China and Serbia, enjoying growing trade and investment ties in recent years, on Monday pledged to further expand bilateral economic cooperation in the years ahead.
Visiting senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official He Guoqiang said during a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic that China is willing to seek common development with Serbia through expanded trade and investment ties.
Bilateral ties between China and Serbia have developed steadily in recent years. The two countries agreed to build a strategic partnership when Serbian President Boris Tadic visited China in 2009.
Bilateral trade has grown robustly. In 2010, it reached 402 million U.S. dollars, a rise of some 20 percent over the previous year. China has offered preferential loans for some Serbian infrastructure projects.
He said China attaches great importance to its relations with Serbia, which has great potentials for development, and regards it as a “good friend and partner.”
“The primary aim of my visit to Serbia is to further develop bilateral cooperation in political, economic and cultural areas,” the Chinese official said.
He also briefed the Serbian leader on the economic and social achievements China has made and the challenges it faces ahead, adding his country is willing to deepen cooperation and exchange with Serbia to achieve common development.
Cvetkovic, for his part, said top Serbian leaders have decided it is very important to continue expand economic cooperation with China, adding that his country will make it more convenient for Chinese companies seeking to invest in the Balkan country.
The Serbian leader told He about the latest economic developments in his country and the government plan for development in the next ten year, expressing hope for strengthening cooperation and exchange with China on social and economic development.
After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several trade and investment agreements between China and Serbia.
He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, arrived in Belgrade on Sunday evening, kicking off an official three-day visit to Serbia to further the bilateral relations.
On Tuesday, he will speak at a forum attended by Chinese and Serbia business leaders. He will also tour the Confucius Institute at the University of Belgrade, which aims to promote Chinese language and culture in Serbia
He left the Turkish city of Istanbul earlier Sunday, where he had made a stopover. Serbia is the third leg of his five-nation tour. He has already visited France and Poland. After Serbia, he will travel on to the United Arab Emirates and Iran.