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Xinzheng, a small city in central China's Henan province, has summarized its experience in implementing a new-style urbanization process during recent years, so as to share it with other cities in the region.
The city has undergone gradual but continuous changes since 2009 to arrive at today's fresh new look. It has demolished 156 villages and built 50,000 new houses for nearly more than 10,000 resettled households. It also established 34 ecological corridors, eight sewage treatment plants, a landfill and a garbage incineration and power generating plant. In 2009, Xinzheng started its urbanization process by reconfiguring the layout of its villages.
In 2012, the city further centralized the 146 living areas into 52 communities, which were categorized into three levels based on their development stage and functional location.
A community at the highest level, for example, has finished the transformation and upgrade of leading industries and the renovation of shantytowns, while the lowest level is still cultivating leading industries such as textiles and environmentally friendly architecture. The local government believes the scale and speed of rural labor migration to cities should depend on the size of urban industrial clusters and the number of new jobs. It has therefore made many efforts to build more industrial zones and highlight the development of pillar industries to increase jobs.
The government eliminated 500 companies with high pollution and high energy consumption, and encouraged profitable and environmentally friendly companies to move into business parks set aside for the use of farmers.
In Mengzhuang town, a farmers' business park has built 125,000-square-meter factories and is now home to 98 small and micro companies. In the past three years, the government used all the newly added land designated for construction to establish and expand industrial zones.
It also adjusted the city's leading industries from 12 sectors including nonmetal mineral manufacturing and smelting and pressing of ferrous metals to three, which are business logistics, food processing and biomedicines.
In 2015, the total added value of the three new leading industries reached nearly 33 billion yuan ($5.09 billion), accounting for almost 50 percent of the city's GDP. It has organized 12 free training sessions, set up 62 farmers' associations and reformed government services by reducing 262 administrative examination and approval items to 138 items, and cutting more than half of the related 1,310 procedures.To better finance the project, the government adopted such methods as financial leasing, trust funds and city investment bonds to attract social capital.
An annual forum on the Yellow Emperor, regarded as a founding ancestor of the Chinese nation, has helped Xinzheng city and the Yellow Emperor culture enjoys a widespread reputation, the event's organizers said.
This year's forum, which starts today, will include a painting and calligraphy exhibition as well as a seminar on the qualities of the emperor.
The legendary ancestor is said to have been born in Xinzheng in Central China's Henan province more than 5,000 years ago and is also known as the initiator of Chinese civilization. Since the cultural forum started in 2006, 56 speakers have delivered 68 speeches at the events. Noted historian Li Xueqin said that commemorating and paying tribute to the Yellow Emperor showed the Chinese nation's respect of history. Li Boqian, a retired professor from the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University, said remembrance of ancestors is a tradition in China and also forges important ties in keeping the country unified. Wang Liqun, a literature professor at Henan University, said the Yellow Emperor is the common ancestor of the Chinese people and they should study the initiatives of the emperor's time. Such speeches have helped Chinese learn more about the emperor, the culture he created and the role that culture plays in today, the forum's organizers said. Guests at the 2009 forum paid much attention to rock paintings in the Juci mountain region as research on the images had been organized the previous year.
Li Xueqin said the discovery of the paintings provided a great chance to learn about the Yellow Emperor culture as well as other Chinese cultures in ancient times.
Rock art expert Gong Tianfu said the pictures help make Henan more appealing and are another treasure of Xinzheng.
There are more than 3,000 rock paintings in the Juci mountains that were formed at least 4,000 years ago, Zhengzhou Daily reported. Xinzheng is fewer than 40 kilometers from Henan's capital Zhengzhou and has a population of 786,000. The city, home to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, is an important transport hub in China.
Historical and cultural celebrities born in the city include philosopher Han Fei of the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) poet Bai Juyi.
Local officials said the city focuses on the development of its sectors of logistics, food, tobacco, biological medicines and advanced manufacturing, as well as improvement of traditional manufacturing. Huangdi, whose personal name was said to be Gongsun Xuanyuan, was born in Xinzheng, Central China's Henan province, about 5,000 years ago. The ceremony was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage item by the State Council in 2008.
In 2007, Olympic champion Deng Yaping lit the flame for the ceremony's "sacred fire altar", which expresses the hope that the Chinese civilization will be passed down through the generations. The ceremony has also attracted Taiwan politicians and dignitaries, including Lien Chan, then chairman of the Kuomintang, Wu Poh-hsiung, former chairman of KMT, and Yok Mu-ming, chairman of Taiwan's New Party.
