Fico silently met with CEFC representatives

The talks reportedly concerned the potential investments of the Chinese firm in Slovakia, however, Fico failed to disclose that he was having any meeting.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Source: SITA)

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico secretly met with the former representative of the propaganda platform of the People’s Liberation Army General Political Department Chan Chauto, who currently serves as the president of the CEFC company, in late August, the Sme daily reported.

They were reportedly talking about the potential strategic investments in Slovakia, according to Sme.

The prime minister, however, failed to inform the public about the meeting. Rather, the media found out about the meeting because the Chinese firm published pictures from the talks on its website.

“The two sides conducted in-depth talks on CEFC China’s investment in Slovakia and their strategic investment cooperation,” reads the report about the meeting, attended also by representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Slovakia.

Fico expressed full support for the company’s investment in Slovakia in tourism, airlines, infrastructure and finance, the report reads.

The Government’s Office told Sme that the prime minister usually meets with representatives of both domestic and foreign companies.

Unlike Fico, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír disclosed the meeting with CEFC representatives that took place in July and September, Sme wrote.

CEFC currently invests especially in the Czech Republic. It also has some acquisitions in Slovakia, like a 50-percent stock in the J&T Finance Group, which controls the Poštová Banka bank.

The background of the Chinese firm is rather vague, but the Czech media indicate it may be linked to the Chinese army. Besides Chauto, the company’s chairman of the board of directors Ye Jianming also used to work for the army, the Czech media reported.

Experts say that the Chinese firm may be interested in tourism or acquiring shares in private broadcaster TV JOJ, which is financed by J&T, Sme wrote.

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