Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Economy | By

Chinese PM invites intl banks to participate in Bulgaria-Greece rail project

Chinese PM invites intl banks to participate in Bulgaria-Greece rail project

The Sofia summit comes the day after a tariff spat between China and the USA escalated into a full-blown trade war as 25-per cent U.S. duties came into force Friday on $34 billion of Chinese goods.

"China supports European integration and a united EU because we understand that the EU is an important force for global prosperity and peace".

In addition, the "16+1" platform comprising China and the 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe is open and inclusive and has always been carried out under the framework of China-EU relations and relevant EU laws and regulations.

China has promised billions of dollars for development projects in central and eastern Europe as part of its Belt and Road Initiative to carve out new export markets.

China remains open for trade with foreign partners and can only benefit from an economically strong Europe, its leader said on Saturday as he pressed for expanded ties with the continent's eastern wing while waging a tariff war with Washington.

Analysts have said Li, who will travel to Germany on Sunday ahead of a wider China-EU summit in Beijing, would avoid any issues that might irk western EU governments.

China's commerce ministry, in a statement shortly after the US deadline passed at 0401 GMT Friday, said that it was forced to retaliate.

While U.S. President Donald Trump frequently has criticized the European Union on trade and security issues and the two powers are in the middle of their own tariff battles, Li was very complimentary of the EU.

Free trade and worldwide cooperation must be upheld to avoid slowing down the global economy, the Chinese premier told peers from central and eastern Europe Saturday.

"If Europe is weakened, it will only be bad news for China, not the other way around", Li said. The new list widens market access for foreign investment in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, detailing 22 opening-up measures in fields including finance, transportation, professional services, infrastructure, energy, resources and agriculture.

In September 2017, Bulgaria signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece on the development of a high-speed railway corridor linking major Greek Aegean ports with Bulgarian ports on the Danube river and the Black Sea coast.

Bulgaria hopes the summit will help secure much-needed funds to build new roads, highways and other infrastructure in eastern Europe, a region that still lags richer states in the western wing of the European Union in terms of development and income.

Last month Hungary finalised the construction timetable with Beijing for a Budapest-Belgrade rail link. "China and Europe are geographically far apart from each other and we have different cultures, so when Chinese business people make investments here, they need to have more knowledge of Europe".

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