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Address by Ambassador Xu Erwen at the Opening Ceremony of 2019 China-CEEC Energy Cooperation Forum

(October 18, 2019, The Westin Zagreb)

Hon Minster Tomislav Ćorić,

Hon Administrator Zhang Jianghua,

Hon Ministers from Central and Eastern European Countries,

Your Excellencies ambassadors,

Dear participants from Central and Eastern European Countries and China,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It is my honor to be here with you to attend the opening ceremony of 2019 China-CEECs Energy Cooperation Forum. I am so pleased this forum is held in Zagreb, an energetic and beautiful city of Croatia, enabling me to meet so many distinguished friends from both China and CEE Countries. At the outset, please allow me to express on behalf of the Chinese Embassy to Croatia my sincere congratulations on this event and warmest greetings and welcome to all the participants to this forum!

I also wish to express my thanks to the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation on Energy Projects(CDCEP 17+1) in Bucharest and its secretariats, particularly HE Romania ambassador to Croatia who came to meet me to talk about this forum just two weeks after my arrival in Zagreb to assume my mission as Chinese Ambassador to Croatia, as well as to Romanian Energy Centre and China Electric Power Planning & Engineering Institute, for your hard work to make this forum possible, and for your strenuous efforts to push forward communication and cooperation in energy, especially clean energy.

As a platform, the 17+1 cooperation aims to promote trade, investment and infrastructure as well as to strengthen docking and coordination of policy and development strategies between China and Central and Eastern European countries and between China and Europe as well. This platform has played a positive role in setting up links and connectivity between “Belt and Road Initiative” and “Three Seas Initiatives”, serving interconnection between Asia and Europe as well as the balanced development of European countries.

The 17+1 cooperation has proved to be pragmatic and beneficial. Over the past eight years since this mechanism started, many fruitful results have been achieved.Now I ’d like to name a few here as follows:

First, bilateral trade between China and CEECs has grown fast and steadily. In 2018, the trade volume between China and Central and Eastern European countries amounted USD82.2 billion, more than 55.4% increase comparing to 2011.

Second, inward and outward investment has been expanded consistently. According to statistics, Central and Eastern European Countries have invested about 1.5 billion US dollars in China, while China has invested more than 10 billion US dollars in CEECs since 2011. The investment covers areas of manufacturing, finance, chemistry, medicine, logistics, environment protection, energy, and so on.

Third, the infrastructure interconnection between China-CEECs has been progressing very well. We are happy to see that a serious of projects in transport and energy sectors are being pushed forward smoothly in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

Fourth, the cooperation mechanism has been established and been improved in the areas of strengthening planning and coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial cooperation, scientific and technological innovation, energy cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and local cooperation and etc, which have strongly promoted the implementation of the related cooperation.

In this April, the 8th Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which was a huge success with many fruitful results achieved. Dubrovnik Guidelines state support for further expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation of energy under the framework of 17+1, and encourage technical exchanges, energy cooperation planning and research including exploring more opportunities of cooperation in green energy and bio energy.

We have noticed the increasing global demand for low-carbon and green energy, not only in China, but also in many Central and Eastern European Countries, for it is so critical for each country’s sustainable development. Along with the emerging of green energy technologies and the efforts of all stakeholders, we believe it is necessary to enhance exchange on energy policy and strategy, technological views and project practices, which benefit all the related countries and the peoples. With the solid foundation of political mutual trust between China and CEECs based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, with the support of China-CEECs cooperation mechanism, and the implementation of “Belt and Road Initiative”, we have no doubt that there are great opportunities and huge potentials to have more cooperation in energy sector.

Croatia and China has already had very good practice in this regard, the Senj wind farm project, the biggest wind power projects in Croatia with the capacity of 156MW. It has set up a good example of green energy cooperation between China and CEECs. It is the first green energy investment project in Croatia by Chinese company, with total investment of about 200 million US dollars and it will generate 538 million kwh electricity power annually after being put into full production. The project is now under civil engineer construction after the agreement was signed at the end of 2017 and the groundbreaking ceremony was held in last November. I am happy and proud of the progress made so far. We are confident about our advanced technology in green energy and reduced competitive cost concerned.China welcomes more cooperation projects in energy sector with Croatia and other CEECs based on the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation in the future.

It is my sincere hope that all parties to this Forum will actively participate and contribute ideas and suggestions to further promote exchanges and cooperation in green energy field between Central and Eastern European countries and China. I also wish you will enjoy your stay in Croatia .

Finally, I wish 2019 China-CEECs Energy Cooperation Forum a great success!

Thank you all!

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