Mr Matej Balen, Vice President, Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), was among the participants.
This is his presentation in an integral version:
"Honourable Mr. Li Jun, Vice President of CNIE and former Vice Minister of IDCPC
Honourable Mr. Wang Ke, Deputy Secretary General,
Leaders of China NGO Network for International Exchanges,
Dear Members of CNIE,
In April 2019, Croatia was the last host country of the General “17+1” Summit, in the city of Dubrovnik. During the Summit, Prime Minister Li Keqiang highlighted that the future development of the China-CEEC cooperation needs to be based on joint cooperation and protection the principles of openness, transparency, inclusiveness and non-discrimination.
At the present time, all countries are facing common challenges when COVID-19 continues to cause damage in the world, seriously impacting our economies and challenging global development. However, our common goals from April 2019 still remain unchanged. Pursuing peace and development, protecting human rights, reducing poverty, promoting educational equity, tackling climate change, investing into sustainable development projects, promoting openness and international cooperation – are still our biggest objectives that can help us overcome our difficulties, including the current one with COVID-19.
One of the brightest examples of international cooperation was China’s help with suppling medical equipment and supplies to countries all across the world, in the time of our biggest global need. We shouldn’t look at current medical crisis in our countries as an obstacle to progress, but better as an opportunity to deepen mutual cooperation and trust.
Within the Belt and Road Initiative, and ‘17+1’ Initiative for CEE countries, our governments are working on the safest and fastest ways of economic recovery. One of the best ways is through development of “green lines” to facilitate free flows of people and goods, and to maintain stable supply chains. New fast developing areas are quickly coming: smart cities, 5G, artificial intelligence, ecommerce, big data, blockchain and telemedicine – all need to be developed with mutual strengthening of data security, policy communication and coordination.
And the role of all of us and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) is to support this global development, but also to protect the values of peace, human rights, equality and environment protection during the process. This conference and seminar send an important message of cooperation and mutual human values, not only to CEE countries, but also business communities and institutions in Europe.
We were very happy to read reports on significant progress in reaching the goal of poverty elimination in China. Equally so on projects in environmental protection, sustainable development of cities and gender equality in China, for which we need to congratulate the CNIE and Chinese leadership.
Over the past decade, Chinese economic growth brought China into a position to globally challenge the American economy. The USA and some EU countries now suggest creation of so-called “antiChinese coalition", to limit the growth of Chinese economy, at any price. This reaction from the “West”, previously the engine of the global economy, is now trying to limit international trade and cooperation, something that is now widely criticized by economic experts all around the World.
“Requests” from the West for limitations in cooperation between CEE countries and China only decreases economic perspectives for countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This current trend would bring us back to the time before the World War Two, when closed economies, unemploymentand poverty were common. We need to be aware of this, to be able to understand of the real background of American critics on China, and accusations for the abuse of human rights in Western China, for example.
Today, when we have already witnessed the successes of the globalised economy, global society and international cooperation, especially in the developing countries, PR China is giving hope for the continuation of economic growth and improvement in living condition.
In conclusion, CSEBA fully supports CNIE’s efforts to strengthen mutual cooperation between our countries and PR China.
Thank you all very much."