.’

The Chinese Prime Minister also mentioned the economic agreements signed by Romanian and Chinese companies, but refused to disclose the amount of the expected investments – As for the amount, I want to assure you that there’s a huge amount, because tonight, the working group of the two parties will also discuss the projects regarding the fast railway and infrastructure projects and all these collaborations and projects will exceed the amount initially stipulated by the contracts.’

A Chinese delegation counting over 300 delegates – Government members or investors pays a visit on the occasion of the China and Central- East Europe Economic Forum in Bucharest that gathers prime ministers from 16 European countries in the region together with other hundreds of representatives of private companies.

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