Belt and Road China-EU Forum on Regional Promotion held in Brussels
At the opening ceremony, Yang Yanyi, Head of China's Mission to the EU, lauded Guangdong for traveling to the heart of Europe to seek cooperation and showcase the province's "unique role" in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative.
"During the conversation with my Belgian colleagues, their key words are about projects, projects, and projects, which shows they are passionate about attracting investment from China," said Shen Haixiong, Member of the Provincial Party Standing Committee of Guangdong and Provincial Publicity Chief. "Obviously, Belgian officials share the same language with us (regarding promotion of two-way investment)."
Shen also said promotion of people-to-people exchanges will be a crucial part of the work ahead because it can boost economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU, and he said his province is keen to take on a lead role.
Shen Haixiong (R), Member of the Provincial Party Standing Committee of Guangdong and Provincial Publicity Chief, gives a speech at the Belt and Road China-EU Forum on Regional Promotion. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Istvan Ujhelyi, vice-chair of European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism, said he believes the Belt and Road Initiative will shape the next decade and be one of the world's major initiatives.
"This is a completely new paradigm that calls on the countries of the world for a common dream: development and peace," said Ujhelyi, who is also chairman of the EU-China Belt and Road Initiative Committee, which helped organize Monday's event along with China's Mission to the EU.
After the opening ceremony, a panel discussion on "new modes of regional promotion between China and EU" was organized among government officials, entrepreneurs and artists from China and the EU.
The forum was also accompanied by an exhibition of photos and an agreement-signing ceremony related to tourism, publishing, and media cooperation involving companies from Guangdong province, including Guangdong Provincial Publishing Group, and European partners.
Shao Changchun, chairman of the EU-China Cultural and Educational Foundation, expressed that the increasing numbers of Chinese tourists tremendously facilitate the economic development of EU in recent years; tourism not only enables Chinese to know more about Europe, but also enables Europeans to have better understanding of China. He said that concept promotion can be further promoted in the future so as to serve the national strategy of China.
Dominique Andre from the tourism promotion agency of Walloon region, Belgium, said that Europeans know very little about China, therefore the two regions should hold more tourism and culture exchange activities to increase mutual understanding and trust.
The forum is organized by the Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union, Information Office of Guangdong Provincial Government, Committee of China Arts Festival in in the EU and Europe-China "One Belt One Road" Culture & Tourism Development Committee. It has received great support from the director general of DG GROW, the European Commission, the working group of China-EU Tourism Year 2018 and The European Institute for Asian Studies (Grace).