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Increased Europe-China Cooperation Expected Following Chinese Entrepreneur Delegation to Belgium, France
2013-07-15 17:02

A delegation consisting of nearly 40 well-known Chinese entrepreneurs, economists and diplomats visited Belgium and France consecutively in the past week. By talks with political leaders, business leaders and well-known academic institutions in the two countries, they promoted mutual understanding and reached some preliminary intention on cooperation.

The delegation is from a non-profit organization - China Entrepreneur Club (CEC). Liu Chuanzhi, founder of Lenovo, acts as its leader, and the members include, among others, Guo Guangchang, founder of Fosun Group, Michael Yu, founder of New Oriental Education and Technology Group, Zhu Xinli, founder of Huiyuan Juice Group.

The China Entrepreneur Club was founded in 2006 and comprises a total of 57 members, of which 44 entrepreneur members manage more than 250 billion euros (data as of 2012) in corporate annual turnover and constitute an important force in China's national economy. This trip to France and Belgium is the third international visit by the China Entrepreneur Club, after its visits to the United States and the United Kingdom in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

"During this trip to France and Belgium, we had three main objectives: the first was to learn more about the experience of France and Belgium in developing a modern commercial environment, the second was to introduce Chinese entrepreneurs to Europe, and the most important one was to seek new business opportunities," Liu Chuanzhi said.

The delegation met with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Wallonie Minister President Demotte, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia, French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries throughout the week. They exchanged views on bilateral trade, economic cooperation, trade friction, non-governmental exchanges, foreign investment and other topics, and the delegation presented the development of private enterprises in China.

"Indeed, today's Europe holds some emotion of anxiety about China, and it does not know much about Chinese private enterprises. It is a positive move of public diplomacy for entrepreneurs to directly communicate in Europe with politicians and actively seek cooperation with the business community to achieve mutual benefit," said Wu Jianmin, former Chinese ambassador to France.

The delegation participated in the China-Belgium Entrepreneurs Roundtable Forum, the International Capital Conference, the China-French CEO Breakfast Dialogue and other events, and they also visited GlaxoSmithKline, Dassault Systemes, Schneider Electric, Chanel, Atos, Cartier and BNP Paribas and other enterprises. They were highly impressed by the performance of the enterprises in the two countries in institutional development, brand management, corporate heritage and technological innovation.

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