Icelandic Secretary of State visits Beijing

Gretar Mar Sigurdsson, Iceland’s Permanent Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, recently visited Beijing in order to host a meeting of regional Icelandic diplomats.

Sigurdsson was invited to a dinner hosted by Assistant Foreign Minister, Wu Hongbo, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. At dinner, Wu discussed the positive developments in relations between Iceland and China in recent years.

According to Sigurdsson, Iceland enjoyed its high-level exchanges with China and would like to return the Chinese hospitality by inviting government ministers to visit the Nordic country.

Sigurdsson said that Iceland has future plans to participate in the Shanghai Expo, which will be held in 2010, as well and continue negotiating bilateral free trade agreements with China.

Sigurdsson said that both Iceland and China stood to benefit from increasing exchanges of not only science and technology, but also in the fields of culture and education as well.

Icelandic President, Olafur R. Grimsson, visited China in October last year where he attended the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Special Olympics. He also met with Chinese President Hu Jintao where he expressed his hope that bilateral relations between the two countries could be increased.