Hundreds of Chinese and overseas companies, associations and institutions, as well as more than 100,000 Chinese people, have participated. For many, the event promotes the traditional Chinese culture and instills a sense of belonging for overseas Chinese. Participants in the Silicon Valley round of the 2016 Sino-US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in February hope to make it to the finals in Shandong province. Ninety teams of students from Chinese and American universities and research institutions will participate in a heated competition in Qingdao, Shandong province, from Friday to Sunday.
The event will focus on projects in the sectors of healthcare, life sciences, information technology, the Internet and engineering technology. Since the end of 2015, a series of contests had been held in the United States, including on-site preliminary contests in Washington, Houston, Chicago and Silicon Valley and online contests. President of Rice University David Leebron, Chicago Innovation Exchange Center Executive Director John Flavin, Silicon Valley-based Tech Reactor Chief Innovation Officer Johann H.
Zhang said many project initiators during the preliminary contests showed a strong interest in joining the Sino-US science and technological innovation park jointly founded by SDU and the Qingdao city government. He also expects to help the student innovators build a foothold for their projects in Shandong, in addition to continuing to attract more projects and push joint research and development between China and its US counterparts.
As a leading university administrated by the Ministry of Education, SDU has devoted great emphasis to and foster student enthusiasm on startups and innovation. Zhang said the university is not aiming to build 'a factory' or 'a company' on campus, or pushing all students to initiate businesses or become entrepreneurs.
To this end, the SDU is forming what it calls a "business maker culture," aiming to root the concept deep in campus life by optimizing the institution's curriculum and stressing real practices.
The academic credit administration has included results from the startup and innovation classes and students' performances.
Resources to share classes of campus include opening the startup and innovation classes to the public and online courses.
SDU will include results from the classes in student files, evaluating their performance in the field. In recent years, the university has injected hefty capital into its innovation education and allocated a special fund for related projects and research. The teahouse is part of the university's efforts to reflect the nation's Internet Plus strategy and the government call to offer "spaces for makers". In 2015, more than 100 events including a career leader forum, startup English corner and university startup salons have been held. Some top-quality resources and projects from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have gathered at the makers space.
The new school is expected to benefit from the advantages of the university's branch located at Qilu Software Park, which is a cluster of small- and medium-sized enterprises and an incubation service park has been built there. A "maker's street", which is a street mainly serving those maker's demands, a center and an incubator have also been built. The Sino-US science and technological innovation park jointly founded by SDU and the Qingdao city government is a prime example. It is split in two areas - an international industrial park at the Qingdao High-tech Industrial Development Zone and an international research park that is under construction at a Qingdao campus zone attached to SDU.
SDU and the Qingdao High-tech Industrial Development Zone reached an agreement in October 2015 to build the international industrial park. The new campus not only provides excellent resources for students, but also creates top conditions for cross-disciplinary study as well as studies on emerging subjects. On June 13, 2015, SDU inked a strategic partnership with Haier Group to jointly build a 2025 Innovation and Startup Alliance, which is planned to accelerate the synergic effects among the university and the Fortune 500 company and the transfer of technological achievements. The alliance will set up more makers' spaces and startup funds, in a bid to provide solid support to students.
Currently, the Qingdao High-tech Industrial Development Zone has set up a 20-million-yuan angel investor fund while the alliance has attracted 1.3 billion yuan from 1,328 venture capital firms and 98 incubators. Some 30 companies including Glorious Oriental, Insigma under Zhejiang University and the US-headquartered Dow Chemical are founding members. More than 100 universities and occupational institutes from Guizhou and Shandong have expressed interest in cooperation. Xi'an Jiaotong University said its education system is rooted in internationalization and aims to "serve the country and build a global, first-class university". Xi'an Jiaoda, as it is colloquially known, aims to broaden its students' international perspectives, conduct research on global issues and expand cooperation.
It is working hard to shape its teaching methods with an international scope, develop first-class talents and attain research achievements. The university provides high-quality educational resources and a good learning environment for each of its students' development. It focuses on constructing training systems in line with international standards, and strives to cultivate professionals and top-notch innovative personnel who have "persistent beliefs, high moral character, first-class quality and strong innovation capabilities".
Xi'an Jiaotong University aims to boost international communication through various projects, such as dual degrees, student exchanges and joint training. To date, it has signed intercollegiate cooperation agreements with more than 200 universities in over 60 countries and regions. Under the program named Jiaotong University Students Visiting Study in World Famous Universities, it sends outstanding students to famous overseas universities for short-term study during the winter holiday. It also promotes various types of dual degrees and student exchange programs, such as the Sino-France 4 plus 4 project, summer studies, research and social practices.
