Earlier this year I posted a message on the importance and the potential of the Romanian-Chinese partnership - China is Romania’s first partner in Asia, and next year will mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Strong signals arose from the visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Romania this November (2013), confirming the strengthening of ties between Romania and China. Li travelled to Romania to attend the China-Central and Eastern Europe leaders' meeting as guest of the Romanian Prime-Minister Victor Ponta. It is Li’s first visit to Eastern Europe since he took office in March earlier this year.
Agerpres.ro covered the visit, in a complementary way to my earlier analysis: "Romania is developing an eastward-bound policy, while China is headed for the west. Both states have vast space for cooperation: Romania is rich in resources, has a high-quality workforce and a solid industrial and agricultural base. China has a large, 1.3 bln-strong market with advanced manufacturing branches and a capacity to accomplish infrastructure projects."
From a Chinese point of view (article by CCTV.com), Romania is an important gateway to not only the EU, but to the central and eastern European countries as well. The article talks about the opportunities for investments: both sides are talking about specific Chinese investment in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism.
A quote by Feng Zhongping, vice president of China institute of Contemporary International Relations, shows once more the importance of the relationship between China and Romania: "On the economic and trade front, Romania is not just Romania itself. ... If we invest more in this country, there will be a spillover effect to other countries in this region."
The relevance of Europe for China was also emphasized by a representative from the corporate community. Leo SUN, Brussels office and European Affairs President for Huawei, stated that "China is ready to invest and it must invest somewhere. Chinese entrepreneurs would like to invest abroad – and for the first time in 100 years the opportunities are there." The bureau of European Affairs of Huawei is one of the strategic points of the company, reporting directly to headquarters in China.
It is very positive to see both parties actively involved in realizing the potential of this important relationship.
Dan LUCA / Brussels