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China – a chance for the region

China is one of the largest investors in the Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) region. Through the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, Chinese companies are building major infrastructure projects (Montenegro and Serbia), implementing cultural activities, offering state-of-the-art technologies and generating significant tourism revenue for these countries.

The Chinese market is open to CEE products, which may be of particular interest to Western Balkans countries.

The Ningbo Expo Center recently showed interest in a number of Montenegrin products such as: honey, olives, olive oil, cheese, bottled water, etc. Montenegrin wines are already well positioned in the Chinese market and are sold at several times the price than in the domestic market. At the Expo Center, there is a permanent exhibition of certain local products in the Pavilion of Montenegro, but Chinese partners say that they want more products from Montenegro and the Western Balkans region and that trade can be greater.

There is also a chance of boosting economic cooperation in the tourism sector. CEE countries visit about 2 million Chinese tourists annually, while from CEE countries, about 450,000 tourists visit China for the same period. Some countries in the region have recognized the importance of Chinese tourists and have already adapted visa-free regime. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange of China announced that tourists from China spent over $127 billion in the first half of 2019 overseas. China is therefore one of the largest emitting tourism markets in the world for the last 6 years.

Cooperation with CEE countries through the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative is generally good for all participants, but the exchange can be even greater especially with smaller countries such as Montenegro. The volume of trade between China and CEE in 2018 amounted to about $90 billion, an increase more than 20% over the previous comparable period. By mid-2019, Chinese investment was about $12.5 billion, with a further upward trend.

Adriatic Bridge Partners is working to establish business cooperation with partners from China, especially in the field of agriculture and tourism. We hope that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, we will have concrete arrangements for joint appearance at the next CEEC EXPO fair, which will be held from June 10-14, 2020 in Ningbo.

For more details of possibilities cooperation, please contact us at: office@adriaticbridgepartners.com