Xi'an Jiaotong University has sent its students for short- and long-term studies at the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Columbia University in New York, the University of California, Berkeley, and other world-class universities. In 2015, an English practice summer course became compulsory for Xi'an Jiaotong University freshmen, with 90 native English teachers hired to teach and strengthen the students' English-speaking abilities. The university also set up a scholarship to attract outstanding foreign students in an aim to improve the proportion of international students. To support the Belt and Road Initiative, the university has established training programs to expand exchanges and cooperation with countries along the modern Silk Road. Xi'an Jiaotong University is strengthening its management by making use of cooperative projects.
As a result, its funds for foreign experts and projects have grown steadily, with its total funds and projects ranking among the nation's top universities. Talent recruitment projects created by Xi'an Jiaotong University have maintained sound relations with its foreign partners in building cooperation platforms, outlining courses and training personnel.
Promoted by a project named the Silk Road Senior International Seminar Series of International Economic Law, Xi'an Jiaotong University signed a training agreement with the Lauterpacht Center for International Law at the University of Cambridge and also founded a magazine called The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law with the Oxford University Press. The journal was the first English-language law journal jointly founded by the Oxford University Press and a Chinese university and is the first international law journal that has the support from the International Academy of Comparative Law. The seven bases introduced 38 scholars listed in the 1,000 Talent Plan, the nation's policy to attract overseas elites to work in China, three young scholars from the same plan and produced an academician.
Since its foundation in 1896 in Shanghai as Nanyang College, one of the earliest universities in modern China, Xi'an Jiaotong University has cultivated innovative talents using global education concepts and cooperating with colleges and universities around the world.
Since 1896, it has made major contributions to modern education in China by hiring foreign teachers, translating and publishing foreign textbooks and sending students abroad. From 1896 to 1921, the university has hired 29 foreign teachers in areas of law, diplomacy, motoring and other disciplines.
In 1898, the university founded the Nanyang College Translation and Publishing School, the first of its kind in modern China. That same year, the university sent its first group of students to foreign countries, and by the end of 1905, it had sent 47 students to Japan, the United States, Britain and Belgium, among whom seven received their doctorate degree and 10 received their master's. The college's overseas students in science and technology were the backbones of the Chinese American Student Association. Graduates from the university were excused from examinations to study in Britain based on the agreement they made at that time.
It established five schools, in science, management, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical motors, and two departments of foreign and Chinese languages and a research institute. The university also combined its science, engineering, management schools to train a number of its students, such as social activist Wang Daohan, entrepreneur Wang An and 21 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. During the 1930s, the university was honored as the Oriental Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its advanced teaching and management methods.
At this time, the gathered renowned professors and scholars such as Qiu Weiyu, professor and innovator of Chinese modern physical education who received his master's from MIT, and Zhang Tingjin, professor of electrical engineering and founder of China's radio industry who received his master's from Harvard University. They brought back the world's latest educational philosophies and knowledge, laying a foundation for the university's development. The university also aimed to provide students with a comfortable learning environment and a broad international perspective. The textbooks used by students at that time were mostly foreign language textbooks introduced from international universities. Qian Xuesen, a scientist and alumnus of Xi'an Jiaotong University, likened the course he studied at the university to the one he studied at MIT's Department of Aeronautical Engineering. A total of 125 universities from 30 countries and regions have joined the alliance, with 10 other institutes having sent their applications. The embassies of Britain, Egypt and Iran in China, as well as the Australia Group of Eight, an alliance of its universities, have also been in discussion with the university, colloquially known as Xi'an Jiaoda, to spur cooperation. Less than one year after the establishment of the Silk Road University Alliance, a number of cooperative and exchange projects have been carried out, including intercollegiate exchanges, personnel training, scientific research and cooperation, policy research, medical services and establishment of sub-alliances. Xi'an Jiaotong University has also been carrying out cooperation plans with 29 overseas universities who are members of the alliance.
The China West Region Quality Science and Technology Research Institute, a think tank established by Xi'an Jiaotong University, the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine and the Shaanxi Provincial Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine, will start conducting research on major national projects such as the Road and Belt Initiative and China Manufacturing strategy. Wang Shuguo, president of Xi'an Jiaotong University, said the Belt and Road Initiative is vital to the development of countries along the modern-day Silk Road.
