Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang province on March 1 launched a digital platform that allows enterprises and individuals to access customs clearance services for imports from Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).
Through the platform, which is currently undergoing trial operation, enterprises and individuals can also acquire information including local customs regulations, preferential policies as well as shipping routes and vessels.
In 2021, bilateral trade volume between China and the CEEC totaled 863.06 billion yuan ($132.77 billion), an increase of 23.3 percent over 2020. Imports were valued at 220.92 billion yuan, up 18.3 percent year-on-year, official statistics show.
Over the year, Ningbo's imports from the CEEC surged by a whopping 146.2 percent year-on-year to 7.684 billion yuan, making up 3.48 percent of the nation's total.
Liang Qiping, head of the CEEC division at Ningbo Customs, said that the city aims to import more than $170 billion worth of goods from CEEC in the next five years and double its imports of agricultural products from the bloc.
The launch of the customs clearance service platform will bolster the city's drive to build itself a spearhead in China's cooperation with the CEEC, according to Liang.
Ningbo has forged increasingly closer ties with the CEEC in recent years.
Two editions of the China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair have been held in the city. The nation's first CEEC commodity purchasing alliance was also established in Ningbo last June.
Ningbo is also home to China-CEEC signature cooperation projects like the CEEC International Industrial Cooperation Park and the China-CEEC Innovation Cooperation Research Center.
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