25th anniversary of the cooperation between the Brussels-Capital Region and Beijing
From 12 till 16 September 2019, a Brussels delegation travelled to Beijing for the anniversary of the cooperation agreement between the Brussels-Capital Region (BRC) and the Chinese capital.
The cooperation agreement with the Chinese capital, which was signed in 1994, was the first agreement between the BCR and a non-European city. The delegation, led by Christian Lamouline, the Secretary General of the Brussels Regional Public Service (BRPS), was in Beijing from 12 till 16 September to celebrate this 25th anniversary.
On 12 September, the visit kicked off with a formal meeting with Yin Fei, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Beijing Municipal Government. Later that day, Christian Lamouline met with Brussels and Chinese companies in the creative industry, in the margin of Beijing Design Week 2019, to set up future collaborations. In the evening, Brussels International invited its guests to a festive dinner, prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Maxime Maziers, of Bruneau in Brussels.
Gardens and art, creativity in the spotlight
On Friday 13 September, the Brussels delegation travelled to the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition to visit the gardens of the three Chinese regions with which Brussels has close ties, namely Beijing, Xi’an and Sichuan. They were accompanied for the occasion by Aldwin Dekkers, the Deputy Commissioner General of BelExpo, and the landscape architect Nicolas Godelet. They also took the time to see the Belgian garden, which is one of the most popular gardens of the exhibition and which will be maintained as part of the public park that will be built onsite in the future.
On Saturday, the delegation visited the Forbidden City, after which they officially opened an exhibition titled ‘Garden’, with works by the Brussels artists Benoît et Bo, in the 798 Art District Dashanzi.
The economic side: innovation and services
On Monday 16 September, the delegation visited the TusPark innovative business incubator (Tsinghua University) in the morning, with a view to installing a Chinese business incubator in Brussels. In the afternoon, they explored CIFTIS, the largest trade show of the services industry in China, in which various Brussels-based companies participate every year with the support of hub.brussels.
Finally, the mission ended with a presentation of the next princely mission to China this coming November, during a reception at the residence of His Excellency Marc Vinck, the Belgian Ambassador to China.