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Belgium, Chinese premiers to meet in Dalian

Updated: 2013-09-07 20:52
By Tuo Yannan (

Brussels, Belgium - Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo told China Daily that he will increase Belgium’s economic ties and cooperation of high-tech and sustainable sectors with China during his first visit to the country as premier.

He will pay a visit to China and meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at “Summer Davos” in Dalian on Sept 11.

He has been premier since Dec 6, 2011, while Li Keqiang became premier this year, and this will be their first meeting as leaders.

According to Di Rupo, Belgium is No 15 in the world for exports and No 5 for drawing investment.

"I am there to support the innovation and sustainable development. Belgium and China need to cooperate on technology and sustainable sectors,” he said.

Di Rupo said Belgium is one of the most innovative countries, with the most innovative companies in many fields such as health, pharmaceuticals and sustainable industries, and Belgium can offer a good platform for Chinese enterprises to invest.

 Belgium, Chinese premiers to meet in Dalian
Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo  

The two countries can work together to exchange and improve cooperation in many fields, he said.

"The goal of my trip is to show our interest for China, and to improve the intelligence about China in Belgium,” Di Rupo said.

The two countries have 42-year relationship, as Belgium was one of the first western European countries to establish a diplomatic relationship with China, in the 1970s.

Trading volume between Belgium and China grew 1,000-fold since 1971, to $26.3 billion last year, and the country is China’s sixth-largest trade partner inside the European Union.

China is the second-largest trade partner of Belgium outside the EU. The accumulative non-financial direct investment from China to Belgium reached about $140 million at the end of 2012, while more than 300 Belgian companies have invested in the Chinese market.

Before this trip, Di Rupo has been to China twice. He is impressed by the country’s fast development. “Thirty years of improvement is something unbelievable, we are very impressed by the improvement of China! It has a lot of possibilities,” he said.

Di Rupo is impressed with China’s new leaders. He met Premier Li Keqiang a year ago, and he said, “We are very impressed with his knowledge, impressed to see how he knows perfectly what is necessary for China.”

"Now Europe and the United States are very strong, but Asia grows so fast. I am confident that China will deal with any potential economic crisis.”