On October 21, 2011, Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Qishan held talks with Belgian Crown Prince Philippe in Beijing.
Wang extended warm welcome to the delegation led by Philippe who was in China attending the celebrations on the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Belgium and spoke highly of the support of the Belgian royal family, especially of Crown Prince Philippe for China-Belgium economic and trade cooperation. He said that the bilateral relations enjoy a sound momentum of development and pragmatic cooperation on trade, investment, technology, culture and education has achieved fruitful results since the two countries established diplomatic ties 40 years ago. The bilateral trade has grown to US$22.1 billion in 2010 from US$20 million when China and Belgium just established diplomatic ties. It is expected to exceed US$25 billion this year. China and Belgium are highly complementary and have great cooperation potential in the economic sector. The two sides should play their advantages to expand mutual investment, strengthen cooperation in such traditional fields as finance and chemicals, step up cooperation in the emerging sectors of environmental protection, logistics and green economy and raise the bilateral economic and trade relations to a new height.
He pointed out that China, while readjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectation, achieved 9.4% of high GDP growth in the first three quarters of this year although the global economy remains gloom and made active contributions to the world economic growth. China will continue to support the increase of mutual investment with Belgium and expects to use the platform of China-Belgium direct equity investment fund to strengthen support for small and medium-sized enterprises of both sides. China hopes Belgium to help push the EU to admit its full market economy status soon and urge the EU to exercise care and restraint in applying trade remedies and to properly solve trade frictions for the purpose of mutual benefit.
Philippe said that Belgium and China have enhanced mutual trust and maintained sound business cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties 40 years ago. The 450-member Belgian delegation will sign 40 business contracts with China during the visit which he believes will further boost bilateral investment and trade cooperation. Belgium welcomes the investment from Chinese enterprises. The new directions of industrial development outlined in China's 12th Five-Year Plan create opportunities for the bilateral cooperation on biopharmaceuticals and green energy. The two countries also enjoy abundant cooperation opportunities in the fields of culture, education, science and technology.
Princess Mathilde and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Steven Vanackere were present at the meeting.