China, EU pledge to increase ICT investment and cooperation

The European Commission and representatives of the Chinese government and leading Sino-European ICT companies have pledged to strengthen bilateral economic and investment relations in telecommunications and ICT following three high-level meetings at EC headquarters. Several top EU officials met with a high-level delegation of the Chinese Mission to the EU led by Chinese Ambassador Yang Yanyi at a summit organised by the ChinaEU business platform of former European Telecommunications Network Operators association (ETNO) chairman Luigi Gambardella. Five priority areas for cooperation between China and the EU were identified during the meetings, including joint development and promotion of mobile technologies for 5G, encouragement of Chinese investments in advanced European digital infrastructure and services through public-private partnerships involving European and Chinese ICT players and financial institutions, as well as enhanced cooperation on smart cities, smart energy and Internet of Things (IoT).

The participants also pledged to create a High Level Task Force to identify concrete new opportunities for European businesses in China and Chinese businesses in Europe in fields such as hi-tech innovation, e-commerce, on-line services, cloud services and big data. In addition, officials expressed the intention to establish major investment funding and incentives focused on incubating hi-tech startups 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. “China and its companies are ready to invest more in European digital markets”, said ChinaEU president Gambardella, adding that “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.”

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