Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday in Stockholm hailed the rapid development of business ties between China and Sweden and called for further efforts to enlarge bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
Speaking at a welcome dinner hosted by the Sweden-China Trade Council, Hu said that despite the great distance between the two countries, the Chinese and Swedish peoples have a long history of exchanges.
"Thanks to our joint efforts over the past half century and more, the China-Sweden relationship has matured. It is flourishing and is as good as it has ever been," he said.
The expanding business and trade ties are an important aspect of China-Sweden relations, Hu said, adding that the two-way trade volume reached 6.73 billion U.S. dollars in 2006, almost doubling that of 2000.
"China has been Sweden's largest trading partner in Asia for four years running. There are active mutual investments and technological exchanges, covering shipping, telecommunications, machinery, light industry, environmental protection and many other areas," he said.
Hu said that there are 844 Swedish investment projects in China by April 2007, with a total paid-in capital of 1.39 billion dollars. China has signed 1,138 contracts worth 10.2 billion dollars to import Swedish technologies and equipment.
The Chinese president said that more than ten Chinese companies are making investment or doing business here in Sweden.
The Chinese president, who arrived in Stockholm on Friday for a three-day state visit, also applauded the Sweden-China Trade Council for its contribution to the development of trade and business ties between the two countries over the last two decades or more.
"Many of its members, such as Ericsson, Volvo, Tetra Pak, Electrolux and Ikea, are successful in China. They have not only expanded market share in China and strengthened bilateral trade and business cooperation but also brought much benefit to our peoples," he said.
Hu noted that businesses are the main participants in business and trade exchanges between China and Sweden and a major force driving the growth of bilateral relations.
"It is my sincere hope that the business communities of our two countries will join hands and break new ground in China-Sweden trade and business cooperation," Hu said.