7th High-level seminar EU-China regional policy dialogue
Just before the year-end break, on 20-21 December Director General Walter Deffaa travelled to Guangzhou, China in the framework of the 2012 Regional Policy Dialogue, including the Seventh High-Level China-EU seminar on regional policy. Mr Deffaa was accompanied by Ronnie Hall, Principal advisor, and Ramon Lopez, international relations desk officer. The mission included visits to Sino-European cooperation projects, and meetings with the Vice Governor of Guangdong, the Vice Mayor of Guangzhou and the Pearl River Delta chapter of the European Chamber of Commerce in China. The latter provided many insights into doing business in China (heavy procedures for business establishment; labour shortages; rapidly rising minimum salaries (13% pa), the drift of qualified labour to Beijing and Shanghai) as well as into the many opportunities, for example, in exporting green technologies.
The 2012 Regional Policy Dialogue led to an agreement on the 2013 work programme which will prioritize cooperation on the themes of: integrated urban-rural territorial development; regional policy legislative and governance instruments and practices; the definition of regions and definition of eligibility for regional support; cooperation between EU and Chinese regions on regional innovation and economic development; financing mechanisms, public private partnerships and innovative infrastructure financing. Read the Joint Statement of Conclusions.
The High-Level seminar on urban development was opened by the Vice-Governor of Guangdong Province. Mr Deffaa and Mr Fang Hengshan, director general of the National Development and Reform Commission, gave the key-note speeches. The different interventions from Chinese and EU experts focused on the key issues facing urban areas and relation with the rural hinterland.