Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) attends a welcoming ceremony held by Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, Poland, June 20, 2016. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
WARSAW, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Our 24 hour trip along the Belt and Road now comes to Poland. Let's look at some facts and figures of the cooperation between China and Poland.
Poland was among the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.
China views Poland as an important partner for cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and within the European Union, said Chinese President Xi Jinping when meeting with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, who is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, scheduled for May 14 to 15.
Xi also highlighted environmental protection, finance, high-tech industries, infrastructure and logistics as areas where China and Poland could step up collaboration.
"Poland is a "gate to Europe" as far as the Belt and Road Initiative is concerned," said Chinese Ambassador to Poland, Xu Jian, adding between 2013 and 2016, Chinese-Polish trade volume rose from 14.8 billion U.S. dollars up to 17.6 billion U.S. dollars, with a 6 percent average annual growth rate.
The first international freight train from Zhengzhou to Europe prepares to leave the Zhengzhou Railway Container Center in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, July 18, 2013. (Xinhua)
In the Polish city of Lodz, a stop along a cargo train route linking China's Chengdu city, the first cargo trains arrived three-and-a-half years ago.
The rail cargo service between Chengdu and Lodz has become a popular logistics route for Chinese trade with Europe.
Krzysztof Piatkowski, deputy mayor of Lodz, said the Chengdu-Lodz connection contributed to his city becoming an important hub.
"The train connection is perceived as an opportunity by local food producers of juices, sweets, alcohol, including our famous Lodz cider," he said.
With increasing amounts of European agricultural foods being served on Chinese dining tables, Europe expects to see more and more local produces enter the world's biggest market by boarding the Europe-China freight trains.
Photo taken on April 19, 2017 shows dairy products in the village of Lipnice, near the Polish capital of Warsaw. Never before has Mariusz Marczak, who owns a cow farm in the Polish city of Lodz, showed so much interest in the Chinese market half a world away from Poland. (Xinhua/Chen Xu)
According to Polish official data, the value of Polish agri-food exports to China has grown dynamically in 2014. Dairy products consist of more than 30 percent of Polish agri-food export to China in 2015.
"The Belt and Road Initiative is an opportunity to improve the bilateral trade cooperation in agri-food sector. We are convinced that the Polish food products can be attractive to the Chinese in terms of price and quality," says Katarzyna Szymanska, head of Unit of Export Support Office of Agricultural Market Agency of Poland.
In addition, Szymanska believes that Poland can become the regional center of trade exchange between China and Central and Southeast Europe.