In 2021, Chongqing and Antwerp celebrate the 10th anniversary of their sister agreement. In 2010, Antwerp was the first Western European region to set up an office in the city of Chongqing. One year later, in October 2011, the agreement for the establishment of a sister relation between the two regions was signed in the presence of HE Prince Filip of Belgium, now King of Belgium.
After 10 years, the cooperation has resulted in a sustainable relationship and true friendship, which was proven all the more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Antwerp gratefully received a generous donation of face masks and shields from the Municipal government of Chongqing, to protect healthcare staff in the heat of the battle against COVID-19. Both sides want to seize this opportunity to intensify the cooperation.
Chongqing is one of China’s four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government. Chongqing is known for its strategic location along the Yangtze river, heavy industries, natural resources and automotive companies.
Chongqing combines its unique geographic location with economic opportunities and logistic capabilities. The city is the second largest automotive industry hub in China, but increasingly also focuses on green manufacturing, financial services, IT, electronics and communications and tourism. During the past 10 years, its transportation and real estate infrastructure has developed at breakneck speed, and Chongqing’s consumer market is one of the fastest developing markets in China.
At Antwerp’s side, the cooperation is managed by POM Antwerp, the Development Authority of the Province of Antwerp. The focus of the cooperation lies on economic exchange and development, with industries such as logistics, manufacturing, agriculture and e-commerce, but more recently also cleantech, health and biotech. Besides economic exchange, the cooperation has also resulted in joint projects in the field of higher education, e.g. the establishment of a joint institute on transport and logistics, and the exchange of staff and students.
The region of Antwerp has a lot to offer for Chinese businesses because of its central location in Europe. Antwerp is an important logistic hub which is connected with different European regions, but also offering connections to Africa and the Americas. As the second largest port in Europe, the Port of Antwerp is a truly global actor and an undisputed partner for international trade. And with the development of the rail connection between Chongqing and Antwerp, companies have even more possibilities to choose the right transportation mode according to their needs.The Antwerp region is also home to the world’s second largest chemical cluster and a global player in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, biotech and life sciences. A unique location for innovative, research-driven companies active in health & environment is the Science Park of the University of Antwerp, managed by POM Antwerp.
After 10 years of fruitful cooperation, Antwerp and Chongqing look forward to another decade of close collaboration. The BCECC has privileged relations with local governments and CCPIT and has signed long-term cooperation agreements with some of them. Please contact us in case you need any help.