Seventh 16+1 Summit takes place in Sofia

Seventh 16+1 Summit takes place in Sofia

Seventh 16+1 Summit takes place in Sofia

Li Keqiang told a summit with central and eastern European leaders that China would continue opening its markets and implementing other reforms that had fuelled its economy, providing opportunities for EU members and aspirants in the bloc's poorer half.

The U.S. imposed 25 percent duties Friday on $34 billion worth of imports from China.

The 16+1 meeting of the central and eastern European nations and China is part of China's $900 billion "New Silk Road" plan to boost its influence in Europe through investments and closer economic links.

'Significantly reducing the import tariffs for daily consumer goods is conducive to expanding China's opening-up and serves as a major measure and action of the country's initiative to open its market, ' the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said.

Countries around the world were affected by the global financial crisis that started in 2008 and which led to banking crises and the so-called "Great Recession", especially in the USA and Europe, where growth has improved over the past few years.

"China wants a prospering Europe and a strong euro". EU officials are in part anxious that subsidized Chinese companies will have a market advantage without reciprocal deals for European firms.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Germany will help build up mutual trust and push bilateral ties to a higher level, said Chinese Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

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In the context of the current rising trends of protectionism, unilateralism, and anti-globalization, the Chinese premier voiced the hope to maintain multilateralism and economic globalization, and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, together with the CEEC leaders through concrete moves, so as to better benefit the people and inject impetus into regional and world peace and development.

The Sofia summit takes place just weeks ahead of the larger EU-China summit in Beijing, and also amid China's trade battle with the United States.

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.

In a world of growing uncertainties, China and Europe see their interests aligned.

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.

Some 18 bilateral agreements and memorandums were signed, but no new major deals were announced.

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