9th Edition of SEES Summit Successfully Held in Paris, Strengthening Sino-EU Economic Ties
July 3, 2018 – Beijing China – The ninth edition of Sino-Europe Entrepreneur Summit (known as SEES), an event affiliated to Sino International Entrepreneur Federation (known as SIEF) was held at the prestigious conference hall Maison de la Mutualité in Paris last month.
SIEF is a leading international business platform aggregating global business elites, diplomatic dignitaries, politicians, think tanks and thought leaders from China, Europe, Oceania and Africa. This edition of SEES was co-chaired by Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister of France and Chairman of the Prospect and Innovation Foundation, and Mr. Long Yongtu, former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of People Republic of China as well as former Secretary General of the Bo’ao Forum. SEES attracted a gathering of more than 400 Chinese and European leaders including diplomats, entrepreneurs, think tanks and academic scholars to conduct in-depth discussions on topics such as the “Belt and Road Initiative”, China-EU financial innovation and cooperation through the promotion of China-EU non-tripartite cooperation and the building of a large Asia-Europe market. A series of thematic roundtables, high-quality project roadshows and one-on-one talks were organized during the conference.
Chinese Ambassador to France Mr. Zhai Jun delivered a keynote at the opening ceremony, bringing up prospects of China-EU business amidst a new era of socialist construction with Chinese characteristics. China is opening up, providing broader prospects for China-EU practical cooperation in areas such as nuclear energy, aviation, artificial intelligence and digital network technology. Mr. Zhai stressed that current unilateralism, egoism, volatility and protectionism are becoming major challenges. In response to this emerging global challenge, China has put forth the “Belt and Road” initiative as a way to promote multilateralism, stronger trade collaboration with Belt and Road markets, as well as better people-to-people exchanges. It is estimated that over the past five years, total trade volume between China and countries along the route has exceeded US$4 trillion and the accumulated investment has exceeded US$60 billion, due to factors including but not limited to increased direct flights, 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones and over 200,000 jobs created for locals. The UK, Germany and several other European countries have also expressed strong interest in joining the initiative.
Ms.Jin keyu, Associate Professor of Economics of London School of Economics, member of the Board, Richemont Group, Lord Jim O’neill, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs asset management, current Chairman of Chatham House, Jean-Herve Lorenzi, President of Le Cercle Des Economiste, Vice President of UBS Holding France shared their perspectives on the macro outlook of the global economy and politics, and discussed the implications of globalisation, as well as communication and collaboration of Chinese and European enterprises.
“China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ has the ability to promote world peace, stability, and bring opportunities to the countries along the route. It is imperative that Europe and China establish mutual trust and support innovation and financial cooperation between Chinese and European entrepreneurs to promote the bilateral economy to the next level,” said Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin. He also stated that the world today urgently needs the strength of China and Europe to build more stability, and China in turn plays an important role in Europe’s stability.
Mr. Long Yongtu stated that the summit reflects China’s growing foreign investment momentum. Despite experiencing some drawbacks, China’s economy is still one of the world’s largest with ample room for growth, factoring in its rich resources, market volume and the Chinese peoples’ aspiration for a better living standard. He hopes that through building contacts with European entrepreneurs, Chinese enterprises will not only contribute to upgrading the economy in Europe, but also bringing happiness to the local people and shaping the vision of a shared community built on inclusiveness, collaboration and sustainability.
“European companies have been increasingly looking to the East amidst the U.S. protectionist policy and the continuity and stability of China. China and the EU are both important members of the WTO and are strategic partners for many years. We should join hands and firmly oppose trade protectionism and commit to maintaining an open economy, a fair multilateral trade order and positive momentum of the world economy, “says Mr. Long Yongtu. He made it clear that the Belt and Road Initiative is instrumental in deepening Sino-European economic and trade development, interlinking national policies, deepening pragmatic cooperation, and achieving common goals and prosperity. China’s economy is facing the challenge of structural transformation and upgrading, hence the collaboration with the EU in consumer and industrial sectors will point towards a win-win situation.
The SEES summit in Paris concluded with a total investment of 1.3 bn euro, including a one bn euro worth of overseas M&A fund led by China’s State-owned Structural Reform Fund, a permanent EU summit site in Ireland worth 100 mn euro led by Xin Chang Holdings Investment, the China-Switzerland Enterprise Innovation and Cooperation Industrial Park at a contract value of 100 mn euro in Switzerland by Shaanxi JuGuang Group Co., Ltd, and a new energy project 150mn euro co-invested by Handi Group and Bouygues Group.
“EU is undergoing unprecedented changes and I believe that China can support the EU’s construction and reform,” said Mr. Gianfranco Terenzi, Chairman of World SME Alliance. He added that with a deepening China-EU strategic partnership, the Belt and Road Initiative will add tremendous value in building a cross-border economic and trade platform characterised by inclusiveness, open economic cooperation, and stronger geopolitical balance. Leveraging the infrastructure of the Belt and Road, China hopes to strengthen the role of small-medium enterprises (SMEs) across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He also believes that the Renminbi will become more international, while the EU enterprises face financial challenges. Thus, the alliance can help SMEs to connect, and contribute to the world economy and democracy.