Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib visited China from 10 to 13 January 2024, marking the first high-level mission since 2019 and the first visit to China by a Belgian Prime Minister since 2016. Apart from representing the Belgian government, Mr. De Croo’s visit coincided with the start of Belgium’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from January to June 2024, which elevated the importance of this visit.
Aside from meetings at the top political level with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister De Croo also took the time to attend the opening ceremony of the new Belgian Embassy.
The Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) was honored to accompany the delegation with a robust business delegation consisting of several important Belgian companies such as Solvay, Liege Airport, Ostend-Bruges Airport, AB Inbev and many others.
During the BCECC’s and CCPIT’s event “Belgian Prime Minister’s Dialogue with Belgian and Chinese Business Leaders” on Friday, Mr. De Croo engaged in discussions with the Belgian and Chinese business communities, addressing their queries.
The Prime Minister mentioned during his speech that it is important to focus on the great potential of the strong commercial relations between our 2 countries, and highlighted that China became an economic powerhouse since joining the WTO in 2001. He reconfirmed that it is crucial for the world economy that EU and Chinese economies remain strong and equal partners in sustainable growth.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lahbib indicated that China is a superpower, the second largest market in the world and the largest beer market. Mentioning the EU’s derisking strategy, she noted that China has been derisking from the EU for 20 years, concluding that Europe and China need to tackle these issues and proceed in their important relationship.
CCPIT’s President Ren Hongbin acknowledged that Belgium has played a crucial role as a significant bridge in Sino-European interactions as the Bridge of Europe. The complementarity in development strategies, resource endowments, and industrial structures between China and Belgium creates immense cooperative potential. He pointed out that CCPIT will continue to facilitate the entry of more high-quality Belgian products into the Chinese market in biopharmaceuticals, logistics, chemicals, agriculture, and other focal areas.
For some articles about the high-level visit in Chinese, please consult the links below: