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Visit pushes cooperation between China, Mongolia

Updated: 2016-07-15 08:25
By Zhao Huanxin In Ulaanbaatar And Hu Yongqi In Beijing (China Daily)

Li: Countries should ramp up projects formutual benefits

From enhancing the strategic synergy of development plans, to launching farm produce processing and house building projects, Premier Li Keqiang's two-day visit to China's northern neighbor has pushed forward pragmatic cooperation between Beijing and Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia is the host of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit, scheduled for Friday and Sunday in Ulaanbaatar.

Li said the refugee crisis in Europe, and the spread of terrorism in some parts of the world, is wreaking havoc in Europe and Asia.

Li and his counterpart, Jargaltulga Erdenebat, agreed to "speed up the dovetailing of China's Belt and Road Initiative with Mongolia's Steppe Road Program", and carry out cooperation in key areas.

China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, which is aimed at promoting policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade and financial integration as well as cultural exchanges in Asia, Africa and Europe.

The Steppe Road plan is an infrastructure construction proposal aimed at boosting the Mongolian economy through trans-border transportation.

Li proposed a joint feasibility study for a free-trade area be done as early as possible. Erdenebat said Mongolia welcomes Chinese investors, and adopted a positive attitude toward the FTA proposal.

Erdenebat, who was appointed Mongolia's new prime minister recently, said the new government is committed to maintaining the traditional friendship between the countries.

During their meeting on Thursday morning, Li said the countries could make breakthroughs in projects such as the processing of farm and pasture products, infrastructure and building residential houses for Mongolians.

"This will give full display to Mongolia's advantage in animal husbandry, and also satisfy the rising demands for meat and related products in China," Li said.

He added that housing projects will improve the living conditions of Mongolians, while facilitating Chinese building suppliers.

Li also suggested the two sides strengthen financial cooperation and expand currency-swaps, and enhance people-to-people exchanges.

The premiers witnessed the signing of 15 agreements in areas including trade, technology, infrastructure, and TV and broadcast services. The total value of the deals was not immediately available.

Guards of honor dressed in traditional costumes and two dozen cavalry troops were part of a ceremony Erdenebat led at Chinggis Khaan Square to welcome Li before their formal meeting.

Li also met with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Chairman of the State Great Hural Miyegombo Enkhbold.

China would join Mongolia and other participants to ramp up cooperation between Asia and Europe to cope with the challenges together, Li told Elbegdorj.

"China and Mongolia have signed many documents, but the implementation should be speeded up. Agreements signed today show the two countries have entered a period of pragmatic cooperation, which is very exciting to me," said Gao Shumao, former Chinese ambassador to Mongolia.

Gao said the agreements signed on Thursday will boost cooperation in the mining sector and the cooperation is expected to create a free-trade zone, which will benefit social and economic development in Mongolia.

Contact the writers at zhaohuanxin@chinadaily.com.cn

Visit pushes cooperation between China, Mongolia

Visit pushes cooperation between China, Mongolia

(China Daily 07/15/2016 page4)

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