SCO urged to cut trade barriers

C H I NA DA I LY
nation 3
T U E S D A Y, D E C E M B E R 1 6 , 2 0 1 4
LI’S VISIT
SCO urged to cut trade barriers
Premier: Country
hopes to help
bloc improve
their economies
By ZHAO SHENGNAN
[email protected]
chinadaily.com.cn
By QIN JIZE in Astana
and ZHAO YINAN in Beijing
China proposed to help
Shanghai Cooperation Orga­
nisation countries upgrade
their resource­based econo­
mies with advanced industrial
equipment and financial sup­
port to hedge against the
impact of plunging oil prices
and geopolitical uncertainties.
The organiza­
Inside tion’s six mem­
See more, bers — China,
page 9
Russia and four
Central
Asian
countries — signed deals to
deepen cooperation in cus­
toms, law enforcement and a
multilateral economic and
trade outline on Monday, fol­
lowing the 13th prime minis­
ters’ meeting of the bloc in
Astana, Kazakhstan.
Premier Li Keqiang called
upon the organization to cut
trade barriers, improve the effi­
ciency of customs and open
market access among the orga­
nization’s members. He also
announced the start of the
selection of projects for the $5 billion China­Eurasia coopera­
tion fund.
Economic growth in Central
Asia will continue to decelerate
in 2015, hit by deepening geopo­
litical tensions between Russia
and Ukraine, the International
MonetaryFundsaidlastmonth.
“China is willing to cooperate
with all the members in the
organization in the same way as
we are working with Kazakh­
stan,” Li told government heads
at the meeting on Monday. “The
PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA
Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (center), Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov (second left),
Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda (second right), Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev (first left) and Uzbek First
Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov (first right) attend the 13th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Monday.
state members are in a transi­
tional period to sustain growth
while restructuring the econo­
my. We’d invest in steel, cement,
electricity and the deep­proc­
essing of resources to help local
economies while transferring
China’s overcapacity.”
The regional bloc, founded
by China, Russia, Kazakhstan,
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and
Uzbekistan, contains three­
fifths of the Eurasian continent
and one­fourth of the world’s
population. Afghanistan, India,
Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan
are observers, and Belarus, Tur­
key and Sri Lanka are dialogue
partners.
Total economic output of the
region took up 14.9 percent of
the world economy, compared
with just 4.8 percent in 2001.
China’s trade with the other
five state members jumped
from $12.1 billion in 2001 to
$130 billion dollars in 2013.
At Monday’s meeting,
Kazakh Prime Minister Karim
Masimov said that as the
Kazakh government tries to
reduce the side effects of the
international economic turbu­
lence through strengthening
cooperation with state mem­
bers of the SCO, Beijng’s pro­
posal to build a Silk Road
Economic Belt is particularly
favorable to the region.
Xing
Guangcheng,
a
researcher at the Chinese Acad­
emy of Social Sciences, said
security and economic coopera­
tion are the two wheels of the
regional bloc, and tumbling
energy prices, geopolitical ten­
sionandloomingdeflationhave
compelled regional members to
join hands to prop up growth.
“But such cooperation
remains underdeveloped com­
pared with their exchanges on
regional security. Opportunities
lie in Beijing’s proposal to build
a Silk Road Economic Belt, as
well as in the fact that, as the
world’s second­largest econo­
my, China can serve as the gate­
way to the Asia Pacific region for
othermemberstates,” Xingsaid.
Contact the writers
through [email protected]
chinadaily.com.cn
CHINA’S TRADE WITH CENTRAL, EASTERN EUROPE
Unit: billion dollars
Albania
$0.487
(2012)
Serbia builds more
bridges with China
Bosnia
and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Czech
Republic
Estonia
Hungary
Latvia
$0.112
$1.9
$1.5
$17.38
$1.31
$8.41
$1.38
(2013)
(2012)
(2013)
(2013)
(2013)
(2013)
(2012)
Before becoming the Ser­
bian ambassador to China
less than two months ago,
Milan Bacevic was the minis­
ter of natural resources, min­
ing and spatial planning in
Belgrade.
His title has changed, but
one mission has not: seek­
ing Chinese investment,
especially in infrastructure.
Bacevic’s endeavors in
that field will be boosted by
Premier Li Keqiang’s trip to
Serbia on Monday, the first
by a Chinese premier to the
Balkan country in 28 years.
During his visit, Li was
due to meet with the Serbi­
an president and prime
minister, and he will repre­
sent China at a meeting
with leaders from Central
and Eastern European
countries.
“A great number” of
agreements will be signed
during the Serbia trip, cov­
ering areas including infra­
structure, civil aviation,
energy, finance, agriculture
and education, Bacevic told
China Daily in Beijing
recently. “We welcome more
Chinese companies to come
and invest in Serbia.”
Among Central and East­
ern European countries, Ser­
bia has the largest number
of joint infrastructure pro­
jects with China, he said. A
major transport infrastruc­
ture and logistics center is
expected to be established in
Belgrade, he said.
Bacevic highlighted the
construction of a 1.5­km
bridge by China Road and
Bridge Corp over the Dan­
ube, Europe’s second­long­
est river, which flows
through Serbia. Li is expect­
ed to attend the completion
ceremony for the bridge in
Belgrade.
