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Premier Li holds talks with Icelandic counterpart, FTA inked

Updated: Apr 15,2013 1:43 PM     Xinhua

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 by Huang Jingwen/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- China and Iceland inked a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on April 15 after Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his Icelandic counterpart.

“The China-Iceland FTA is the first one between China and a European country,” Li said.

Following talks at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing, Li and Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir witnessed the signing of the free trade deal.

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

Since the establishment of their 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.

Sigurdardottir arrived in Beijing on April 13 to pay a six-day official visit to China.