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Albanian, Chinese businesses hold B2B meetings in Tirana eyeing stronger cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-25 10:26

TIRANA - Business representatives from Albania and China met Friday afternoon in Albania's capital, Tirana, to discuss ways of strengthening and expanding business cooperation in different fields.

The meeting was held with the presence of Albania's Minister of state for enterprise, Sonila Qato, Chinese Ambassador to Tirana Jiang Yu, Secretary General of China's Council for Promotion of International Trade Yu Jialong and a significant number of Albanian and Chinese business representatives.

The B2B meetings between businesses of the two countries are organized at the same time of the international fair "Klik Ekspo Klik" in Tirana where Chinese companies have a high presence with around 20 stands.

In her opening remarks, Albanian Minister Qato thanked the Chinese companies for coming to Albania, noting that such high presence confirmed the good will to explore Albania and further develop the business ties between two countries.

She also praised the great presence in the trade fair saying that the fair would serve as a direct contact point for Albanian and Chinese businesses as well as an opportunity to get to know each other. Qato noted that China is a story of success from which Albania can learn a lot.

She further said that China remained a key trade partner of Albania. However, she said that there was still room for further development of trade relations so that Albania imports and exports more from/to China and on the other side, China might increase its investments here.

Then, Qato made a summary of the reforms undertaken by the Albanian government in the field of doing business.

She also assured Chinese entrepreneurs that the Albanian government would take concrete initiatives and measures to assist the Chinese companies as well as to create a favorable and stable business climate.

Chinese ambassador Jiang Yu stressed in her speech that the meetings held in Tirana would serve the businesses of both countries to jointly explore development opportunities and further advancing the economic-trade cooperation that exists between China and Albania.

Jiang noted that China's investments in Albania exceeded the value of $700 million, by employing at least 1,500 local residents and by contributing actively in Albania's tax revenues as well as promotion of exchanges in the field of technology, markets' management and human resources.

"China is Albania's third largest trade partner, but also its largest trade partner from the non-European Union countries," Ambassador said.

She added that Chinese companies are cooperating with Albanian businesses in the fields of telecommunications, mineral resources, energy sources, road infrastructure, etc.

Further, she noted that many other companies were studying Albania and its resources as well as seeking for cooperation with Albanian investors.

The Chinese Ambassador voiced hope that the Albanian government would take effective steps to provide a greater support to the foreign investors, including Chinese companies as well as establish a fairer, more stabilized, predictable and more transparent business climate.

Jiang also mentioned the fact that Albania is part of "One Belt, One Road" initiative and "16+1" cooperation mechanism launched by the Chinese government.

"China and Albania have signed Memorandum of Understanding for building together of "One Belt, One Road" as well as many other agreements in bilateral trade, investments, etc," she noted.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of CCPIT Yu Jialong highly appreciated the interest shown by Albanian Premier Edi Rama in Chinese companies' stands a day ago during the fair launching ceremony.

According to Yu, Rama's attention to Chinese companies showed the friendship that existed between the two countries and for this, he also thanked the Chinese ambassador here for the outstanding work.

In his speech, Yu also presented four main proposals to the Albanian government.

First proposal related to the need to have more direct contacts and B2B meetings between Albanian and Chinese businesses to strengthen their ties.

Second one was to encourage entrepreneurs to cooperate even in the framework of global economy.

The third put the emphasis on a more favorable business climate. He highlighted that Chinese companies were strongly encouraged to visit Albania and see investment opportunities here.

In the end, he asked the Albanian government to protect the interests of Chinese companies in Albania so more Chinese companies would come in the future.

Later on, representatives of businesses continued meetings with each other.

Meanwhile, talking to the representatives of Chinese companies attending the fair in Tirana, many of them said that they felt good to have visited Albania while voicing hope for cooperation opportunities with Albanian companies.

"We really hope to cooperate with Albanian companies as we are looking for business partnerships here which would also contribute to the strengthening of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries," Xuan Huashi, Sinotruk chief representative of Eastern Europe and Turkey office told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, companies from other countries which are also present at the fair said that they felt good to see a great number of Chinese companies in Tirana. This shows that China has great interest in Albania, they added.

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