Old friends aim to build on deep ties

Czech companies plan to co-build aviation radars in China, train Chinese pilots, and build a new Confucius Institute, under eight MOUs signed at the CIIE yesterday.
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Czech Republic President Milos Zeman (center) applauds during the Czech-China Business Forum at the CIIE on Tuesday.

Czech companies plan to co-build aviation radars in China, train Chinese pilots, and build a new Confucius Institute, under eight MOUs signed at the Czech-China Business Forum at the CIIE yesterday.

Czech Republic President Milos Zeman, who brought a delegation of around 60 headed by his ministers of trade, agriculture, commerce and tourism, met President Xi Jinping and discussed deepening mutual trust, cooperation on mega projects in the Belt and Road Initiative, and more people-to-people exchanges.

President Zeman used two numbers to reflect the relationship between the two nations: exports from the Czech Republic to China have jumped more than 20 percent in a year, and the number of Chinese tourists also increased more than 20 percent in the same period.

“We are into day two of the CIIE and many Chinese companies have already contacted CITIC about importing Czech products,” said Chang Zhenming, chairman of CITIC Group.

CITIC has a large investment in Europe, and especially increasing its portfolio in the Czech Republic.

Czech leaders were among the first in the world to recognize China. It also participated in building the Chinese economy from early on, especially in machinery and agricultural technology and many long-standing ventures still continue.

The historic partnership modernized after many Czech companies started entering the market in the 1980s, among the first international firms.

The close ties are reflected in the fact that 80 Czech companies participating CIIE, in fields ranging from automotive to crystals, musical instrument, heavy machinery, and financial services.

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