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CHINA, EUROPE AND ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION

Held in Hǎikǒu, China, the 6th EU-China Forum ‘China, Europe and Economic Transformation – Prospects and Opportunities’ will focus on the economic transformation currently underway in both the EU and China, to try and find synergies between the new 13th Five Year Plan and the EU 2020 strategy. Friends of Europe’s annual EU-China Forum brings together a unique mix of high-level speakers from Europe and China for an in-depth discussion on the different aspects of this multi-faceted relationship and is attended by policymakers, business representatives and leading academics from across Europe and China to discuss issues of shared interest and address pressing common challenges.

Held on the afternoon of the EU-China Forum, the Policy and Practice Roundtable will bring together about 25 Chinese and European scholars, think tank representatives, policymakers and business representatives for an open, lively and stimulating debate on EU-China relations in a rapidly changing world. By invitation only, the meeting is held under the Chatham House rule to ensure a frank exchange of views.

Read our discussion paper ‘EU-China: New Directions, New Priorities’ below. If it fails to load, or if you would prefer to read it offline, then you can also download a PDF version of the paper.

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Related content

  • You may also wish to view the highlights page.
  • Read the letter from H. E. Ambassador YANG Yanyi.
  • Read the letter from Hans Dietmar Schweisgut.

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / FLICKR – European External Action Service

Programme

 

Introductory remarks by

Mao Chaofeng/ Executive Vice Governor, Hainan Provincial Government (tbc)

Ma Zhengang/ Vice President of the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA)

Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut/ Ambassador of the European Union to the People’s Republic of China

Shada Islam/ Director of Policy at Friends of Europe

Chi Fulin/ President of the China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD)

Letter contribution by

Yang Yanyi/ Ambassador of China to the European Union

Moderated by

Liu Yutong/ Secretary-General of the CPDA

Economic transformation is the name of the game in both China and the EU. As it heads towards a “new normal” of lower but more sustainable and inclusive growth, China has started the implementation of its 13th Five-Year Plan for massive economic transformation, with important repercussions both at home and abroad. The Chinese economy is adjusting to focus on domestic consumption, a further expansion of the services sector and state-of-the-art technological innovation. The EU 2020 strategy, meanwhile, also sets out an ambitious agenda for long-term growth and the generation of new and more jobs across Europe, including through the establishment of a “Digital Union”. Both are committed to clean “green growth”.

  • What are the key elements of the Chinese and European economic reform strategies and which are the main challenges they face in their implementation?
  • Did the 18th EU-China summit result in major new initiatives to promote synergies between the two sides’ growth and transformation agendas?
  • How can China and Europe help each other and contribute to the achievement of their ambitious economic goals?

Speakers:

Bogdan Goralczyk/ Director of the Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw, Poland

Gudrun Wacker/ Asia Senior Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Germany

Zhang Yuanyuan/ Former Ambassador of China to Belgium

Zhao Jinping/ Director of the Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations, Development Research Centre of the State Council, China

Moderated by

Lv Fengding/ Vice President of the CDPA

10.30 – 10.45 Coffee break

Economic and trade relations are important drivers of growth and development in both Europe and China. While EU-China trade in manufactured goods remains fairly robust in the face of a global trade slowdown, the potential for stronger exchanges in services remains largely untapped. Meanwhile, with China stepping up its investments in Europe and ongoing negotiations on an EU-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, the focus has shifted to ways in which increased investment flows can contribute to economic modernisation and transformation.

  • What role can trade and investments play in bolstering growth and economic development in China and Europe through a Bilateral Investment Treaty and a future EU-China Free Trade Agreement?
  • Are the EU-China “Connectivity Platform” and the Innovation Dialogue helping to foster further cooperation to encourage the development of the service sector and investments, especially in high-tech industries?
  • Can Europe’s experience in economic reform help China to deal with problems like over-capacity, an upgrade of the manufacturing sector and reform of state-owned enterprises?

Speakers:

Luigi Gambardella/ President of ChinaEU

Kuang Xianming, Director of the Centre of Economics and Member of the Research Group on China-EU FTA at the CIRD

Stephen Phillips/ Chairman of the EU-China Business Association

Agnes Szunomar/ Research Fellow and Head of the Research Group on Development Economics at the Hungarian Academy of Science (IWE)

Moderated by

He Dongni/ Vice President of the CIRD

12.15 – 13.30 Lunch

The international economic architecture and governance system are in dire need of reform to take account of the emergence of China and other rising economies. Although leading contributors to global growth, emerging nations are still stymied in their efforts to have a stronger voice and more voting rights in existing financial institutions. The creation of the BRICS Bank (New Development Bank), the Silk Road Fund and the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are a clear sign that emerging nations are determined to press ahead with their own global financial projects.

