The 4th Local Leaders’ Meeting of the Central and East European countries and China “16+1” will be held on Saturday, October 20th, 2018, in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the National Palace of Culture.
The meeting will be held under the moto “Global Thinking, Local Action”.
The event is co-organized by the Ministry of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and Sofia Regional Governor in partnership with Sofia Municipality, the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria and the National Palace of Culture.
The 4th Local Leaders’ Meeting of the CEECs and China will take place just three months after the 7th “16+1” Summit, held in Sofia on July 7th, 2018, and will naturally strive to advance the outcomes of the Summit as summarized in The Sofia Guidelines.
The “16+1” Initiative for cooperation between China and the 16 countries of CEE is an important mechanism for stimulating political dialogue, investments, trade and economic relations and cooperation in a wide range of areas. In recent years the “16+1” local level cooperation has been gaining popularity through supporting the twinning of capitals, provinces, regions and municipalities between China and CEECs, and visits of delegations in order to foster direct exchanges and cooperation at the local level. Bulgaria has already hosted two events within this framework - the 3rd Working meeting of the CEEC-China Association of Provincial Governors, held in Plovdiv on October 19th 2017, and the 1st Meeting of the Mayors of the Capitals of the CEECs and China, held in Sofia on 27 September 2016. We regard the 4th Local Leader’s Meeting as a particularly significant event, as it will be held in the Year of Cooperation between Local Governments and Local Enterprises, as decided in The Budapest Guidelines, adopted in 2017.
The main objective of the Local Leaders’ Meeting is to provide a platform where local authorities and local business can meet and discuss ways to deepen their ties and cooperation. We believe that with joint efforts we can achieve substantial practical results, particularly in the economic field.
The topics of the Sofia meetings will focus on the development of cooperation at the local level in the fields of tourism, agriculture, industrial zones, small and medium enterprises. The program will include presentations and addresses by speakers from Bulgaria, China and CEE countries.
The event, which will be held at Hall 3 of the National Palace of Culture, will start at 09.00 hrs. and finish by 17.30 hrs. on October 20th. The program will include an official opening with addresses by Bulgarian Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Boyko Borissov and VIPs from Bulgaria, China and the CEECs; a Plenary Meeting of the “16+1” Local leaders and business delegations; the 4th Working meeting of the CEEC-China Association of Provincial Governors, B2B meetings at the side-lines of the Meeting.