Fifth high-level symposium of think tanks from China, CEEC opens

Skopje, 30 October 2018 (MIA) – A Chinese saying goes ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Process 16+1 as one step is the platform for Macedonia to resume the enhancement of cooperation with PR China and countries in Central and Eastern Europe, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in his address at the Fifth High-Level Symposium of think tanks from China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), which opened in the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) on Tuesday.

PM Zaev said the acceleration of Macedonia’s economic development is the country’s priority, accompanied by its stability and the rule of law, and highlighted the importance of the country’s NATO and EU accession.

“PR China is promoting new trends in technology, e-commerce, environment and infrastructure. Using these potentials will contribute to the improvement of the living standard of our citizens. I am convinced that our countries will achieve the economic development goals, including the use of new technologies, digitization, increase of education quality, proper infrastructure,” said Zaev.

MANU president Taki Fiti addressed the high-level symposium, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Institute of Geo-Strategic Research and Foreign Policy, the General Secretariat of the 16+1 Process, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, saying Macedonia has taken part in the process from the very beginning.

“Macedonia was the first country to sign an agreement over the use of funds from the pool for financing of infrastructure projects. A coordination center for cultural cooperation within the 16+1 Process is operational in Macedonia, while several large Chinese companies have shown interest to invest in the energy field. We are also interested in cooperation in the fields of agriculture, tourism and other economic sectors, where potentials are enormous and need to be utilized,” added Fiti.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences vice-president Wang Jingqing said the symposium is an important initiative towards creating a network of think tank communication among China and countries in the Process, enabling their cooperation.

The symposium is one of the facilities for cooperation within the Process 16+1, at which scientists, researchers, experts and other representatives of the think tank community have the opportunity to give their contribution in the further creation of development activities.