President Hu calls on early free trade deal with Iceland

SHANGHAI, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao told his Icelandic counterpart Olafur Ragnar Grimsson here Tuesday that negotiation work should be sped up to complete a free trade agreement at an early date, in a bid to create better conditions for bilateral trade.

He suggested the two sides strengthen cooperation in fields of logistics, medicine, finance, product quality inspection, food processing and engineering, and meanwhile enhance cultural exchanges.

"We are ready to learn from Iceland's advanced experience in research into volcano, earthquake and glacier, and utilization of geothermic and clean energy," he said.

The Icelandic president is here to attend the opening ceremony of the 12th Special Olympics Summer Games, scheduled to open on Tuesday in Shanghai, China's economic hub.

Highlighting the progress of China-Iceland relations in recent years, Hu said the two countries have strengthened mutual understanding and political trust, developed trade relations steadily and conducted fruitful cultural exchanges and cooperation.

To further cement bilateral ties, Hu proposed to maintain high-level exchanges between the two countries, and facilitate exchanges between governments, parliaments and political parties.

Describing the Iceland-China relations as "strong", Grimsson said the two sides have set up cooperation framework in the areas of trade, culture and clean energy, and conducted "sound" cooperation in utilizing geothermic and clean energy and raising energy efficiency.

Grimsson reiterated his country's adherence to the one-China policy, adding it is a headstone for bilateral ties as well as foundation for the two countries to conduct international cooperation.

Grimsson said China has made very good preparations for the Games, expressing his belief the Games would yield profound influence on the development of world Special Olympics movement.

The Shanghai Special Olympics Summer Games brings together some 10,000 athletes and trainers from more than 160 countries and regions.