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China, Croatia to step up co-op amid crisis: Chinese president
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10:06, June 21, 2009

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China and Croatia would embrace more opportunities for cooperation amid the current global financial turmoil, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Zagreb on June 20,2009.

The Chinese-Croatian ties have been developing steadily since the two countries established diplomatic relations 17 years ago, Hu said during a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.

Bilateral cooperation in various fields has greatly improved since China and Croatia forged comprehensive partnership of cooperation in 2005, Hu said, adding the two countries are now facing new opportunities in further developing their relations.

As the global financial crisis is still spreading, the two countries should expand cooperation in trade and economy, which could help them resist the impact of the crisis, the Chinese president said.

The two sides, he said, also need to step up efforts in maintaining trade stability, carrying out economic cooperation in diversified forms, promoting balanced growth of bilateral trade and expanding two-way investment.

Hu said China and Croatia should not only boost cooperation between large companies but also need to promote cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises. He also encouraged Croatian enterprises to be more proactive in exploring China's market.

Moreover, the two sides need to strengthen cooperation in technology and tourism and to nurture new opportunities in their pragmatic cooperation, Hu said, adding they should make joint efforts to guarantee the successful holding of the fourth meeting of the Croatian-Chinese scientific and technological cooperation committee in Beijing in the second half of this year.

On cultural exchanges, Hu said cooperation on language teaching and media should be a focus.

The Chinese side welcomed Croatia to participate in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and will provide support for the early opening of the Confucius Institutes in Croatia, Hu added.

On promoting bilateral ties and cooperation, the Chinese president also stressed the importance of mobilizing the initiative and enthusiasm of the local governments of the two sides.

Echoing Hu's remarks, Sanader expressed his hope that the two sides could carry out pragmatic cooperation in various fields such as culture, education, science and tourism, particularly, in trade and economy.

The Croatian government welcomed Chinese enterprises to make investment in Croatia and to engage in the construction of Croatia's infrastructure facilities such as airports and ports.

He also encouraged Croatian enterprises to launch businesses and make investment in China, he said.

During the meeting, Croatia has confirmed its participation in the Shanghai World Expo.

Croatia is the last leg of President Hu's three-nation tour. Earlier, Hu attended a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a summit of BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China, in Russia's Yekaterinburg, and paid state visits to Russia and Slovakia.

Source: Xinhua



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