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Entrepreneurs seek more cooperation with Europe

By Yuan Shenggao | (China Daily ) | 2019-11-28

Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province, is utilizing international conferences and trade events to promote cooperation with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, particularly with European countries and regions, local media reported.

The 2019 Sino-European Entrepreneurs Summit Qingdao Forum, held on Nov 2, focused on the city's partnership with countries and regions involved in the BRI, especially in the fields of financial development and technological innovation.

Delegates discussed the new Belt and Road cooperation platform and how to integrate more domestic and foreign companies into it. The two engines of the platform are the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Demonstration Zone for Local Economic and Trade Cooperation and China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone's Qingdao area.

Wang Qingxian, Party secretary of Qingdao, said the city will play its role as a regional pivot in the new-round opening-up and profoundly cooperate with Europe in advanced manufacturing, shipping, trade, finance and technological innovation.

The forum attracted more than 500 delegates from Fortune Global 500 enterprises such as Airbus, Siemens and Engie, and other renowned businesses and foreign organizations' offices in China.

The forum was co-hosted by the Qingdao city government and the Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation. The federation launched a center in Shinan district in Qingdao at the forum and is expected to become a platform for global businesspeople to establish partnerships with the city.

The federation, a global nonprofit organization based in Switzerland, will host the forum annually and set up supporting systems in Qingdao, including an international business reception center and a Sino-European innovation and cooperation development fund.

This year's forum has brought Qingdao 10 projects funded by international businesses in the fields of finance, culture and healthcare. They involve foreign capital worth $400 million and domestic investment worth 3.4 billion yuan ($483.5 million).

The 14th EU-China (Qingdao) Business and Technology Cooperation Fair held on Nov 14 also focused on the Belt and Road Initiative and discussed how Qingdao could better play its role in Sino-European economic cooperation, including maritime partnerships.

It welcomed more than 80 guests from 14 countries, such as France, Germany, Italy and Denmark, in fields including sustainable development, biological medicine, treatment and recycling of industrial wastewater, as well as software, information and intelligent manufacturing.

The two-day event comprised several forums, negotiation activities and exhibitions. At a matchmaking activity, representatives from more than 60 European organizations negotiated one-on-one with nearly 200 companies in Qingdao.

At a Sino-European water resource forum, delegates discussed wastewater treatment, environmentally friendly production plants and digital technology's applications in fields such as energy, food and pharmaceuticals.

The EU-China business fair has been held five times in Qingdao since the beginning of 2015 and attracted more than 2,000 government and business representatives from China and nearly 30 European countries.

It is one of the most influential Sino-European trade events in terms of the number of participants and the sum of trade and investment deals.

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From left: Local officials and business leaders from Europe at the opening ceremony of the 2019 SinoEuropean Entrepreneurs Summit Qingdao Forum. A European businessman talks with Chinese partners for cooperation during the EUChina (Qingdao) Business and Technology Cooperation Fair. Photos Provided To China Daily