China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

Slawomir Majman_ConnectEUChina Investment Forum_Committe of Regions

The panel speech was moderated by Dr Duncan Freeman, Brussels Academy for China and European Studies of the Vrije Universities Brussel (VUB). The stimulating panel discussion was lit up by Mr Gu Hui, Councellor at the Department of European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr Olivier Onidi, Director of DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, Mr Slawomir Majman, President of Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, HE Ambassador Harry Alex Rusz, Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU, Mrs Wei Li, Operations Director at China-CEE Investment Cooperation Fun and last but not least Mr Richard Turcsanyi, Associate at the European Institute for Asian Studies.

Last Monday, 09 November 2015, a very important conference was held at the Committee of Regions in Brussels called: “China-Europe Investment and Connectivity Cooperation Forum”. Certainly one of the most stimulating panel discussions was on the Chinese Investment in Central Eastern European Countries (CEEC). It turns out that China is endorsing a huge and independent investment batch in this 16 country block that is shaping infrastructure, energy, transportation, employment and so many other fields in those countries. To be noted here that CEEC is comprised by Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.

The panel speech was moderated by Dr Duncan Freeman from the Brussels Academy for China and European Studies of the Vrije Universities Brussel (VUB). The stimulating panel discussion was lit up by Mr Gu Hui, Councellor at the Department of European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr Olivier Onidi, Director of DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, Mr Slawomir Majman, President of Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, HE Ambassador Harry Alex Rusz, Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU, Mrs Wei Li, Operations Director at China-CEE Investment Cooperation Fund and last but not least Mr Richard Turcsanyi, Associate at the European Institute for Asian Studies.

16+1 Cooperation

Mr Gu Hui was the first speaker to address the audience emphasising how the China CEEC relations (16+1) is a platform for mutual beneficial cooperation that unfortunately not everybody knows about. In fact, the Chinese senior councellor sees China and CEEC as “truly old friends”, as he stressed in his speech. The main driving force to China-CEEC cooperation, he later added, is economic cooperation. He also interestingly said that there is a perfect match in this relation as China is a developing country and CEEC represents the emerging economies in Europe. The truth is that China and CEEC are undergoing a “crucial transition period” currently. What is more, Mr Gu stressed that CEEC possess huge means for infrastructure construction, underscoring thus that the two economies are in fact “complimentary”.

The Suzhou Summit

In addition, the Chinese official showed his keen admiration and respect for the common commitment of the 16 CEE leaders so far. He reminded to the audience as well that the next meeting for 16+1 cooperation platform will be held soon in Suzhou, China. The aim of the Summit will be to sum up the cooperation’s progress so far and explore further fruitful projects in 2016. As the rest of the panelists and participants of the Forum last Monday, Mr Gu did not omit to mention how important the One Belt One Road is for CEEC and how this strategic Chinese programme aims to deploy various projects within CEEC. The upcoming Suzhou summit is bound to be a “milestone” for the 16+1 cooperation, according to the Chinese official. Finally, Mr Gu, eager to give the floor to the rest of his fellow panelists, he closed with a brilliant phrase taken from Confucius, the famous Chinese ancient philosopher: “Do not worry that your opinion has not been heard; do worry if you have not heard the others’ opinions”.

EU’s role at 16+1 cooperation

The EU was represented in this fruitful panel by Mr Olivier Onidi, Director of DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission. The Commission’s top official opened his speech by saying that China-EU transport and infrastructure cooperation is not only of economic but also of geopolitical interest. He further underlined that the new connectivity platform is an additional tool for the China-EU cooperation, since no meticulous exchange of information is needed and optimal decisions are made based on best practices. Like this the conditions of investment, he added, are improved by raising barriers and expanding the cooperation in technology, infrastructure and transport. Mr Onidi was adamant in his belief that the China-EU investment cooperation platform will be a major source of business opportunities in EU and China and will create equal opportunities of growth through the whole one belt one road route.

