From November 17 to November 22, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) joined the biggest ever Belgian Princely Mission to Beijing and Shanghai. The Belgian Economic Mission to China presided by HRH Princess Astrid counted more than 630 participants from all parts of Belgium and was accompanied by HE Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, and of Defense; HE Pieter De Crem, Minister of the Interior and Foreign Trade; HE Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders; HE Willy Borsus, Vice-President of the Walloon Government; HE Pascal Smet, Secretary of State Government of the Brussels-Capital Region as part of the official delegation.
The BCECC, together with BNP Paribas Fortis, kicked off the week-full of events, seminars, B2B’s and networking receptions with a breakfast debate on Monday morning in Beijing. Under the theme of ‘Belgium & China: A smart partnership. Challenges & Opportunities’, more than 200 guests could hear about the current situation of doing business with China and views on which path business will take in the near future from important players in the Belgian and Chinese Economy, such as UCB, Solvay, AMS, BNP Paribas and the General Administration of Customs and Excise.
On the official and political side, we were honored to have HE Didier Reyndersand Mr. Ulrich Weigl, Head of Trade and Investment Section – Delegation of the EU to China, address a welcome and keynote speech to the audience.
The Belgian Economic Mission has also seen an incredible amount of MOU signings all witnessed by HRH Princess Astrid and the official delegation.
In Beijing, the BCECC and the China International Cooperation Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (CICASME) signed an agreement which aims to strengthen and expend the cooperation between Belgian and Chinese SMEs. A second MOU was signed during the singing ceremony in Shanghai with CCPIT Legal Affairs Department which will see the establishment of the Belgium-China Law Cooperation Committee.
During the second part of the mission in Shanghai, the BCECC together with Unizo and KBC organized an event focused on ‘Connectivity between East & West: An Era of Change and Transformation’. Our guest speakers representing KBC, Liège Airport, Port of Antwerp, Belgian Customs, and the BCECC together with 4 panelists tried to explain and find answers to how Belgian companies have taken advantage of the increasing connections between Belgium and China, be it by air, land, or sea, or even digitally; what the situation is today; and what opportunities are arising from the further development of the Belt & Road Initiative and the booming e-commerce industry.
The Belgian Economic Mission was also the perfect occasion for the BCECC to publish its guidebook ‘Belgium: Your Gateway to Europe’ which was distributed to all participants during the numerous events and receptions. The investment guide will be available in China at the Belgian Embassy in Beijing, the Consulate General in Shanghai, and the hub.brussels office in Shenzhen.
In Belgium, the book will be available during our events, at the Chinese Visa Application Center and the Chinese Embassy in Brussels.
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