Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

China-Europe Investment & Connectivity Cooperation Forum_

The discourse was moderated by and old fox in Europe’s telco lobbying, Mr Luigi Gambardella, founder and President of ChinaEU. A prominent place in the panel was taken by H.E. Mark Markkula, President of Committee of the Regions. In addition, the EU was represented by Mrs Anna Krzyzanowska, Head of Unit, DG Connect at the European Commission. Finally, the Chinese ICT sector could not have been absent from this fruitful discussion and thus Mr Victor Zhang, President of the European Public Affairs and Communications Department of Huawei Technologies and Mr Xiao Ming, President of ZTE European Region also took an important seat at the meeting.

The Road of the EU digital growth agenda paradoxically seems to necessarily pass from Beijing. This was the key take-away that came out from the third panel discussion during the China-Europe Investment & Connectivity Cooperation Forum. This one day conference took place last Monday 09 November at the Committee of Regions in Brussels.

“Digital economy and E-commerce: The Digital Silk Road & Digital Union” was the title of the third panel of the comprehensive Forum, certainly one of the most important and stimulating panel discussions made during that day. The discourse was moderated by an old fox in Europe’s EU telco lobbying, Mr Luigi Gambardella, founder and President of ChinaEU. A prominent place in the panel was taken by H.E. Markku Markkula, President of Committee of the Regions. In addition, the EU was represented by Mrs Anna Krzyzanowska, Head of Unit, DG Connect at the European Commission. Finally, the Chinese ICT sector could not have been absent from this fruitful discussion and thus Mr Victor Zhang, President of the European Public Affairs and Communications Department of Huawei Technologies and Mr Xiao Ming, President of ZTE European Region also took an important seat at this digital meeting.

The “digital” Committee of Regions

At the beginning President Markkula rushed to set immediately from the beginning the hottest agenda topics of the panel, which would be the contribution of the ICT agenda, and its relation to the Chinese factor, to Juncker’s Investment plan. Particularly, 5G was indicated by him as an area of major constructive cooperation between China and EU. Further, as the role of President Markkula is inherently intertwined with the cooperation of the European regions, he stressed how digitalisation is a key enabler for infrastructure in cities. He also explained how the smooth integration of strong high tech companies in the urban planning and management is able to sustain regional growth.

Learning from EU best practices is the key way to move forward according to Mr Markkula. The President of the European Regions aspires a creative synergy triangle between technology, society and urbanisation. Also, he did not omit to touch how he sets as priority for the modern urban ecosystem to be environmentally sustainable and also underscored that China with its recent green initiatives is able to provide added value to that in a positive way. With reference to the exponential Chinese urban growth, President Markkula said that the city of Hangzhou has a 500 thousand population increase per year. Soon the hot topic of 5G came to the forefront of the conversation and the Finnish politician said that digital connectivity should be one of the best investment destinations in the EU to “increase jobs and sustainable growth”. 5G for Mr Markkula is nonetheless a core asset in the EU Digital Single Union project that Juncker’s Commission strives to realise by the end of its mandate.

Digital Single Market passes from Beijing

Following the head of the Committee of Regions, it was time for the Commission to channel to the curious audience the position where the EU truly stands in the China-EU “digital” cooperation. Mrs Anna Krzyzanowska, Head of DG Connect began by showing her sheer admiration on the budget of the One belt One road investment strategy which reaches a total of 90 trillion dollars along the way. Moreover, she explained that Industry 4.0, the big European project for the “digital re-industrialisation” of the continent, faces two main issues currently. First, it engulfs rather small projects and thus receives small investment. Second, the competition of the traditional sectors and industry in the EU is tremendous and fierce. As the moderator added, Mr Gambardella, “there is a risk that digital will not take a big part of Juncker’s plan”.

Moreover Mrs Krzyzanowska highlighted later that digital commerce is a top priority for DG Connect currently as it aims to maximise positive impact on businesses and ideas. The EU is currently indeed looking into ways to truly dismantle digital barriers in the EU by deploying its promising Digital Single Market plan. The European bureaucrat appeared firm that the digital disruption that is taking place right at this moment in the EU will create opportunities for all. Particularly on 5G the Polish official of the European Commission pointed out that the degree of access to 5G depends on the following 6 factors: 5G standardisation process and protocols, the access to markets, the agility of the communications as distance will not matter any more, the benefits and values of the 5G projects as well as the risk assessment entailed.In addition, Mrs Krzyzanowska underlined that the digital single market is on a very good path where trust and reciprocity are well applied.

