COPENHAGEN, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Denmark is of great importance to the development of bilateral relations, said Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal.
"We look forward to receiving the president in Denmark," he said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua ahead of Hu's arrival.
"Denmark was one of the first Western nations to recognize the People's Republic of China... Since her Majesty the Queen made her successful visit to China in 1979 as the first Western monarch, it has been her wish also to receive China's president in Denmark," he said.
Noting that Hu's visit is the first to Denmark by a Chinese president since the two nations established diplomatic ties 62 years ago, Sovndal said he is confident the trip would lift bilateral cooperation to a higher level.
"The visit will pave the way for enhancing cooperation within a wide range of areas where China and Denmark share common interests in," including sustainability and green growth, he said.
Denmark and China, which established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2008, can learn much from each other, he said, adding that his country can learn from China's "impressive growth and development over the last 30 years or so" while China can learn from Denmark's "strong competences" in responsible and sustainable growth.
A host of agreements are expected to be signed during Hu's visit, covering such areas as renewable energy, sustainable urbanization, investment, environmental solutions and food safety.
"We already cooperate with the Chinese government on renewable energy and water, but this cooperation will be strengthened and expanded in connection with the state visit," he said.
During Hu's visit, the two sides will also discuss international affairs of common concern, including the euro-zone financial situation, said the minister, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.
"More than ever, China and the EU need each other to succeed. Economic and financial news remind us on a daily basis of our economic interdependence and of the challenges in front of us," Sovndal said.
"This is also why the Danish presidency has been pushing to expand Europe's economic and trade relations with China, including investments," he said.
Sovndal also spoke highly of China's achievements in creating high economic growth over a sustained period of time.
"Hundreds of millions of people have been pulled out of poverty since the reform and opening up in the late 1970s. That is truly impressive and deserves our respect," he said.