Chinese vice president urges Chinese, Bulgarian entrepreneurs to boost economic ties

Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on Chinese and Bulgarian entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity and strive to give a new boost to trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Xi, who arrived in Sofia on Wednesday, the third leg of his current five-nation European tour, made the call at a breakfast meeting with Chinese and Bulgarian entrepreneurs.

The prospects for global economic growth remain grim despite some positive signs in efforts to reverse the downturn, Xi said.

Striving for an early global economic recovery and pushing for sustained and healthy growth of the global economy remained a major task for all countries, he added.

Xi put forward a four-point proposal for further advancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

— Efforts should be made to further expand the size of two-way trade. Xi expressed the hope that Chinese and Bulgarian enterprises would tap the potential for expanding their cooperation.

China welcomes the Bulgarian enterprises to expand exports to China, particularly those of non-ferrous metals, yogurt, wine and rose oil, he said.

Areas of cooperation should be further expanded. He said the two sides should give further play to their respective economic advantages and foster new growth engines for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

China will encourage more Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Bulgaria and also welcomes their Bulgarian counterparts to explore Chinese markets in a more active way, he said.

— Cooperation mechanisms should be further improved. Xi said the two sides should give full play to the role of the China-Bulgaria joint committee on economic cooperation and seek timely solutions to problems in bilateral cooperation.

They should also make the most of such organizations as the chambers of commerce and industry and investment and trade promotion agencies of the two countries, providing exchange platforms and information services for small and medium-sized enterprises, he said.

— Bilateral pragmatic cooperation should be further deepened. Xi noted that there is a broader prospect for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries after Bulgaria joined the European Union.

The two sides should adhere to free trade, strengthen consultation and communication and deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation so as to give a fresh impetus to the sound and stable growth of China-Bulgaria economic and trade ties, he added.

Hailing the rapidly expanding trade and economic and cooperation between China and Bulgaria in recent years, Xi said bilateral trade exceeded 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, up 36.8 percent from the previous year.

Meanwhile, mutual investments and cooperation between enterprises of the two countries have also been growing steadily. Fresh progress has been made on bilateral cooperation in such fields as home appliances, automobiles, information and telecommunications, energy conservation and environmental protection, he said.

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