Last Updated 09 | 07 | 2014 at 12:35

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Malta and China sign 5-year Medium Term Cooperation Plan

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The Government of Malta and the Government of the China have signed a 5-year Medium-Term Cooperation Plan which will take the already well established cooperation between the two countries to another level.

Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech and China’s Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the Premier of the State Council of China  Li Keqiang. The signing ceremony was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Wednesday afternoon.

This is the first formal Medium-Term Cooperation Plan that China signed with a European country.

The first meeting for the implementation of the plan will be held in November 2014.

Describing the agreement as future looking and a further step forward in the relations between the two countries Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said: “This is an important milestone for our country and we are looking at investment from China with an open mind on a number of areas specified in the MoU. We discussed investment in aviation, improvement of double-taxation agreements, financial services and new financial instruments for Chinese funding of projects in Malta.”

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Premier Keqiang held a meeting before the signing ceremony.

Through the Medium-Term Cooperation Plan with China, Malta will benefit from investment and the technical and management capabilities of the Chinese. The financial service sector was another area of cooperation identified between the two countries, which will encourage financial institutions within their jurisdiction to operate in each other’s territories.

Malta and China agreed that tourism is an important industry in its own right and that the two governments shall facilitate and promote the growth of tourism between the two countries.

The two sides will work closely on energy and infrastructure projects. This includes research and development in green and low carbon energy, the development of renewable energy resources and production of energy saving equipment. Infrastructure projects could include breakwaters, bridges and monorail ventures.

Exchanges will take place between research institutions and Universities. Confucius Classrooms will be established in selected Maltese schools to promote the study of the Chinese language and Chinese Universities will look at opening a fully fledged Mediterranean campus.

Airlines and cargo carriers will be encouraged to operate direct flights between the two countries while investment in aircraft maintenance and repair will take place in both Malta and China.

On the cultural side, there will be an exchange of performances and exhibitions and a project to translate and publish each other’s literary classics. Co-operation will be encouraged in film, television and digital games. There will also be sporting exchanges.

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