At the meeting on Monday, Grybauskaitė and the ambassador discussed the growing importance of bilateral relations and the escalating economic cooperation, the President’s Office said.
He is China’s 10th ambassador to Lithuania. After starting his diplomatic career in 1983, Shen Zhifei has served in embassies in Botswana and Zambia, working as ambassador to Croatia from 2010. He has also held various positions in China’s federation for people with disabilities.
China is Lithuania’s biggest trade partner in Asia. Lithuania’s exports to the country jumped by 46 percent to 180 million euros over the past years, with bilateral trade totaling at 1 billion euros. The most promising Lithuania-China economic cooperation sectors include agriculture and food, fintech, biotech and lasers. A few Lithuanian laser companies are currently engaged in successful cooperation with China, reads the press release.
Other topics on the agenda included relations in the fields of education and student exchange. The number of Chinese citizens studying in Lithuania is growing with every year, with 104 Chinese students enrolled in schools in Lithuania at the moment.
Flows of Chinese tourists to Lithuania have doubled over the past five years, around 14,000 Chinese nationals visited Lithuania in 2017 alone.
Lithuania and China opened diplomatic relations on Sept. 14 of 1991.