Seminar on China and EU a preview to future summit

Updated: 2015-06-05 23:27

By Fu Jing and Gao Shuang in Brussels(China Daily)

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Seminar on China and EU a preview to future summit

Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to EU is addressing a speech during the Seminar. [Provided to China Daily]

With Beijing and Brussels expected to hold a summit soon, China's bankers and its information and telecommunication executives are exploring the feasibility of expanding investment in Europe to participate in theEuropean Union's 315 billion euro investment plan.

Beijing's "One Belt One Road" initiative has also offered financial and policy vehicles for both sides to deepen investment cooperation, which is likely to become a focused topic for the leaders to discuss at the summit. The date of the summit has not been announced.

"It is very encouraging that there is a strong sense of urgency and growing enthusiasm to seize the window of opportunity to cement and upgrade China-EU high-tech and information and communication technology (ICT) cooperation and adapt to the sweeping digitization of the world economy", Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, said at a seminar organized by ChinaEU on Thursday in Brussels.

China Daily is a strategic media partner of this event, which has the theme, "China, the Digital Economy and the EU Investment Plan."

Yang said China is embracing a new normal and new socio-economic model, which gives priority to new engines of growth; first and foremost is ICT.

"This complements and reinforces with EU's new developing path, European Digital Single Market as well as Economic and Monetary Union and Energy Union," she said.

In his speech, Markku Markkula, president of the Committee of the Regions, said that the EU is taking a more visible role under EU President Jean-Claude Juncker's lead for sustainable development.

"Together with China, these two economies are assuming joint responsibility to achieve a human sustainable society," he said.

Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, an organization aiming to promote exchanges between the EU and China in the ICT sector, said that many Chinese companies are now ready to provide innovative solutions and have already grown into globally recognized brands. He also said there is huge untapped potential of synergies between the Juncker plan and the New Silk Road initiative.

"It is up to us to seize these opportunities", he said."The Chinese contribution can be financial, thanks to the support of the Chinese banks, and, in the digital sector, we can also see a technological contribution coming from China, thanks to the support of the Chinese ICT industry."

"This is the objective and philosophy of ChinaEU. ChinaEU is a new initiative aimed at favoring and increasing the level of investments and collaboration between China and Europe", Gambardella added.

A select number of European regions and cities presented their innovative projects in digital services and next generation networks at the seminar to draw possible financial support from some of the biggest Chinese banks. From smart regional planning in the Catalonia region in Spain, to a transport plan in the Azores region in Portugal, the huge potential of joint ventures from Europe and China is expected to be unleashed.

All the important Chinese banks that made presentations at the seminar, such as Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank, expressed their willingness to participate, as well as facilitate, the EU's investment plan by sharing China's own experience of investing, with government playing vital role.

During the roundtable discussion with giant Chinese ICT companies Huawei and ZTE, cooperation between China and Europe towards an upgraded information highway with a bigger capacity and faster speed was urged.

The seminar is an occasion for participants to compare notes for the forthcoming EU-China summit, which helps identify promising fields that are expecting deeper cooperation from the two sides, as well as those that are worth investing.

However, as Yang also said in her speech, the awareness of major programs, such as the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan should be raised among Europeans to forge a better understanding of concrete opportunities and challenges they will be facing.

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