SHIJIAZHUANG, China, Dec. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Recently, the 5th China-Central and Eastern European Countries (Cangzhou) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Cooperation Forum kicked off in Cangzhou, Hebei. Nearly 400 participants gathered, including envoys to China and government representatives from Central and Eastern European countries, sister city delegates, representatives from China’s embassies in Central and Eastern European countries, as well as representatives from domestic and foreign business associations, universities, research institutes, and enterprises. They came together to strengthen friendships, and seek cooperation and development. In the event, Georgia participated as an observer and was warmly welcomed by China and Central and Eastern European countries.

The theme of this forum is “Expanding Openness and Cooperation for Mutual Development.” During the event, guests and expert representatives from home and abroad gave keynote speeches on topics such as international cooperation between and future prospects of the SMEs of China and those of Central and Eastern European countries, creating a bright future for cooperation between SMEs in China and Central and Eastern Europe, the potential of cooperation between and the development directions of China and Central and Eastern European countries, advanced technology and industrial cooperation between China and Europe, and financial empowerment for the development of SMEs. They also engaged in roundtable discussions on deepening cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries.

The China-CEEC (Cangzhou) SME Cooperation Forum has been successfully held four times before, according to Hebei Provincial Industry and Information Technology Department, attracting approximately 3,000 attendees including state leaders, envoys to China from over 20 countries and regions such as Slovakia, Serbia, Germany, and Finland, as well as representatives from well-known domestic and international industry associations and enterprises. A total of 217 international cooperation projects were signed with a total investment of 1684.58 billion yuan (235.94 billion US dollars); sister city relationships were established with 12 cities in 7 Central and Eastern European countries including Croatia, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia; 48 cooperation memorandums were signed, and 53 cooperation relationships were established, covering various fields such as general aviation, medical devices, and high-end manufacturing. Additionally, a series of cooperation agreements in cultural exchanges, cooperative education, and technology transfer were signed. These achievements have provided important pathways for strengthening cross-border cooperation among SMEs in various countries and have served as an effective platform for Cangzhou city and even Hebei Province to enhance their level of openness to the outside world and to connect closely with high-quality industries in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, the China-CEEC (Cangzhou) SME Cooperation Forum has become a flagship foreign affairs event in Hebei Province.