“16+1” mechanism provides ideal platform for BiH-China cooperation: ex-ambassador

By Han Jianjun Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-5-3 21:53:01

The "16+1" cooperation mechanism between China and the Central and Eastern European countries provided an ideal platform to upgrade economic cooperation between China and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), said Amel Kovacevic, a former BiH ambassador to China, here on Monday.

During an interview with Xinhua, Kovacevic, now director of the retail department at Bosnia Bank International (BBI), noted it is "very helpful" for the bilateral relations to have a "16+1" platform.

"The platform provides new dynamics to economic cooperation between the two countries, and the two sides thus can develop very coherent and comprehensive strategies," he said.

Kovacevic, who was BiH ambassador to China from 2010 to 2013, noted the "16+1" cooperation created a "win-win" situation for BiH and China. "We have lots of potentials for economic cooperation to explore," he said.

BiH can present huge projects to big Chinese companies in sectors such as infrastructures and energy, said the former BiH ambassador to China.

Chinese investors are ideal partners for BiH, "because Chinese companies can offer competitive market prices, know-hows and strong financing," he said. Kovacevic said Chinese big companies have already succeeded in some projects, such as Stanari power plant, and there certainly will be more big projects in energy sector, transportation sector, etc.

The 300-megawatt power plant in northern BiH, which was constructed by China's Dongfang Electric Corporation, is expected to operate commercially from mid-2016.

Successful economic cooperation will greatly enhance cultural exchanges, thus pushing forward bilateral ties, he concluded. Kovacevic also noted that the coming seventh Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF) set for May 4-5 in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo will be an opportunity to enhance economic cooperation and better understanding between China and BiH.

One of the largest business events in the region, the SBF this year will focus on "16+1" cooperation under the theme of "One Region, One Economy - Perspectives China+16," echoing the ambassador's ambition for bilateral relations.

The author is a writer with the Xinhua News Agency. The article first appeared on Xinhua. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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