The Fourth Local Leaders’ Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries
The Fourth Local Leaders’ Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries(hereinafter referred to as “the meeting”) washeld on 20 October 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.Local leaders from China and Central and Eastern European Countries (hereinafter referred to as “the participants”) express appreciation forthe Bulgarian Government for its attention to and support for the meeting, and gratitude to theirhost the Sofia Region and the City of Sofia for the efforts they have made to ensure a successful meeting.
The participants agree that cooperation at the local level represents an important part of 16+1 cooperation and appreciate the decision at a previous 16+1 Summit that defined 2018 as the Year of Cooperation between Local Governments and Local Enterprises. The participants commend the good progress made in 16+1 cooperation at the local level since the Third Local Leaders’ Meeting in Tangshan, China, recognize the major opportunities offered by the Belt and Road initiative and express a readiness to further deepen 16+1 cooperation at both state and local levels. In accordance with the spirit of the Sofia Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and the previous Guidelines, the meeting focuses its discussion on “Global Thinking, Local Action” and releases the Sofia Consensus.
The participants recognize the important role played by the 16+1 Association of Provincial Governors (hereinafter referred to as the Association), and note with satisfaction the effective job done by the Czech and first Chinese Chairs of the Association, namely the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic and Hebei Province, and express a readiness to further strengthen the Association. The participants welcome a number of localities of China, Bulgaria and other Central and Eastern European Countries in joining the Association during the meeting, and welcome more Chinese and CEEC localities in joining on a voluntary basis, with a view to promoting local economic and social development and business cooperation.
The participants welcome continued growth of trade between China and CEECs and stand ready to make an effort for more balanced trade partnership and better trade facilitation between China and CEECs. The participants will be actively involved in 16+1 cooperation and demonstration zones dedicated to economic, trade, SMEs and agricultural cooperation, work to increase agricultural cooperation and agro-trade and strengthen SME, investment, connectivity and environmental protection cooperation.
The participants will continue to expand mutual visits for tourism purpose and work for more convenient travel procedures. The participants stand ready to give full play to their respective cultural resources and advantages to promote cultural, educational, scientific and technological, innovation, medical and health exchanges and cooperation, cement traditional friendship and increase amity between their people.
The participants congratulate Liaoning Province of China on taking over as the new Chinese Chair of the Association, and look forward to the next Working Meeting of the Association in 2019 and the Fifth 16+1 Local Leaders’ Meeting in 2020 in Liaoning.
Sofia, 20 October 2018
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