BRUSSELS, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) — The European Commission this week hosted three high-level meetings gathering senior representatives of leading Chinese, European financial Institutions and information and communication technology (ICT) companies as well as a high-level delegation of the Chinese Mission to the EU led by Chinese Ambassador Yang Yanyi.
Several top EU officials met with the Sino-European delegation in order to strengthen bilateral economic and investment relations in ICT.
“The relations between China and EU have evolved substantially in these years. I have listened with great interest to the idea of creating an EU-China platform on ICT, telecom and internet issues, and these topics could also be discussed during the next EU-China summit,” said EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, who will soon visit China to mark the 40th anniversary of official EU-China diplomatic relations.
Five priority areas for cooperation between China and the EU were identified during the meetings. Among them were encouraging Chinese investments in advanced European digital infrastructure and services through public-private partnerships involving European and Chinese ICT players and financial institutions.
A DIGITAL FUTURE
Other priorities included were the joint development and promotion of mobile technologies for 5G, an enhanced cooperation on smart cities, energy and the internet.
Officials discussed the creation of a high-level task force to identify concrete new opportunities for European businesses in China and Chinese businesses in Europe and the establishment of major investment funding and incentives focused on incubating hi-tech start-ups and collaborative innovation in both Europe and China.
This was the first time a group of Chinese company representatives met with their European counterparts at the headquarters of the European Commission “which sends an important political signal that both sides are committed to bolstering their existing ICT partnerships going forward,” read a statement by ChinaEU, an international association promoting business ties between the two regions.
The body said it would jointly identify and elaborate specific priority projects and subsequently present them to the European Investment Bank for consideration by European and Chinese political leaders during the EU-China Summit.
READY FOR INVESTMENT
“China and its companies are ready to invest more in European digital markets,” said Luigi Gambardella, founder and president of ChinaEU.
“We see great interest from both sides to enhance cooperation in internet, telecom and high tech segments. There is momentum for increasing the inflow of Chinese ICT investments in Europe, as well as creating new investment opportunities for European companies in China.”
Xiao Ming, vice president of ZTE Global and president of ZTE Europe, said his company’s focus is to “benefit European society by contributing to the steady development of ICT infrastructure and industry, including smart energy.”
“We are very keen to work together with European industry and EU institutions to achieve these objectives. We don’t want to be seen merely as a Chinese company. We wish to integrate with the local business environment and to be considered a truly European player,” he said.
“The EU-China relationship is a story of friendship and strong cooperation,” said Zhou Lihong, managing director of the Bank of China Luxembourg.
“Telecommunications nowadays captures a profound sense of the future, and it is the responsibility of all the actors involved to support the necessary technological development. The banking industry will play its role of strategic partner to tackle these challenging opportunities,” she said.
by Grandesso Federico, Yan Lei