Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investment and Informatization Richard Raši attended a ceremony on the occasion of 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Slovakia and China in Cangzhou, Hebei Province. Several weeks ago, the People’s Republic of China celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding that took place on 1 October 1949. On 6 October 1949, Czechoslovakia recognized it diplomatically as one of the first countries.
“Since then, relations between our two countries have evolved to their present form and are characterized by cooperation in many areas,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Raši.
One example of good relations between the two countries is the Sino-Czech-Slovak Friendship Farm that happens to be located in the Hebei Province. In 1955, one of China’s leading representatives visited Czechoslovakia and received 670 units of agricultural machinery as a gift to the young country. They were placed on a farm in the Hebei province that due to this reason became in 1956 the Sino-Czech-Slovak Friendship Farm. This was decided by the then Prime Minister Zhou Enlai.
The Farm gained an Industrial Development Zone status in 2007 and was incorporated into the newly established Cangzhou New Bohai Area, covering more than 300 square kilometres, located in the western belt of the Bohai Gulf. The title of “cooperative” or “farm” is merely a show of respect for traditions. Today, the area is rather a young modern city, strategically located near Beijing and Tianjin, and is developing successfully. It already has a population of 80 000 inhabitants.
In Slovakia, according to Deputy Prime Minister Richard Raši, the interest of young people in the study of the Chinese language and realia is steadily growing. This is evidenced by the recent opening of the third Confucius Institute at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. On the other hand, the Deputy Prime Minister appreciates the growing interest of young Chinese in studying Slovak.
However, there is still room for cooperation between our countries. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, economic relations between Slovakia and China have not yet reached their full potential. “I believe there is room on both sides as well as capacities available for further cooperation. With bilateral trade of 5.87 billion EUR in 2018, China is our largest trading partner in Asia,” said Richard Raši, who also hopes that Chinese investors will discover the potential of the prosperous economy of Slovakia, being a part of the euro area and which is already is a major player in the European automotive industry. “Slovakia has been at the top of the world ranking in the number of cars produced per thousand inhabitants for several years, last year we have retained our lead with 198 vehicles made,” he added.