Deals worth 18b euros agreed at Li’s meeting with Belgian PM
Updated: 2015-06-29 21:11
By ZHAO YINAN in Brussels and WANG XU in Beijing(chinadaily.com.cn)
Premier Li Keqiang meets Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, June 29, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
"Global cooperation in industrial capacity is beneficial to drive the recovery of the world economy and China is willing to make its cooperation with Belgium a sample case of such cooperation," Li said.
Michel said the signing of multimillion-euro deals showed the sound development of bilateral relations and that the potential in Belgium-China ties is huge.
"Belgium is willing to serve as the gateway to Europe for Chinese businesspeople and to collaborate with China to explore the market of Africa," he said.
Bilateral trade between China and Belgium reached $27.3 billion last year, an increase of 7.3 percent from 2013.
Zhang Yuanyuan, former Chinese ambassador to Belgium, said Belgium, which is also home to the headquarters of the EU and more than 100 international organizations, has become a geopolitically important country in China's ties with European countries and international communities.
He said bilateral financial cooperation increased in recent years as small and medium-sized companies in Belgium need Chinese investment to fuel growth, while the Chinese capital is looking for ways to expand on the global stage.
Hu Dawei, research fellow specializing in EU studies with the China Institute of International Studies, said the increase in mutual investment has highlighted bilateral ties, especially in the wake of the European debt crisis. "The European economy grows slowly and is in need of investment. Capital from overseas, such as China, is welcome."
He said Belgium, and other European countries, have great experience in financial markets, and cooperation in the field can not just help domestic banks expand their business in the country, but also learn from their management.