  • How can Europe and China work together to improve global economic governance in fora such as the G20 which China currently chairs?
  • What role will China and Europe play in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 on implementing Sustainable Development Goals?
  • What progress is being made in finding synergies between the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative and the EU Investment Plan and how will this help to improve global governance?

Speakers:

Duncan Freeman/ Senior Research Fellow at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Brussels Academy for China and European Studies, Belgium

Virgil Nae/ Head of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Representation to China

Miguel Otero-Iglesias/ Senior Analyst for Emerging Markets at the Elcano Royal Institute, Spain

Wang Yiwei/ Professor of Renmin University of China

Zhang Liang/ Director, Division of EU and Strategic Planning, Department of European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China

Moderated by

Shada Islam/ Director of Policy at Friends of Europe

15.00 – 15.15 Tea break

China and Europe face many common challenges, such as creating jobs, maintaining growth, eliminating inequality, catering to the needs of an ageing population and tackling climate change.

  • How quickly will Europe rebound from the multiple crises it has faced, including slowing Eurozone economic growth—and will it emerge stronger or weaker from this?
  • What are the key difficulties that China faces as it seeks to avoid the “middle-income trap” and become a “moderately prosperous society” by 2020?
  • What are the key points for structural reform in China and in Europe and how can China and Europe work together to deal with their challenges?

Introductory discussants:

Bogdan Goralczyk/ Director of the Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw, Poland

Shada Islam/ Director of Policy at Friends of Europe

Gudrun Wacker/ Asia Senior Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Germany

Wang Yiwei/ Professor of Renmin University of China

Zhou Hong/ Former Director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of European Studies

Moderated by

Yao Yao, Director of Research at the CPDA

In an inter-connected and globalised world, China and Europe are impacted by political, security and economic developments in the wider world.

  • Can Europe and China step up their engagement to deal with conventional and non-traditional security threats?
  • What is the potential for stronger China-Europe cooperation to deal with global terrorism, illegal migration and human trafficking?
  • Can Europe contribute to the emergence of an Asian regional security architecture and help in areas like confidence-building including in the maritime sector?

Introductory discussants:

Bertrand Furno/ Consul-General of France in Guangzhou

Jin Canrong/ Professor of Renmin University of China;

Miguel Otero-Iglesias/ Senior Analyst for Emerging Markets at the Elcano Royal Institute, Spain

Yao Yao/ Director of Research at CPDA

Expert from NISCSS (tbc)

Moderated by Duncan Freeman/ Senior Research Fellow at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Brussels Academy for China and European Studies, Belgium

Liu Yutong/ Secretary-General of CPDA

Shada Islam/ Director of Policy at Friends of Europe

18.30 – 20.00 Reception dinner

Speakers

  • Hans Dietmar Schweisgut

    Ambassador of the European Union to the People's Republic of China and Mongolia

  • Lv Fengding

    Vice President of the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) and Former Chinese Ambassador to Sweden

  • Duncan Freeman

    Senior Research Fellow at the Brussels Academy for China and European Studies (BACES)

  • Chi Fulin

    President and Chief Researcher of the China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD)
    As President, Chi Fulin leads the CIRD’s efforts to facilitate China’s economic and development policy. He has published over 500 academic papers and is the recipient of numerous awards. Chi was listed in 2009 as one of the ‘100 Economists that have influenced China’s economic construction in the last 60 years’. In addition to his CIRD role, he serves in numerous leadership positions including Vice-Chairman of the China Societies of Economic and Administrative Reform.

  • Bogdan Goralczyk

    Director of the Centre of Europe, University of Warsaw

  • Virgil Nae

    Head of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Representation to China

  • Miguel Otero-Iglesias

    Senior Analyst for Emerging Markets at the Elcano Royal Institute

  • Stephen Phillips

    Chairman of the EU-China Business Association

  • Agnes Szunomar

    Research Fellow and Head of the Research Group on Development Economics at the Hungarian Academy of Science (IWE)

  • Gudrun Wacker

    Senior Fellow in the Research Division Asia at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs

  • Wang Yiwei

    Professor of Renmin University of China

  • Zhang Yuanyuan

    Former Ambassador of China to Belgium

  • Ma Zhengang

    Vice President of the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA)

Partners

CIRDLogo-Europe-China-ForumPicture3mission china

Follow-up

Read our report on ‘China, Europe and Economic Transformation: Prospects and Opportunities’ below. If it fails to load, or if you would prefer to read it offline, you can also download a PDF version of the report.

Related content

  • You may also wish to view highlights from the debate, including a photo gallery. Click here to visit the event page.

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