HENAN province will be the first from China to form a cooperation with a Slovak region.
On March 26, a provincial delegation met Nitra regional chairman Milan Belič to discuss the potential collaboration.
"There are huge opportunities for future cooperation in branches such as agriculture, engineering, culture, education," said Xia Quingcheng, vice-president of the Permanent Committee of the People's Congress of Henan Province.
Quingcheng said it chose the Nitra Region because of its cultural roots, developed agriculture and booming industry.
The Chinese delegation planned to visit the Slovak Agriculture University and tourist attractions while in the region. It also extended an invitation to Belica to visit Henan.
An agreement between the parties could be signed as early as this year.
"Henan is among the crucial Chinese provinces," Belica told the SITA newswire. "It is twenty times bigger than all of Slovakia, and I am happy that it has chosen the Nitra Region. It is interested in agricultural cooperation and Nitra is the Mecca of this branch."
Belica added that China's economy is surging, which presents tremendous opportunities.
"So far, Chinese entrepreneurs have engaged in the restaurant business in Slovakia, but this is a chance to put the potential this huge country offers to greater use," Belica stated.
The delegation also expressed interest in presenting its country at exhibitions, including the Nitra Agrokomplex Fair, the car industry, agriculture and engineering. Henan has 98 million inhabitants and an area of 167,000 square kilometres. Its 89 districts hold about 51 ethnic groups. The prominent industries based there are food processing and agriculture, including grain, corn, wheat and cotton. Its car industry is also highly developed, producing large buses that are exported to many countries.
31. Mar 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports