Industry, Incubators and Innovation: Luxembourg hits the ground running in China
The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has successfully completed its yearly trade mission to China, which took place this year from 3 to 8 November. The mission was headed by the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Former Minister Mr Luc Frieden, and three Chinese cities were visited: Zhengzhou, Shanghai, and Nanjing.
The mission was organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in close collaboration with the Cluster for Logistics (C4L); the China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CHINALUX); the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Europe; and Cargolux. The Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Beijing; the Consulate General of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Shanghai; the Luxembourg Trade and Development Office (LTIO) - Shanghai; and the Henan Civil Aviation Development & Investment Co., Ltd (HNCA) were important local partners of the mission. 34 companies from Luxembourg with 54 business men and women joined the mission, representing the finance, logistics, export, and luxury industry sectors.
The mission started in Zhengzhou with the second edition of the 'Henan - Luxembourg Economic Forum', an annual event co-organised with HNCA in view of the promotion and enhancement of the mutual cooperation between Henan province, the logistics hub of China, and Luxembourg. The Vice Governor of Henan Province, and newly charged with the logistics and industry sectors, Mr Liu Wei, received the delegation and gave a welcome speech, followed by an address from the recently appointed Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Beijing, Ms Isabelle Breuksin.
During the event, case studies were given by Henan companies, including Yutong Group, and Cathay Associates, as well as CHINALUX. The panel discussion, 'Henan - Luxembourg Belt & Road Trade Perspectives', was moderated by Mr Malik Zeniti, Director of Cluster for Logistics, with the following panellists sharing their experiences:
- Mr Richard Forson, CEO, Cargolux Airlines International S.A.
- Mr Serge Heinen, Project Director, Sales, CTI Systems
- Mr Alberto Pennacchio, Head of Institution Banking, Banque Internationale du Luxembourg
Following the panel discussion, Mr Maxim Straus, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Cargolux Airlines International S.A., presented a company testimonial showcasing the successful cooperation between Cargolux and HNCA.
More than 150 Henan officials and business people attended the event, during which the Luxembourg delegation also met with logistics and e-commerce professionals from the province. The delegation also visited the Henan - Luxembourg Center project in the Zhengzhou New District, with 12.87 hectares of land and 5 phases of construction, including the Dragon Lake Business Center, and the Grand Duchy palace real estate project, with a total investment budget of approximately RMB 5.4 billion. The project started in 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2021. Mr Zhang Mingchao, Chairman of HNCA, personally guided the visit.
In Shanghai, the delegation was invited to attend the workshop, 'How to do business in China? The update and evaluation of the Chinese market - Perspective 2020', organised jointly by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and BenCham Shanghai (Benelux Chamber of Commerce).
A keynote speech was given by Mr Georges Kayser, Economic Advisor of the government of Luxembourg, on the business and cultural differences while doing business in China.
A panel discussion was led by Ms Cecilia Vermeulen, General Manager of BenCham, and the panel included Mr Brian Blömer, as well as Mr Bruno Grangier, Mr Maxime Oliva, Mr Etienne Charlier and Mr Jelmer de Jong, experts and consultants who discussed questions regarding the business climate in China, ecommerce, IP rights, and opportunities for European companies.
The second edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held from 5 to 10 November and is the world's first import-themed national-level expo featuring exhibitions of multiple countries and businesses and the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum.
This year, the theme of the CIIE was 'New Era, Shared Future', and welcomed attendees from 181 countries and regions and 3,800 enterprises as exhibitors, with a total exhibition area of 360,000 square meters. The CIIE also welcomed more than 500,000 purchasers who accomplished an estimated deal presenting a total sum of USD 71.13 billion, a 23% increase compared with last year.
The Luxembourg delegation was welcomed by ICBC volunteers and attended the 'China-Europe Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference' where Mr Richard Forson, CEO of Cargolux, gave a speech on behalf of European companies at the CEO Summit. Luxembourg delegates signed three agreements at the pre-arranged B2B matchmaking session with their Chinese partners, including a contract between CTI Systems and Fujian Haian Rubber CO., Ltd.
Three Luxembourg companies exhibited at this year's CIIE, and the Luxembourg delegation visited the IEE booth after the marketing event, 'Automotive Interior Sensing Solutions for Future Smart Cabins'.
The Hypersymmetrics (Luxembourg) booth presented jewellery designed and made in Luxembourg; while at the Cargolux booth a small reception was hosted in the presence of Mr Luc Frieden.
The delegation also had the opportunity to meet Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of the Economy, Mr Etienne Schneider, who was invited by the President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, to attend the opening ceremony of the CIIE.
Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, was the last stop of the mission. The delegation visited Luhe High-Tech Zone, the incubator for foreign investors as well as two innovative companies in rubber and battery production.
The mission terminated with the seminar, 'Luxembourg, Innovation & High-Tech Hub of Europe', which was organised in collaboration with CHINALUX and with the support of the Nanjing Luhe Government.
A welcome speech was given by Mr Luc Decker, Consul General of Luxembourg in Shanghai and Executive Director of the Luxembourg Trade & Investment Office (LTIO).
Ms Na Shi, International Affairs Advisor of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, gave a presentation of Luxembourg overall, and the Luxembourg Economy in particular, in order to highlight the advantages and key sectors of the country.
Success stories were later shared by Mr Serhiy Palamar, Sourcify, and Mr Ning Wang, PingPong Europe & PingPong Financial Group.
A panel discussion, 'Luxembourg, Innovation & FinTech Hub of Europe, a China Connection', was moderated by Mr Yi Wang, Executive Director of CHINALUX, with Mr Ioannis Gaiganis, Business Development, BIL Manage Invest; Ms Jingya Tian, Senior Manager, BDO; Mr Wei Zhang, General Manager, China Everbright Bank Europe; and Mr Albert Pennacchio, Head of Institutional Banking, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg participating as panellists.
A B2B matchmaking session with Nanjing companies was also organised and a networking session between Luxembourg and Chinese business people closed the seminar.