The 4th China-CEEC "17+1" Capital Mayor's Forum to Be Held in Albania, the "Land of Eagle"

Source:Beijing Foreign Affairs Office

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On October 25, 2019, the 4th China-CEEC "17+1" Capital Mayor's Forum took place in Tirana, capital of Albania. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania and Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana, attended the Opening Ceremony and delivered speeches. Lu Yan, Vice Mayor of Beijing was present at the Opening Ceremony on behalf of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality and shared Beijing's experience on building the green city. Huo Yuzhen, Special Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for China-CEEC Cooperation and Zhou Ding, Chinese Ambassador to Albania, attended the forum.

In April 2019, Greece was officially included in the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, with "16+1" upgraded to "17+1". This year's forum contains three sections under the theme of sustainable development, namely "Green City", "Urban Planning" and "Resilient City", with an aim to promote exchanges among capital cities in environmental renovation, urban planning, fine management, etc.

▲ Forum

Amid the animated main forum, all the mayors were talking freely and in depth. The representatives from the capitals like Tirana (capital of Albania), Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Podgorica (capital of the Republic of Montenegro), Skopje (capital of North Macedonia) and Belgrade (capital of Serbia), based on their geographical advantages and economic development features, shared their experience and achievements on urban governance and demands on cross-city and cross-sector cooperation in terms of urban planning, public space management, traffic facility construction, tourism development and environmental protection. Beijing shared its experience on building the green city.

▲ Forum

Edi Rama said at the Opening Ceremony, "the China-CEEC "17+1" Capital Mayor's Forum has become a new platform for the capital cities in China and CEEC on cooperation and win-win development as all the capitals value the cooperation with China. At the platform, all of us can share wisdom and experience to constantly improve our capability of urban planning, promote sustainable development and create a future of well-being. Tirana was benefited a lot from the cooperation in tourism, culture, transportation, hygiene, etc. With our joint efforts, I hope that we can continue perfecting cooperation mechanism and seeking cooperation opportunities in a wider range, and achieve an all-win outcome to bring more benefits to the world."

▲ Lu Yan, Vice Mayor of Beijing making a speech at the Opening Ceremony

Lu Yan, said at the Opening Ceremony, "Beijing has been actively seeking China-CEEC local cooperation in recent years and gained fruitful results. Beijing is not only the center of politics, culture, international communication and technological innovation of China, but also a famous historic and cultural city in the world. In 2022, a series of world events will be held in Beijing, such as the 2022 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games. We sincerely welcome friends from all over the world to Beijing for tourism, study, investment and business operations and share with us the new opportunities in the New Era."

▲ Forum

Several events also took place during the forum, including Culture and Tourism Sub-Forum, Business Forum (Promotion), Annual Conference of the 3rd Tourism Institute Union, Capital Chamber Leaders Roundtable and CEEC Non-General Language Teaching Seminar, Meanwhile, the Joint Declaration was also passed, and the next forum was decided to be held in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

▲ Annual Conference of the Tourism Institute Union

▲ Capital Chamber Leaders Roundtable

▲ CEEC Non-General Language Teaching Seminar

▲ Conclusion of the Joint Declaration

Local cooperation is a key support for the cooperation between China and CEEC. Under the overall coordination of the Beijing Affairs Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, the forum was successfully concluded for three consecutive years in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, Podgorica, capital of the Republic of Montenegro, and Belgrade of Serbia. As a bridge of cooperation between China and CEEC, the forum has witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements on economy & trade, culture, tourism and hygiene, achieved multilateral cooperation led by Beijing via China-CEEC Capital City Chamber Roundtable and China-CEEC Tourism Institute Union, and greatly enhances Beijing's influence on the international arena, thus effectively stimulating the global participation in the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries.

The China-CEEC "17+1" Capital Mayor's Forum has become a new platform for the capital cities in China and CEEC on cooperation and win-win development, which is seen by the abundant satisfactory results. From January to July 2019, the imports & exports between China and 17 central and eastern European countries totaled nearly USD 53.6 billion, with an increase of 7.1% compared with that of the aggregate, USD 90 billion in 2018. By July 2019, the investment of Chinese enterprises in the 17 countries and those of the 17 countries in China was nearly USD 12.5 billion and over USD 1.6 billion respectively, covering machinery manufacturing, chemical engineering, finance, environmental protection, logistics, new energy and medicine.

Thanks to the months of delicate coordination and preparation with the Government of Tirana, the Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality successfully held the forum and parallel forums on trade & economy, tourism & education and non-general language teaching under the support of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Beijing Sub-Council, Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau, Beijing Union University and Beijing International Studies University. In addition to the Gallery of Culture and Tourism in Beijing, the citizens of Tirana also enjoyed an amazing dance performed by the students from Beijing Dance Academy.

▲ "Charming Beijing" Gallery

Chinese dance performance

▲ Warm applauses at the performance

▲ Interviewing with volunteers

▲ Interpreters from the Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality

To know more

What is "Capital Mayor's Forum"?

China-CEEC Capital Mayor's Forum was proposed by Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria at the 4th China-CEEC Leaders Meeting in Suzhou in November 2015. In September 2016, the first Capital Mayor's Forum was held in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria with the joint effort of Beijing.

Upgraded "17+1"

In April 2019, Greece was officially included in the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, with "16+1" upgraded to "17+1".

"17+1 Cooperation" is short for the cooperation between China and 17 central and eastern European countries. The 17 countries include Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Republic of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Serbia, Republic of Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.

1st Capital Mayor's Forum in 2016

On September 27, 2016, the 1st China-CEEC "16+1" Capital Mayor's Form was held in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, during which Du Deyin, the then Chairman of the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress delivered a speech.

2nd Capital Mayor's Forum in 2017

On September 15, 2017, the 2nd China-CEEC "16+1" Capital Mayor's Form took place in Podgorica, capital of Montenegro. 16 mayors or representatives from CEEC capitals, including Chen Jining, the then Acting Mayor of Beijing and Slavoljub Stijepović, Mayor of Podgorica, along with the mayors of Belgrade, capital of Serbia, Budapest, capital of Hungary and Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, attended the forum.

3rd Capital Mayor's Forum in 2018

On October 16, 2018 the 3rd China-CEEC "16+1" Capital Mayor's Form opened in Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia, Zoran Radojičić, Mayor of Belgrade and Wang Hong, Vice Mayor of Beijing, were present at the Opening Ceremony and made speeches.