#BEmissionCHN 2019: Economic mission starts with high level official meetings and the signing of over forty agreements in Beijing

On the eve of the Belgian Economic Mission in China, the large Belgian delegation is preparing for a well stocked program in the Chinese capital. In addition to the various official meetings with top Chinese politicians and the Asian Infrastructure and Development Bank (AIIB), numerous business contacts are also taking place in a wide range of sectors. These result in over forty official and commercial agreements between Belgian and Chinese partners.

The mission begins on Monday morning with the official opening session in the presence of HE Yu Jianhua, the Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce. He will formally welcome the Belgian delegation and outline Chinese expectations. On the Belgian side, Deputy Prime Minister Reynders gives an opening speech on Belgian-Chinese economic relations.

The opening session is followed by a seminar on cooperation in third markets. This event takes place in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between Belgium and China at the end of last year. Minister De Crem will give the Belgian opening speech, after which various Belgian and Chinese companies will present their cooperation projects in third countries in the areas of energy, logistics, finance and investments.

A whole series of high level official meetings are planned as well. The Belgian official delegation – led by HRH Princess Astrid who is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, Minister of the Interior and Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem, Minister-President of the Flemish Government Jan Jambon, Deputy Minister-President of the Walloon Government Willy Borsus and Secretary of State for the Brussels-Capital Region Pascal Smet – will be received successively by Deputy Prime Minister Hu Chunhua and Vice President Zang Qishan in Zhongnanhai, the seat of the Chinese government. Trade Minister Zhong Shan, in turn, receives the delegation for an official lunch at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Belgium formalized its membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in July this year. In this context, a meeting is planned with chairman Jin Liqun at the bank’s headquarters. He will hand over the certificate of membership to Princess Astrid, who also has a short meeting with two fellow countrymen who work at the bank. Following this, a number of Belgian companies will be briefed about the functioning, priorities and projects of the bank.

In addition to dozens of B2B meetings with Chinese partners, Belgian companies can showcase their know-now and expertise at various seminars and events.

A particularly noteworthy event is the clean-tech seminar which offers Belgian companies the opportunity to show their assets in the field of green tech, followed by a meeting with Li Ganjie, the Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment. The interprovincial project I²PCC, which introduces clean-tech companies to the potential and importance of the Chinese market, will also be discussed.

Minister Reynders will speak during the seminar “Promoting gender equality through responsible business conduct” which is organized in close collaboration with the International Labor Organization and the Chinese authorities and will host Belgian and foreign experts for a panel discussion.

In view of the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, the Belgian sports industry will also be highlighted. The Belgian expertise in that field has been known in China for some time now and was further enhanced by the popularity of our Red Devils. The sports seminar offers a number of companies the opportunity to present their products and technologies to representatives of the Chinese sports world, in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Sports and the Chinese Soccer Federation.

Another important event is the seminar on biosafety in livestock farming, with a special focus on the Belgian approach to African swine fever. Still in the agro-food sector, there will be an event organized by Belgapom, the professional association for the Belgian potato trade and processing.

There will also be a number of seminars on arbitration, tourism, sustainable construction and intellectual property.

All this will result in the signing of more than forty official and commercial agreements between Belgian and Chinese partners during a solemn ceremony. More than 1000 Belgian and Chinese guests are expected to attend the official reception.