KIEV, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation to jointly construct the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will create new opportunities for the development of relations between Ukraine and China, said a Ukrainian expert on Thursday.
Ukraine and China signed on Wednesday an agreement on the joint construction of the BRI, which Irina Nikorak, executive director and founder of Ukrainian Silk Road Association Silk Link, deems as "an important event in the context of the development of relations between Ukraine and the China."
"China is our strategic partner, which means that we are ready to deepen cooperation in all areas. Despite the challenges that our countries face now, we were able to agree on a plan for further cooperation," said Nikorak in an interview with Xinhua.
Kiev and Beijing are discussing the issue of mutual trade liberalization, which will benefit both sides. Over the next five years, two-way trade between Ukraine and China may grow by more than 50 percent to 20 billion U.S. dollars, Nikorak said.
At the same time, she pointed out, within the framework of cooperation, the Ukrainian side is ready to offer a number of joint projects, including the processing of agricultural products, the creation of industrial parks and high-tech development zones. In addition, China could help modernize Ukraine's transport infrastructure, with which the country could become a major logistics hub connecting Europe and Asia.
Nikorak voiced confidence that the law on state support for projects with significant investments, which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, or parliament, on Dec. 17, will become an important incentive to strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and China in infrastructure and other areas.
The modernization and development of Ukraine, she said, is facilitated not only by practical cooperation with China, but also by learning from the Chinese experience.
China is "an example of creating the miracle of rapid economic growth. China is now firmly committed to the further development of economic globalization, the protection of free trade, active participation and improvement of global governance, and is making efforts to build an open global economy," said Nikorak.
The plan of cooperation on the joint construction of the BRI was signed at the fourth meeting of the China-Ukraine Inter-government Cooperation Committee, co-chaired via video link by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishina.
Stefanishina said Ukraine is willing to work with China to overcome the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas and promote the sustainable development of bilateral relations.
After the meeting, the two sides witnessed the signing of multiple cooperation documents. Enditem