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    President Duda accepted the Chinese invitation. ‘Nothing important can happen without Poland's participation’

    President Andrzej Duda, who will attend the online Central and Eastern Europe-China summit on Tuesday, will stress that Poland counts on opening the Chinese market to Polish exports, including agricultural products – said Presidential Minister Krzysztof Szczerski.

    President Andrzej Duda will attend the IX Summit of Central and Eastern European and Chinese leaders on Tuesday. Due to the pandemic, last year’s planned ‘17+1 Summit’ has been postponed until 2021 and will be held online. 

     

    ‘President Andrzej Duda will take part in the Central and Eastern Europe-China summit, the summit of the so-called 17+1 summit, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. This will be the second time President Duda will participate in a meeting in this format. The first time was in 2015,’ said Szczerski.

     

    As he pointed out, ‘the President will participate in the summit following the principle that nothing important that happens in Central and Eastern Europe can happen without Poland’s participation’. 

     

    According to Szczerski, President Duda’s speech at the summit will focus on the need for pragmatic cooperation with China, especially in the context of overcoming the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Openness to trade is needed in this context to revive the crisis-hit economies, he added. 

     

    ‘The President will very clearly emphasize that we count on the opening of Chinese markets also for Polish exports, including exports of agricultural products. We hope that in the nearest future there will be significant progress here and that the barriers to trade exchange will be gradually eliminated by the Chinese side,’ said Szczerski.

     

    As he added, according to President Duda ‘every country, including Poland, has the right to an individual path of pursuing its economic goals in relations with China and to establish the necessary conditions for this’. 

     

    The Minister stressed that ‘Poland primarily focuses on bilateral relations between Poland and China, but regional cooperation, obtaining certain regional synergies, especially in terms of trade and reviving the economy after the coronavirus pandemic, is important’. 

     

    ‘Hence, this type of forum for pragmatic cooperation is an important event and for this reason, President Duda has decided to represent Poland personally at this year’s summit,’ he added.

     

    According to Szczerski, the summit will also be held in the context of the recent agreement between the European Union and China on an investment agreement. At the same time, the Minister noted that countries which are not members of the European Union also participate in the 17+1 format, like the Balkan States. 

     

    In late December 2020, the European Union and China reached a political agreement on an investment agreement. The talks with Beijing lasted seven years. Work is currently underway to transform the political agreement into a legal document.

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