During a visit to China, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, reconfirmed the EU's interest to work with China on sustainable development and connectivity.
In a meeting between Commissioner Mimica and the Chairman of the newly-established China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Wang Xiaotao, both sides agreed to seek synergies and concrete areas of cooperation to enhance EU–China development cooperation. The meeting confirmed both parties' commitment to jointly promote sustainable development, as outlined at the 20th EU-China Summit in July 2018, and as reconfirmed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit in Brussels in October 2018.
Commissioner Mimica welcomed the establishment of CIDCA as an important opportunity for the EU and China to strengthen their cooperation as global development partners. Both sides highlighted their interest in cooperating on concrete initiatives to promote sustainable development and agreed to enhance bilateral exchanges on policies and best practices.
In this context, Commissioner Mimica stressed: "We have a shared responsibility to deliver on the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. EU's recent 'Connecting Europe and Asia' strategy has set out our vision for increased cooperation with our Asian partners in key areas of connectivity and sustainable development. I look forward to enhancing the cooperation with Chinese counterparts on concrete initiatives and to intensifying our exchanges on development policies. There is great potential to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda when working in partnerships."
During his visit to China, Commissioner Mimica participated in the Central Asia Investment Forum organised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the People's Bank of China. In the margins of this event, he discussed with Suma Chakrabarti,President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank about the potential to join forces on shared priorities. In his speech at the forum, Commissioner Mimica underlined the importance of catalysing public and private investment in the connectivity and sustainable development of the Central Asia region – including job creation, sustainable infrastructure, more robust environmental protection and stronger climate change mitigation and adaptation. In this context, he announced an EU grant of €7.3 million to support small and medium-sized businesses in Turkmenistan and Mongolia, to be implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The Commissioner also participated in the China-EU Development Conference, as well as in a Gender Equality panel which included the United Nations, the Chinese government and NGO representatives, where he highlighted the EU's interest to work more in and with China on gender equality.
Commissioner Mimica also met the Vice-Minister of Finance Zou Jiayi and the Chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges Zeng Peiyan.
As outlined in the European Consensus on Development, the European Union aims to engage more closely with China and other major global development actors s part of a new partnership towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This commitment has been confirmed at the highest political levels, including the 20th EU-China Summit in July 2018, where the European Union and China agreed to "promote mutual understanding and share experience on international development cooperation through enhanced exchanges, and make joint efforts to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda".
At the ASEM Summit meeting in Brussels in October 2018, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed to aim towards creating additional synergies between China's Belt and Road Initiative and the EU's strategy to boost connectivity between Europe and Asia, which was presented in September 2018.