by Guo Mingfang
VILNIUS, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that the China International Import Expo (CIIE) sends a strong message that China is committed to opening-up to the world as well as global trade.
"The expo is a 'win-win' event for both, China and the world, as it provides new opportunities for cooperation, helps companies across the globe enter the Chinese market and paves the way for China to satisfy its growing demand for high-quality products," Grybauskaite said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Lithuania is thrilled to accept the invitation to attend the CIIE as it sees the high potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries and the two peoples, Grybauskaite said.
China is currently Lithuania's biggest economic partner in Asia with bilateral trade continuing to grow fast, and the potential of China's market is huge, she said.
"This expo is an opportunity for Lithuania to stimulate export and diversify its destinations," she said.
Lithuania will set up national pavilions at the CIIE to let Chinese businesses and people know Lithuanian products better and learn more about Lithuania, the president said.
Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly interested in high-quality European products and Lithuania has a lot to offer to satisfy this growing demand, such as cheese and milk products, pure natural mineral water, beer, clothes, linen and high-quality furniture, she said.
Lithuania is also interested in cooperation with China in innovations, science and cutting-edge technologies, Grybauskaite said.
"Lithuanian laser producers are already well established in China: 12 percent of Lithuania's lasers exports go to China. Lithuania has become the European Fintech hub and can serve as an entry point for global businesses willing to gain access to the European banking and payments area," she said.
"Having one of the best-developed Internet infrastructures in Europe, and the speediest public Wi-Fi in the world, we are open for cooperation with Chinese companies in developing ICT (information and communications technology) products," she said.
"As Europe's hub of biotechnologies with 16 research centers, we can offer a solid platform for cooperation in this globally strategic sector. Lithuania also sets a priority seeking to become an integral part of the transport and logistic chain for cargo flows between China and Europe," she added.
The Lithuanian president believed that the upcoming CIIE, to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10, will provide a new platform for cooperation between the two countries in the above-mentioned fields.
"We see the CIIE as a unique opportunity to increase trade volumes between our countries, strengthen relations between specific companies, expand people-to-people contacts and develop new ideas for further partnership," she said.
Speaking of the development of the Lithuania-China relations in recent years, Grybauskaite said that Lithuania and China have seen the exchange of high-level visits, growth in trade, and increasing flows of Chinese tourists into Lithuania, up 25 percent in 2017.
Lithuania and China also enjoy long-term successful cultural cooperation, the president said.
"Our National Philharmonic and Opera Theater closely collaborate with the theaters of China. Artists from both countries take an active part in musical, theater and cinema festivals in Lithuania and China," she said.
Student exchanges between Lithuania and China are also increasing, she said, describing this as the best investment in the future cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the president said that Lithuania strongly supports the European Union (EU) trade links and agreements with Asian countries and Lithuania is in favor of relaxing trade restrictions and encouraging all partners to explore more opportunities for economic cooperation.
International trade has been the engine of global growth for many decades, but today it is threatened by isolationism and protectionism, Grybauskaite said.
"Therefore, building bridges, working together on common goals, including the strengthening of the rules-based trade system with the World Trade Organization at its core, may be very beneficial for both, the European Union and China," she said.
Grybauskaite noted that peace and stability as well as constructive dialogue "are our shared interests."
As global powers, the EU's and China's involvement is very important in tackling today's challenges, such as climate change and the fight against terrorism, she said.
"Lithuania is an active member of the European Union and is ready to contribute to promoting cooperation between the EU and China," she said.