On April 20, 2012, visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in Reykjavik.
Wen conveyed the cordial greetings and good wishes of President Hu Jintao to Grimsson. The 41-year-old China-Iceland diplomatic relationship has proved that countries with different social systems and cultural backgrounds can foster friendly relations on the basis of mutual respect and equality, he added. Both sides share extensive common interests. "I have come here not only along with Chinese people's friendship with the Icelandic people, but also sincere aspiration to advance bilateral cooperation," said Wen. Both sides should make joint efforts to accelerate their free trade negotiations and strive together to bring forth the first free trade zone between China and a European nation next year. Meanwhile, Wen also conveyed China's readiness to earnestly implement the consensus already reached and further cooperation with Iceland in such areas as investment, clean energy, science and technology, education and Arctic affairs. By doing so, the Chinese premier said, the two countries will jointly tackle challenges, share development opportunities and bring more benefits to their peoples.
Grimsson asked Wen to convey his cordial greetings and good wishes to President Hu Jintao and extended warm welcome for Wen's visit. Hailing Wen's visit as a new milestone in bilateral ties with historic significance, Grimsson also expressed the hope for an early signing of a bilateral free trade deal. Both sides can learn from each other for common progress, he added. Noting that Iceland-China cooperation has kept expanding and enjoys a promising prospect, the president called for broader collaboration in economy and trade, geothermal energy, energy conservation, environmental protection, education, scientific research and tourism. Grimsson also suggested that the two countries further cement communication and coordination on Arctic affairs, as they push forward the development of bilateral ties.