Yes or no from the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang mean a lot to secure specific actions and during his visit to Latvia we heard many ‘yes’ replies from him in regards to development of cooperation, said Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.
The politician admitted that there will not be any immediate results from the recent forum in Riga.
Speaking of the experimental train sent to Latvia from China, Kucinskis noted that it had reached Riga two days earlier than planned, which is important for China. The matter regarding cargoes to be sent back and the connectivity with Scandinavia’s market, where China has the most interest, remains open. Speed plays a major role nowadays. It is cheaper to carry cargoes by sea, but the trip takes at least twice as long, said the Latvian prime minister.
Cargo transshipment companies have to start looking for ways to liven up their cargo lines, Kucinskis added.
As Li Keqiang mentioned after the Saturday meeting of heads of state of countries participating in 16+1 format, there is enormous unused economic potential between China and countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Kucinskis said Riga Guidelines were approved at the 16+1 meeting.
The Chinese prime minister thanked Latvia for the successful organization of the meeting, emphasizing that it was realized in spite of slow economic development rates in the world and the overall low international trade volumes.
The Chinese prime minister said that, considering the enormous cooperation potential, it is necessary to work on the creation of a multi-sided trade platform and make sure no country is outside of cooperation and development plans.
Li Keqiang said China is interested in receiving high-quality goods from Europe, especially agriculture products. China is also interested in looking for opportunities to expand the exports of its industrial products and develop cooperation in tourism.
More than 110 million Chinese residents visit foreign countries every year.
Kucinskis thanked all the leaders who took part in the event, saying that 16+1 cooperation format has come a long way over the past five years.
«I can safely say that we have great opportunities to develop cooperation in finances, which has been the weak chain for 16+1 lately. We have founded 16+1 Investment Fund. Work needs to be concluded on the formation of the 16+1 Interbank Consortium, which would open the road for the development of cooperation models in the field of finances. It should also be said that trading is another field in which we can trace development in the form of statistical data. I believe it is necessary to exchange experience and assess possibilities for the creation of new solutions and models for cooperation with China,» – added Kucinskis.
He added that cultural and human resource exchange is no less important. «We should improve and develop cooperation in tourism, education, science and culture sectors. One of the most common obstacles to formation of business contacts is lack of information about potential partners. The best way to overcome this obstacle and learn more about each other is to enhance tourism and cultural exchange,» – explained the prime minister.
In addition, it is necessary to identify other potential cooperation projects for the development of industrial infrastructure on the basis of mutual benefit. This includes ports and special economic zones.