On August 27th, a delegation of senior officials from 12 Central and Eastern European countries headed by Mario Škunca, the Foreign Affairs Adviser of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, visited Dalian. Yesterday, the deputy secretary of the Municipal Party Committee and Mayor Tan Chengxu met with the delegation at the Shangri-La Hotel. Ambassador Huo Yuzhen, the Special Representative of China-Central and Eastern Europe Cooperation, and Secretary-General of the Municipal Government, Yi Qingtao, attended the meeting.
On behalf of the Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government, Tan Chengxu welcomed the delegation and briefly introduced the economic and social development of the city. He said that Dalian is an open, inclusive, dynamic and innovative city with a long history of friendly exchanges with Central and Eastern European countries and a deep traditional friendship. Dalian has established friendly and cooperative relations with Ohrid of the Republic of Macedonia and Rijeka of the Republic of Croatia, and has achieved pragmatic cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, tourism and culture. Tan Chengxu said that Central and Eastern Europe, as an important area along the Belt and Road Initiative line, plays an important role in promoting the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. At present, Dalian is taking the construction of the Free Trade Zone as a driving force, taking Liaoning's establishment of a Belt and Road Initiative comprehensive experimental zone and a "China-Central and Eastern Europe 16+1" economic and trade cooperation demonstration zone as the carrier, deeply integrating into the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative to create an upgraded version of the open economy. He said that the delegation's visit will further enhance mutual understanding, learn from each other's development experience, explore new ways, opportunities and fields of cooperation between the two sides, deepen exchanges between places and make new contributions to the pragmatic cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries.
Mario Škunca said that although members of the delegation come from different countries in Central and Eastern Europe, everyone has a common goal - promote the continuous development of friendly relations and cooperation between Central and Eastern Europe and China. The visit further deepened the members' understanding of this fashionable and dynamic city. Dalian's development and changes are a microcosm of China's reform and opening up. At present, it is an opportune time for cooperation between Central and Eastern European countries and regions in China. The two sides will continue to promote friendly exchanges between central and eastern European countries and Dalian, promote practical cooperation in more fields and achieve mutual benefit and win-win.