China-Europe business dialogue held in Brussels

Date: 11 Sep 2020

The China-Europe Business Dialogue was held in Brussels on Sept 9, carrying the theme "Building Stronger Economic Partnership & Tapping into EU Digital Transformation".

Romano Prodi, former president of the European Commission and two-time prime minister of Italy, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, vice-president of the European Parliament, and Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, delivered keynote speeches via video link and deliberated on the broader picture of the current Sino-EU relationship.

"Cooperation between China and the EU is very much necessary now, as global competition will change after COVID-19," Prodi said. "Globalization will not end, but will change. We must set the rules now, with a common approach."

"It is crucial to avoid 'systemic rivalry' in the digital sector," Papadimoulis pointed out. "We have to intensify our efforts to further enhance cooperation. I fully agree with the Chinese Chamber that a regulatory framework on security and fair competition is absolutely necessary."

Zhang said China and the EU have a common language on openness. He expressed the hope the two sides will work together and be open to each other's markets. In the digital sector, he said, "we need to establish an open, fair and nondiscriminatory business environment for everyone to benefit from the digital economy."

The keynote speeches were followed by a one-hour online panel discussion. Moderated by Adrian Monck, managing director of the World Economic Forum, the panel featured Cheng Lan, general manager for Western Europe at China Mobile International; Yao Ling, director of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation; David Gosset, professor and founder of the Europe-China Forum; and Harald Patt, CEO of Fosun Europe Innovation Hub.

During the event, Zhou Lihong, chairwoman of the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU, announced the formation of a digital working group to help Chinese businesses in the digital sector forge closer partnerships in the EU.

She added the CCCEU will, together with Roland Berger, launch its 2020 Recommendation Report for EU institutions on Thursday, which will present Chinese businesses' latest opinions on the ease of doing business in the EU and their five key concerns and focuses, as well as eight policy proposals to Brussels to improve the bloc's business environment and enhance China-EU trade and investment ties.

The event was organized by the CCCEU to provide a platform for businesses, governments, the broader public and the media to have a frank and consistent dialogue on pressing issues to maximize the benefits of digital technologies for humankind. 

The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU contributed to this story.

Source: China Daily

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