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ČR to host East Europe-China aviation, medicines summits

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Budapest, Nov 27 (CTK special correspondent) – The Czech Republic will stage the summits of 16 Central and East European countries and China for civilian aviation and medicines in 2018, and it wants to organise a 16+1 summit of top representatives 2019, PM Bohuslav Sobotka told journalists on Monday.

In 2019, 70 years will have elapsed from the establishment of diplomatic relations between Prague and Beijing.

Sobotka spoke about the two Czech summits planned for 2018 at a 16+1 prime ministers’ meeting in Budapest this morning.

The summit for medicines should take place in May, and the one focusing on civilian aviation in June.

“In the years to follow, the Czech Republic would like to organise a summit of prime ministers,” Sobotka said, adding that he considers the year 2019 an optimal date.

Sobotka said the 6th 16+1 prime ministers’ summit on Monday showed that the format is viable.

“A number of interesting projects have been launched within this format, but a crushing majority of them has bilateral character as projects individual countries implement along with China,” Sobotka said.

In his speech at the summit on Monday, he positively assessed the development of Czech-Chinese economic relations.

“We expect the number of Chinese tourists [in the Czech Republic] to reach half a million. We have four air connections,” Sobotka told reporters.

He said he can see further potential in the area of air connection with tourism, and also in investments.

“Chinese investments in the Czech Republic have been growing in recent years, but they do not reach the pace we imagined three or four years ago, when we enhanced bilateral contacts,” Sobotka said.

He said the goals include the opening of the Chinese market to Czech food products.

This July, the Czech exports to China registered a 29-percent year-on-year increase and reached 33 billion crowns. Nevertheless, Chinese exports to the Czech Republic still highly prevail over imports from the Czech Republic.

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