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China Daily Website

China, Iceland sign FTA

Updated: 2013-04-15 21:59
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China and Iceland inked a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)in Beijing on Monday after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his Icelandic counterpart Johanna Sigurdardottir.

"The China-Iceland FTA is the first one between China and a European country," Li said during the talks.

China, Iceland sign FTA

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd R back) and Iceland Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir (3rd L back) attend a signing ceremony of documents in Beijing, capital of China, April 15, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

Li and Sigurdardottir witnessed the signing of the free trade deal after their talks at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

At Li's invitation, Sigurdardottir arrived in Beijing on Saturday to pay a six-day official visit to China.

Calling the FTA a "milestone," Li said the deal will not only start a new era for "future-oriented, mutually-beneficial and win-win" ties between China and Iceland, but also set an example for the development of economic ties between China and Europe, as a whole.

Sigurdardottir said she believes the signing of the FTA will help to enhance the relationship between the two countries.

Hailing the contribution of Chinese investment to Iceland, Sigurdardottir said her government attaches great importance to economic ties with China and looks forward to closer cooperation with the Chinese side in various fields.

Since establishing a diplomatic relationship in 1971, China-Iceland bilateral trade and economic cooperation has progressed smoothly.

In 2012, the bilateral trade value reached $180 million, up 21.1 percent year-on-year. China's exports to Iceland amounted to $953.9 million, up 24.6 percent, and its imports from Iceland stood at $889.6 million, up 17.7 percent.

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