5 November saw a successful conclusion of the annual meeting of Heads of Government of the Central and Eastern European countries and China in the 16+1 format. The event was chaired by the Prime Minister of Latvia, Māris Kučinskis.
Two documents were adopted at the meeting: the Riga Guidelines, which is a roadmap for events in the 16+1 format in 2017; and the Riga Declaration, which seeks to intensify cooperation in the development of ports, transport corridors and infrastructure connecting the Central and Eastern European countries with China.
The meeting also resulted in the inauguration of the 16+1 Investment Fund envisaged to finance joint projects with China. A round-table discussion was followed by a signing ceremony during which the Latvian Ministry of Transport signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Development and Reform Commission of China on cooperation between industrial parks in ports.
The premiers congratulated academics – sinologists from the Central and Eastern European countries who have made their contribution to the strengthening of their countries’ cultural and educational contacts with China. Pēteris Pildegovičs, a leading Latvian sinologist, the compiler of the recently published Latvian-Chinese dictionary, presented the Premier of China with a copy of the book.
In conclusion of the meeting, in accordance with an agreement among all the 16+1 member countries, Māris Kučinskis handed over the task of hosting the next meeting of heads of government to his Hungarian counterpart, Victor Orban.
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