Furthermore, according to her, the DSM (Digital Single Market) has 3 pillars. First of all it is the access to online goods and services, e-commerce and enjoyment of content. Second, in DSM the ecosystem for digital network is interoperable, which means that operation in multiple countries is possible; there is a lot to do, according to Mrs Krzyzanowska, as regards the development of the networks. She emphatically stated that “nothing will happen without solid network of high speed download and upload network”.

The third pillar of the European Digital Single Market, according to the Head of DG connect is related to the growth potential of the EU/China digital synergy. If this top level official of DG connect devoted one pillar of the European DSM on the China-EU synergy, then it means that Europe is actively looking into ways to build European “digital shortcuts” on the One Belt One Road of China. Finally, it was well anticipated that the Polish eurocrat would refer to the regulatory framework of the market. Obviously, Mrs Krzyzanowska confirmed that the regulation of the digital infrastructure and platforms is of vital importance to the smooth transition to the Digital Single Market. That, as she maintained in her speech, definitely includes geo-blocking, as well as copy-right rules and framework.

Huawei’s vision

Towards the end of the panel discussion the time for the Chinese industry had come. Victor Zhang, President of European Public Affairs and Communications Department at Huawei Technologies supported that it is a necessity these days that old industries are transformed effectively into digital businesses. He informed the audience that during 2016-2020 Huawei will be investing some 100 million euros on research and innovation. He also added that almost 2000 people are employed in the EU within Huawei and thus the company is providing a great deal to the European economy. What is more, the Chinese businessman discussed how 5G is a leading project for the ICT markets in Europe and globally. At the end Mr Zhang referred to a few traditional industries that are now adopting ICT technologies to develop better products and services. The examples from the automotive sector where it is possible to have driverless cars or enhance the communication of the driver with the car or the world (wifi on board) undeniably helped the President of Huawei to make his clear case.

ZTE’s position

Last, but certainly not least, Mr Xiao Ming, President of ZTE Europe region reaffirmed the position of the second biggest Chinese ICT company as a key investor in the European ICT sector. Mr Ming went on describing the hard figure of 1000 local ZTE employees in Germany that provide added value to the company’s global turnover.  What is more, Mr Ming continued discussing how ZTE has sophisticated solutions for smart urban development that endorse substantially the smart city development in the EU. ZTE aspires to simplify the process of urban communication and infrastructure. Towards the end the President of ZTE underscored that this grand Chinese company supports strongly Juncker’s plan when it comes to broadband connectivity and is willing to do much more in that direction. Finally, Mr Ming appeared confident that the China-EU Research and Development cooperation will effectively determine Europe’s common digital future, “against main common competition like the US”.

All EU Digital roads pass from Beijing

All in all, the second panel brought a comprehensive outlook on the China-EU digital ties that hold strong and uncover fruitful synergies that will speed up the Industry 4.0 ambitious project of the EU. At the same time the commitment of the European side to substantially push forward  this “digital silk road” is bound to enable major Chinese investment funds in the European Union that seek for growth and sustainable expansion.
















Featured Stings

The EU Commission predicts a decimated growth in the next years

How painful is the Greek tragedy for the Germans?

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Banks, insurance giants are free again to abuse the real economy

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

To Bing or Not to Bing? That is the question

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

What our leaders hide from us

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

“The Sea is vast as it admits all rivers”, Ambassador Yang Yanyi of the Chinese Mission to EU gives her farewell address in Brussels

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Modern humanitarian aid at times of global crises

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Immigration crisis at its very worst: EU to outsource rescue business to North Africa?

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

At last a good price for the Greek debt!

Telecommunications and Internet: A Jungle with no principles?

Does EURES really exist?

Erdogan’s Turkey in dire straits for flip flop policies in the Middle East

How bad could British healthcare get for its citizens abroad post-Brexit?

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris and beyond: EU action and what COP21 should deliver”, Green MEP Keith Taylor discusses from Brussels 

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

The European Commission to stop Buffering

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Draghi tells the EU Parliament his relaxed policies are here to stay

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

GradList Launched At TheNextWeb 2014

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

David Cameron’s formal letter/threat that officially opens pandora’s box for the UK

Eurozone recession subsides

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Greece did it again

Lithuania vs Parliament over 2014 EU budget

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

China, forever new adventures

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s