China and Poland eye major deals
Updated: 2016-06-21 02:50
By An Baijie in Warsaw and WANG XU in Beijing(China Daily)
Key projects agreed as part of the Belt and Road Initiative
President Xi Jinping and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Warsaw on Monday. JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP
China and Poland agreed on Monday to launch major projects as soon as possible as part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to boost interconnectivity.
Agreements on the joint action were signed during President Xi Jinping's state visit to Poland.
Witnessed by Xi and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, the two countries signed 13 documents to boost cooperation in areas including logistics, industrial parks, customs and aviation.
Xi said after the signing ceremony that China welcomes Poland's active participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, which is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trading routes.
According to the agreements, the two countries will work together to map out their development plans, jointly establish an online Silk Road, boost information links, facilitate customs procedures and improve cooperation on infrastructure investment in logistics.
Xi said Poland, situated at the heart of Europe, has a unique geographical advantage.
Stating that the country is a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, Xi encouraged Poland to use the bank to finance infrastructure construction.
He suggested that both countries should encourage their companies to cooperate, especially on large projects that could benefit their people.
According to a joint declaration signed by the two presidents, China and Poland agreed to upgrade the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Poland is China's largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe, while China is Poland's third-largest supplier of imports. Trade between the two countries reached $17.09 billion last year.