Connectivity is also high
on the agenda of the leaders’
meeting, as infrastructure
was damaged during the
conflicts of the 1990s.
A “new breakthrough” is
expected to be made with
the Belgrade­Budapest Rail­
way that China is building
with Serbia and Hungary,
Bacevic said.
Estonia
$13.36 (2013) Albania
$19.12 (2014 estimate)
$53.05 (2013)
$57.86 (2013)
$198.37 (2013)
$24.48 (2013)
$137.228 (2014 estimate)
$32.82 (2014 estimate)
$45.93 (2013)
Latvia
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Lithuania
Estonia
Estonia
Poland
Hungary
Poland
Romania
Hungary
Latvia
Czech
Republic
Lithuania
Slovakia
$10.78 (2013) Macedonia
$5.95 (2013) Montenegro
$513.93 (2013 estimate)
$189.65 (2013)
$68.6 (2013)
$101.81 (2014 estimate)
$46.85 (2013)
Macedonia
POPULATION (million)
3.02 (2014 estimate)
3.87 (2014 estimate)
7.59 (2013)
4.33 (2013)
10.51 (2013)
1.34 (2013)
9.88 (2014 estimate)
1.99 (2014 estimate)
2.96 (2013)
2.1 (2013)
Montenegro 0.65 (2011)
Hungary
Romania
Croatia
Romania
Serbia
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Slovakia
Serbia
Slovenia
38.48 (2014 estimate)
Poland
Slovenia
Serbia
Slovakia
Bulgaria
Republic
Republic
Lithuania
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
Croatia
Czech
Croatia
Czech
Latvia
Albania
Bulgaria
Slovenia
21.3 (2013)
9.3 (2013)
5.42 (2013 estimate)
2.06 (2013)
Kazakh Prime Minister
Karim Masimov, a fluent
Mandarin speaker, studied
in China and headed a trad­
ing operation in Hong
Kong. While addressing
business leaders from both
countries on Sunday, Mas­
imov welcomed China’s
representatives in Manda­
rin. “A Chinese saying goes
that friendship is priceless,”
he said, to much applause.
Premier Li Keqiang said he
admired Masimov’s lan­
guage proficiency, and add­
ed he was inclined to learn
Kazakh, to bring the two
countries closer together.
Masimov hosted an exclu­
sive breakfast with Li on
Monday morning in an
Albania
$1.81
(2013)
$0.172
Montenegro
$0.103
(2013)
Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Xinhua News Agency
(2013)
Poland
Romania
Serbia
Slovakia
$14.81
$3.78
$0.612
$6
$1.82
(2013)
(2012)
(2013)
(2012)
(2012)
Slovenia
LIU LUNAN / CHINA DAILY
The countries agreed to
build the railway, the first
cross­border infrastructure
project in the Central and
Eastern Europe, last year.
China has already con­
firmed its constructive role
in the region, especially
since the region has a high
need for infrastructure, and
China has the financial
resources, know­how and
experience to help achieve
the goal, Bacevic said.
Li’s visit will also promote
relations between China
and the European Union, he
said, adding that Serbia can
play a key role in that proc­
ess and with regard to Bei­
jing’s proposed trans­
Eurasia
Silk
Road
Economic Belt.
Serbia, which is situated
at the crossroads between
central and southeast
Europe, is an EU candidate
country. Its free trade agree­
ments with the EU and Rus­
sia, among others, offer
access to a substantial mar­
ket for Chinese companies
that invest in the landlocked
nation.
“Li’s visit will be impor­
tant for Serbia’s foreign poli­
cy priority — its EU path —
because China’s position as
a major power is important
for both Serbia and the EU,”
he said.
Astana hotel where the
Chinese delegation was
based. Li presented a gift
to Masimov: The Due Proc­
ess of Law, a book that was
jointly translated by Li
and his classmates when
he studied at Peking Uni­
versity. Masimov, like Li,
holds a doctoral degree in
economics, and said he
would treasure the book.
Nursultan Nazarbayev,
Kazakh President
Exception for Li
Macedonia
Macedonia
SERBIAN AMBASSADOR TO CHINA
Gift to Masimov
Montenegro
Lithuania
MILAN BACEVIC
tidbits
Mandarin speaker
GDP (billion)
Li’s visit will be
important for Ser­
bia’s foreign policy
priority — its EU path
— because China’s
position as a major
power is important
for both Serbia and
the EU.”
The Due Process of Law, a
book that was jointly
translated by Premier Li
Keqiang and his classmates
when he studied at Peking
University
Kazakh President Nursul­
tan Nazarbayev usually
does not meet guests dur­
ing the weekend, but he
made an exception for Li
on Sunday. The two lead­
ers talked for 90 minutes
via simultaneous interpre­
tation, instead of the more
common consecutive inter­
pretation which leads to
conversation gaps, to save
time and cover as many
issues as possible. At the
end of the meeting, Nazar­
bayev said he was
impressed by Li’s efficiency
and pragmatic approach.
ZHAO SHENGNAN