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Second meeting between the heads of local authorities from China and CEE 16 +1

September 1, 2014


On 28 and 29 August 2014 was held the second meeting between the heads of local authorities from China and the 16 countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The event took place in Prague, Czech Republic. The main theme of the meeting was "Regional cooperation - an important driver of the cooperation 16 + 1”. Among the official guests were Czech and Chinese government representatives and local authorities from the 16 CEE countries and representatives of 15 municipalities in China. The meeting was opened with a speech by Bohuslav Sobotka - Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, and ZHANG Gaoli - Deputy Prime Minister of China.


In the program of the event laid four panel discussions on various topics: 1) Environmental protection and development of "green technologies”; 2) Development of the western part of the People's Republic of China and its cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe; 3) Entry of Chinese companies on the markets of Central and Eastern Europe; 4) Cooperation in the field of education, culture and tourism. After the discussions some time was set out for bilateral negotiations between the participants of the event.


An Investment Forum with business representatives from China and the CEE countries took place along with the meeting of the local leaders. On August 28 were held four discussions: 1) Business and mutual investment; 2) Tourism, visa policy and air links; 3) Financial Sector; 4) Transport and Aviation. The next day were carried out four more panels: 1) Industry, engineering, energy and infrastructure; 2) Information technology and telecommunications; 3) Healthcare; 4) Science, R & D and new technologies.


InvestBulgaria Agency (IBA) was presented by Kostadin Djatev, Deputy Executive Director. He made a presentation in the panel "Tourism, visa policy and air links" focusing on opportunities for the development of different types of tourism in Bulgaria and the implementation of the spa and balneological projects. Mr. Djatev informed the attendees about the new opportunity to make direct flights from Sofia to New York and Chicago, which is expected to be available in the spring of 2015.


Kostadin Djatev presented visa regime for citizens of the People's Republic of China. Holders of valid Schengen visas and residence cards issued by Member States to the Schengen Agreement and also the holders of valid visas and residence cards in Romania, Croatia and Cyprus are exempt from the obligation of obtaining Bulgarian ones as well. The statutory deadlines for processing visa applications are shortened from 15 to 7 days, and in some cases 2-3 days. When applying for a tourist visa, the travel applications are processed within 3-4 days. Recent amendments to the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria and its implementing rules provide additional opportunities for issuing multiple-entry and long-stay visas for investors and businessmen.