At the invitation of the King, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, from 30 March to 1 April 2014 paid a visit to Belgium. President Xi Jinping met with belgian Higher Representatives.
The visit offered the opportunity to draw up a favourable balance sheet of the friendly exchanges between China and Belgium. Delighted with the successful results of their cooperation in various domains since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1971, both parties have decided to strengthen their global partnership.
Belgium was one of the first nations to favourably accept the launching of China’s policy of reformation and opening of the country to western industry. Today, a number of different projects are under development in Belgium that are innovative and advantageous to both nations. These projects are creating possibilities and opportunities in the areas of joint scientific research and the establishment of Chinese industries, with the help of China Welcome Office. China understands and fully appreciates Belgium’s privileged and favourable location in the heartland of institutional and economic Europe.
Belgium and China are pleased with the fact that the joint research programme related to the protection of the giant pandas illustrates at the most appropriate moment the friendly relations that bind the two nations together.
Belgium and China are thus planning to further strengthen their relationships in areas such as student and research exchanges, the development of joint educational and research programmes, and economic, technical-scientific, socio-cultural, and agricultural cooperation. For the short and the medium terms, both parties wish to cooperate especially in the following areas:
- The organisation, in October 2014 in China, of the 20th session of the Joint Economic and Trade Commission China-Belgium-Luxembourg and of the 2nd meeting of the Chinese-Belgium working group for the promotion of investments. These events will enable us to explore the possibilities to expand investments, to promote cooperation amongst the SMEs, and to form new poles of growth oriented towards an innovative, green, and circular economy.
- An ongoing encouragement of the Chinese investment projects in Belgium and, in particular, of the China Belgium Technology Centre, to be established in Louvain-la-Neuve.
- The joint promotion of the railway connection between Antwerp and western China, which will facilitate the movement of goods between Europe and China.
- The continuation of the existing cooperation and of the discussions that are to promote access to the Chinese market for Belgian agricultural and food products.
- The joint effort oriented towards the opening of the new Chinese cultural centre in Brussels prior to the end of 2014, the celebration in 2014 of the 20th anniversary of the twinning between Beijing and Brussels, as well as the participation of Chinese artistic delegations in the activities to be organized in the context of “Mons, European Capital of Culture 2015”.