PM Rama Says Albania Pays Great Attention to Development of Ties with China

Albania has always paid great attention to the development of relations with China and considers it as a sincere friend and partner, said Prime Minister Edi Rama during a meeting he had recently with Chinese Ambassador to Tirana Zhou Ding.
The meeting was an occasion to exchange thoughts on the development of Sino-Albanian relations and the deepening of concrete cooperation between the two countries, according to a report by CRI on Tuesday.
Ambassador Zhou Ding said that after the earthquake and the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Albania, the Chinese side offered assistance to the Albanian side, showing the strong friendship between the two countries.
In the meantime the Ambassador said in the meeting with Rama that China is an important trade partner of Albania. Albanian companies have actively participated in the China International Import Exhibition and in the cooperation of medium and small enterprises within the 17 + 1 mechanism, while the export of Albanian products to China is increasing, such as wine, olive oil, etc. Now China is positively implementing the new development concept and is accelerating the creation of the new development structure. China wants to share development opportunities together with Albania and expects bilateral cooperation in various fields to deepen.
Prime Minister Rama said the Albanian side is ready to further strengthen cooperation with China, promoting the healthy and sustainable development of relations between the two countries.
It's not known if the interlocutors touched upon the question of the anti COVID vaccine during the exchange of views but it is intriguing the timing of the event when there is a rising concern in Albania over the unclear possibilities of getting it soon from Pfizer or Moderna producers whereas Covax scheme part of which is Albania with a large group of poor countries has given signs it could secure the vaccine in the second half of 2021.
A failed attempt by Rama to get a supply from Pfizer when he went to the US a few weeks ago has drawn harsh criticism by opposition and worry among people while some specialists insist that there is no problem where the vaccine is produced mentioning China and Russia. According to them, it's enough that the vaccines meet the set international standards. A well known medical expert said Chinese medicine dates back to 3000 years ago with great achievements.
Deputy health minister Mira Rakacolli said on Tuesday that the vaccine will be secured in the first quarter of 2021, but she could not be precise on the timing. Nevertheless she said that many alternatives are being considered by the Technical Committee of Experts she heads.