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Embassy of Iceland in Beijing

Ambassador's meeting with Assistant Foreign Minister of China

Ambassador Thórir Ibsen discussed the bilateral relations of Iceland and China with Assistant Foreign Minister Deng Li at their meeting yesterday.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between China and Iceland. During these years the two countries have built strong cooperation in the areas of renewable energy and climate mitigation. The cooperation has included education and transfer of knowledge through the Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland and university level geothermal training program in Beijing. The cooperation has also involved business ventures such as the Sino-Icelandic joint venture of Sinopec and Arctic Green Energy, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Sinopec Green Energy, which has become the largest geothermal district heating in the world, provides 40 cities in China with renewable house heating, reducing China´s carbon footprint and improving the air quality in these cities. Beijing, Hebei, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, Liaoning and Tianjin are among those cities. Another business example is the Icelandic company Carbon Recycling International which is building facilities at two industrial sites in Anyang (Henan province) and in Lianyungang (Jiangsu province) to capture carbon emissions and transform them into renewable methanol to be used in transportation.

They also discussed the growing bilateral trade, supported by the Free Trade Agreement of Iceland and China which came into force in 2014. China is now nr. 1 trading partner of Iceland in Asia. The fast-growing Chinese tourism in Iceland before the Covid-19 epidemic was also discussed, and the importance of reviving these people-to-people relations when the epidemic has been brought under control. Direct flight between the two countries would benefit both tourism and trade.

Lastly, they spoke about the importance of their Arctic cooperation. China´s observer status in the Arctic Council was supported by Iceland and they cooperate through the China-Nordic Arctic Research Centre in Shanghai. Chinese Ministers and officials also participate regularly in the yearly Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik Iceland.

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