“The hub of China-EU trade”

It was then time for probably the best example of CEEC, Poland to lead the discussion. Mr Slawomir Majman, President of Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, embarked on sharing his interesting thoughts about one country that is able to design an deploy an effective investment strategy in order to to bring it to the creme de la creme of investment destinations in the EU, Poland. As expected, Mr Majman initiated his speech by stating that Poland has a crucial role on CEE, the most rapidly developing region in the EU. Most interestingly he continued praising the importance of the “One belt one road” strategy, by commenting that from a unilateral diplomacy there has been a transition to a multilateral diplomacy. Moreover, he did not hesitate to describe it as a “Chinese Marshall Plan”, as China’s presence along the silk road enable the full potential of its export markets. Focusing on the logistic dimension of what One Belt One Road means for Poland, Mr Majman said that “Poland aspires to be the  hub of China-EU trade”.

The Polish official later praised how China has a long term vision towards Europe. On the other hand, Poland is willing to see “large and bold projects of Chinese capital”, Mr Majman underscored. He further critically cited that the “atmosphere is good” but there is just 0,02% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the EU. He reassured the audience, however, that “politicians do their job properly”; it is businesses who lag behind. Again, China according to Mr Majman is doing very well building export markets along the silk road and thus boost the trade capacities of the second biggest economy in the world. He finally concluded his thoughts on the matter by stressing that “the future of cooperation of this part of the world with China (CEEC) is a regional one”.

China & Hungary

It was the turn of another important CEEC country then, Hungary, to highlight the important trade and investment ties it maintains with China. The Hungarian panelist was HE Ambassador of the Permanent Representation of Hungary to EU, Mr Harry Alex Rusz. The Hungarian Ambassador, agreeing fully with HE Ambassador Yang‘s of the Chinese Mission to EU opening remarks, and talked very enthusiastically about the 16+1 CEEC cooperation and economic development framework. He later said that Hungary has seen its economy catching up thanks to Chinese tourism and also thanks to the bilateral comprehensive financial cooperation.

500 million dollar Chinese Investment

Finally, the audience was pleasantly surprised to see that there is an independent China-CEE Investment Cooperation Fund created, which is taking care only the Chinese investment deployment for the 16 country region. Mrs Wei Li, Operations Director, took soon the floor and launched an engaging presentation with hard data on specific investment projects in the CEE region. It was very encouraging to see the status of every investment project clearly defined and described, from the Investment bank accountable to the yearly investment flow planning.

The major takeaway

All in all, the panel on China and CEEC (16+1) cooperation was definitely one of the most stimulating ones during the China-Europe Investment & Connectivity Cooperation Forum. The quality of the dialogue remained high and fruitful. It is very positive to see how China is extending and focusing at the same time its One belt One road strategy to specific blocks. CEE is a particular case that seems very positive to accommodate considerable chunks of large investment from China.

If only more neighbouring CEE countries with significant geopolitical power and certainly rich natural resources, like Greece, could join CEE immediately. That would contribute substantially both to the recovery of the demolished Greek economy and certainly it would do miracles to the smooth distribution of Chinese investment in Greece.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

CEOs in these countries are more likely to go with their gut

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

“China will strive to enhance the performance of economic growth”, President Xi highlights from the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

TTIP 9th Round marked by American disappointment: Will some optimism save this trade agreement?

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

The EU Commission implicates major banks in cartel cases, threatens with devastating fines

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica: MEPs demand action to protect citizens’ privacy

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

UN rights chief denounces Burundi for ‘belligerent and defamatory’ attack on inquiry team

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Youth and children in Europe set the new perspectives for the decades to come

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

The G7 should take the lead on ocean targets for 2020

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

“Only through energy policy we can trigger competitiveness”. The Sting live from #EBS2015: Energy Union – When will it happen?

The success story of a Chinese investment in the Greek port of Piraeus

Faith can overcome religious nationalism. Here’s how

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Young people are not a nameless, faceless mass. So why do we treat them as such?

SPB TV @ MWC14: The TV of the Future

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

The creative technology and its advancements

Finland must focus on integrating migrant women and their children to boost their contribution to the economy and society

G20 LIVE: “ISIL is the face of evil; our goal is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organisation”, US President Barack Obama cries out from Antalya Turkey

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

More than one billion people do not have access to electricity. What will it take to get them connected?

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

The impossible end of the war in Syria

New rules for audiovisual media services approved by Parliament

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights: a step forward for youth rights

A very good morning in European markets

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

UN chief welcomes agreement by rival leaders in South Sudan, as a step towards ‘inclusive and implementable’ peace

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s