On November 6, 2018, the opening ceremony of the Third China-Central and Eastern European Countries(CEEC) Conference on Innovation Cooperation was held in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Li Keqiang, Premier of China’s State Council, sent a congratulatory letter to the Forum. Zhang Jianguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China, read out the congratulatory letter and delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. Denis Zvizdić, Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister), Mirko Sarovic, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Vice Prime Minister) and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, and Ismir Jusko, Minister of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina attended the opening ceremony.
In his address, Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo said that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to China‘s cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) in science, technology and innovation (STI) and is willing to engage in 16+1 STI policy dialogues within the framework of the China-CEEC Partnership Program, implement specific cooperation measures, push forward the stable and sustained development of 16+1 cooperation in STI as a way to seek common development.
In his speech, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdić stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Central and Eastern European countries attach great importance to the prominent role of STI in economic development and that China-CEEC cooperation in STI helps to promote the exchange and cooperation of science and technology talents among the countries, speed up the transfer and sharing of technology and experience, and enhance the overall competitiveness of CEEC. Chairman Denis Zvizdić hoped that the delegates could deepen their mutual understanding, engage in wide cooperation and together open up new prospects for 16+1 innovation cooperation.
At the subsequent ministerial roundtable, Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo, Minister Jusko and ministers and senior officials in charge of STI affairs from Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Macedonia and Slovakia talked about experiences and practices in their countries in the field of STI, and put forward initiatives and suggestions for deepening 16+1 cooperation in STI.
The meeting adopted the Joint Declaration on Innovation and Technology Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries. Huawei signed cooperation documents with the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sarajevo Municipal Government respectively on smart city and safe city. During the conference, more than 20 events including an innovation cooperation forum, keynote speeches, thematic discussions, project promotion meeting, B2B talks, exhibitions and shows were also held. More than 150 representatives from business and academia in 14 provinces and cities in China participated in the conference, and more than 40 exhibition projects were presented, involving electronic information, new energy, environmental protection, advanced manufacturing, etc.
Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo also held bilateral meetings with Chairman of the Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdić and Minister Jusko respectively. China and Bosnia and Herzegovina both agreed to negotiate and sign an intergovernmental agreement on science and technology cooperation as soon as possible, and explore cooperation in such fields as science park development, research personnel exchanges and training, and technology transfer.