Updated: 2015-06-26 06:35
By Fu Jing and Martin Banks(China Daily Europe)
Zhonguancun Science Park's exhibition area at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in May. Gong Wenbao / For China Daily
Lu Jian, vice-president of ZTE, the Chinese multinational telecom equipment and network solutions company headquartered in Shenzhen, says the great potential of the information and communications industry to drive sustainable development is now recognized by the public.
"The most important thing information and communications technology can do is drive the modernization of societies and industries by promoting more-effective operation of infrastructure and public services."
ZTE has successfully deployed what it calls smart city solutions in 110 Chinese cities and in 40 other countries. But as regions and cities face difficulties funding such modernization, "stronger synergy" is needed between regions, industries and banks, he says.
"The more synergy we develop, the more prosperity and sustainability cities and regions will achieve."
The Brussels seminar was also an opportunity for representatives of several European regions to talk to Chinese banks about investing in projects under the Juncker plan. Representatives of Berlin, Ile-de-France, Catalonia in Spain and Lodzkie in Poland gave presentations on information and communications technology projects. Their pitches were heard by officials from the European departments of ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China, four of the seven largest banks in the world. A representative of HSBC was also present.
An audience member from Austria said promoters of regional projects may be wary of Chinese-financed funds.
"For regions, it's quite sensitive to speak about Chinese money coming into the region."
But that fear is unwarranted, says Alessandro Carano, a senior adviser on employment to the European Commission.
"China is already a big investor in European Investment Bank bonds. China has (been) indirectly financed the European economy for many years."
Many Europeans may be unaware of that, he says. "But we have no problem with this. On the contrary, we welcome it."
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Liu Jia contributed to this story.
( China Daily European Weekly 06/26/2015 page1)