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Bulgaria eyes more results from 16+1 cooperation between China, CEE countries

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Bulgaria is hoping for more fruits from the 16+1 cooperation, a mechanism between China and 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, Bulgarian deputy foreign minister Georg Georgiev said Friday.

Georgiev made the statement at a conference held on the eve of a major meeting between China and the CEE countries.

"We believe that the cooperation under the 16+1 platform could facilitate the economic development of the CEEC through investments and the realization of different projects," Georgiev said.

A lot has been achieved within the 16+1 cooperation, but there is still much more to be done, Georgiev said.

"We are pleased with the active cooperation in the agricultural sector, in which Bulgaria plays an important role," he said.

"We would like to strengthen our work not only in this field, but also in areas such as infrastructure, finance, information and technology, science and healthcare. We will gladly participate in projects concerning the development of these sectors," Georgiev said.

Together with all the participants of the 16+1, Bulgaria would continue to work for even more fruitful and result-oriented cooperation, he said.

Huang Ping, director of the Institute of European Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and president of China-CEE Institute think tank, said the 16+1 cooperation, despite so young, has helped strengthen China's relations with the 16 CEE countries.

It has also helped balance the already quite comprehensive China-EU partnership, Huang said.

China has insisted that the 16+1 cooperation, carried out within the framework of China-Europe relationship and under European Union (EU) laws and regulations, is open and transparent.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said late last month that the cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries is conducive to European integration.

The 16+1 cooperation mechanism is a voluntary cross-regional cooperation framework between China and CEE countries, which will help give full play to the complementary advantages of China and CEE countries. It will also be conducive to narrow the gap inside EU, and thus achieve the balanced development of Europe, said Wang.

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