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Insights | Int'l scholars hail BRI's role in advancing China-Europe green cooperation

2024-05-13 Editor : Xue Lingqiao ECNS App Download

By Xue Lingqiao 

(ECNS) -- "China is supercharging the green development in the world.We all need China if you want the world to go green. If you want to solve climate change and environment destruction, China is an indispensable nation," said Erik Solheim, former UN under-secretary-general, in a recent Webinar, adding that the West needs to find a way to cooperate and compete with China and resolve all disputes through dialogue.

During the recently held webinar "Cooperation Between Europe and China: Opportunities and Challenges" organized by the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden, several European experts and scholars discussed the opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and shared their expectations for Europe-China cooperation in various fields. 

BRI helps promote global green transition 

China is an indispensable nation for the green transformation, said Solheim while sharing his perspectives on green energy cooperation between Europe and China at the Webinar.

Noting that China is leading the world in green products such as solar, wind, and hydro powers, as well as batteries and electric cars, Solheim holds that the BRI could be a platform to spread technology and knowledge.

By giving examples of China's leading renewable energy manufacturers, Solheim expressed his hope for Chinese companies to invest overseas and take advantage of the initiative to build green corridors.

BRI cooperation enjoys broad prospects

The Mediterranean region where Greece is located has huge energy markets, said George Floras, president of the Belt and Road Associates in Greece. Large-scale hydro, solar, and geothermal infrastructure projects have ample development potential, he added. . 

"Greece and China have a long history of exchanges which began more than 2000 years ago thanks to the ancient Silk Road. Our organization strongly supports the BRI and supports Chinese companies to invest in Greece," Floras added. 

Floras emphasized that Greece has a well-established tourism industry, which attracts around 35 million foreign tourists every year. He also highlighted the need for automation and digitalization in the country's pharmaceutical industry, among many others, which presents significant investment opportunities in the information and communication technology sectors. 

The Netherlands is China's second-largest trading partner in the European Union. Jan Menke Hopma, CEO of the Dutch company Innovasian Bridge, believes that as a global hub for trade and logistics, the Netherlands can benefit from increased investment in infrastructure projects under the BRI.

He suggested that his country could be a valuable partner for China in areas such as port development and logistics management, thereby enhancing the connectivity along the Maritime Silk Road.

Hopma also noted that the Netherlands boasts a mature financial system with rich expertise in banking, insurance, and investment management. He expressed confidence that this would attract Chinese companies to seek financing and investing opportunities, facilitating the implementation of BRI projects. 

During the webinar, Thomas Amon, vice president of the Slovenia-China Friendship Association said that the high-speed railway projects under the BRI will boost the connectivity of major cities in Central and Eastern Europe, like Ljubljana, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, and Belgrade, promoting the economic and social development of local countries.


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