June 25, 2019

Former President of Montenegro in Beijing
Former President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic participated at the High-level meeting in Beijing, organized by the Chinese People s Institute of Foreign Affairs and Nizami Ganjavi International Center from Azerbaijan. Former President take a part at the panel which was concerned with relations between China and Europe, as well as with the Mechanism of Cooperation 17+1 within the Belt and Road Initiative.

In his speech, former President Vujanovic addressed as follows:

Your Excellence
Ladies and Gentlemen

This session has two topics: Chinese -European relations and "17+1"Cooperation

First, Chinese-European Relations are often defined as the most important or greatest economic and trade relations of world. In 2018, China was the second largest EU partner for exports of goods, and the largest EU partner for imports of goods. The research showed that from 2008 to 2016 the Chinese investment in Europe had grown more than 50 times, from 840 million US dollars in 2008 to 42 billion in 2016.

In this regard when talking about European– Chinese relation I will refer to this yearÈs EU – China Summit, held in April. This Summit analyzed what was done in the last five years and what will be the future of relationship.

The leaders from both sides reaffirmed their commitment to peace, growth, reform and civilization based on the principles of mutual respect and benefit, trust and equality.

In regards to economy and trade the EU and China commit to build openness, nondiscrimination and fair competition ensuring transparency and mutual benefits.

This is very significant and gives direction to Montenegro that should be the framework of our future relation with China, in our strong willingness to boost the fruitful and productive cooperation.

Second, when talking about “17 +1” Initiative, it is important fact that such a cooperation contributes to the strategic and comprehensive partnership of EU and China.

The 17+1 Participants support the early conclusion of an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment and recognize the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and welcome forging synergies between them.

More significant is the statement that the participants will continue to step up their cooperation with third countries to promote digital economy, efficient transport connectivity and smart, sustainable, safe and secure mobility.

The EU should not be worried that 17+1 Initiative will have negative influence on EU unity. The China – CEEC trade exchange represents only about 10% of the total EU – China exchange. ItÈs similar with investments. For example, in 2017 the 75% of Chinese investments in EU were made in three countries: The United Kingdom, Germany and France. CEE countries receive around 90% of its investments from the EU and the U.S.

In December 2018, China announced the Policy Paper on the EU. China welcomes a united, stable, open and prosperous Europe. China supports the European integration process, and remains committed to developing ties with EU institutions and member states. Regarding the 17+1 Initiative China also supported that.

Within the "17+1" Initiative general public is paying attention to the cooperation in infrastructural projects, trade and economy. I would like to put the point to the cultural, tourism, and “people – to – people” exchange.

Ladies and gentlemen,

EU – China relations will remain one of the most important relations in world of the 21 century, which will secure global peace, development and quality of life. In front of us are lots of challenges and issues to be solved for the benefit of our common prosperity. Montenegro, will strongly contribute to that.

After Greece, the member of the EU, joined the China – CEEC Cooperation, this multilateral framework received a new strong impetus. Montenegro will continue to be an active participant of “17+1” Initiative.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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