Wang said the alliance has created opportunities for universities in China and for countries and regions along the modern Silk Road routes to connect and has promoted cultural exchanges. Xi'an Jiaotong University is also looking to construct the China West Region Scientific and Technological Innovation Harbor, a harbor city for scientific and technological innovation. The innovation harbor is designed to be built at the south banks of the Weihe River in Xixian New Area, a national-level urban development zone between Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, and Xianyang, Xi'an's neighboring city. The construction plan and overall development of the port have been completed and preparations for the projects are underway. Wang Shuguo (center), president of Xi'an Jiaotong University, signs a cooperation deal with Pusan National University and LG Electronics Inc from South Korea , through its Silk Road University Alliance, which promotes intercollegiate exchanges and scientific research.
The Czech Republic is primarily and existentially connected with Europe and the European Union, while also enjoying historic and very close ties with the United States.
Individual European countries and the European Union as a whole enjoy close relations with China, which was confirmed in 2007 with the conclusion of a strategic partnership.
China has the second-largest economy in the world and therefore represents an important and key economic partner. Lately, Central and Eastern Europe has become an area where China has begun to develop a new strand of collaboration. The Czech Republic harbors the ambition to serve as the key partner in Central Europe for China, and that is why the development of relations with China has been a priority for our government's foreign policy since the beginning. In addition to the 16+1 platform our country is also part of the new Silk Road - or the Belt and Road Initiative - project, whose members include dozens of countries from around the world.
I consider our efforts to establish ourselves as China's financial center within the EU as being crucial. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries is set to take root in many different areas. There is now a new direct flight between Prague and Beijing, which will be followed by a direct connection between Prague and Shanghai in the coming weeks. Tourism has already felt the success of Czech-Chinese cooperation - 285,000 Chinese tourists came to the Czech Republic last year, which represents a 35 percent increase from 2014. The flagship area of Czech-Chinese collaboration is healthcare, where we are now focusing on medical tourism and spa and rehabilitation care. For the development of our relations in all of these fields, meetings and discussions between representatives of both countries on the highest level are essential. The main priorities of my journey were to foster cooperation between the two countries with regard to the economy, finance, healthcare, spa tourism, the tourist industry and the related transport infrastructure, industry, sport and university education. However, above all, I consider as essential those moments that cannot be transformed into contracts or converted into numbers. I am especially honored that after Berlin and London, Prague will be the next European city that the Chinese president will visit. A Czech-made light aircraft attracts the attention of visitors in the Western China International Fair held in October in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
The initiative was part of the company's efforts to support China's ongoing Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious plan proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to revitalize the ancient Silk Road land and sea trade routes linking the East and West. The flagship subsidiary of HNA Group, Hainan Airlines has been safely operating for 23 years, realizing more than 5 million hours of safe flights. The fourth-largest carrier in China was ranked one of the world's safest airlines three times by Germany's Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre and was awarded the title of a five-star airline for five consecutive years by Skytrax, a London-based aviation website and source of airline ratings and reviews. Its parent company HNA Group began as an aviation transportation operator in 1993 in Hainan province. The group manages 11 listed companies and generated revenues of nearly 190 billion yuan in 2015. After more than 20 years of painstaking efforts, HNA now ranks 99th among China's Top 500 Enterprises and last year made its Fortune 500 debut, ranking 464th with annual revenue of over $25.6 billion.
To promote the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, HNA Group has been actively carrying out overseas investments and acquisitions since 2010 to expand.
It established more than 30 subsidiaries by the end of 2015 in 14 countries and regions in such sectors as aviation, logistics, finance, real estate, hotel and tourism. The group purchased two container leasing companies, GE Seaco in 2011 and Cronos in 2015, to develop its oceanic logistics. HNA is dedicated to creating a new business model that highlights corporate social responsibility. To date, it has spent more than 1 billion yuan in public charities, developing such activities as HNA Brightness Action, Wells for Hainan Arid Areas, HNA Social Innovation and Business Competition and HNA Send Love Home. The group also launched a nonpublic offering foundation - the Hainan Province Cihang Foundation - in October 2010 and donated about one-fifth of its equity to the foundation three years later. HNA Group has won many awards, such as the China Charity Award and the United Nations' South-South Award for Corporate Social Responsibility. It has also been granted several honorary titles, like the Outstanding Enterprise on China's Corporate Social Responsibility List, for its charity endeavors. During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the group will develop new flight routes and provide more transportation convenience to facilitate cooperation between China and countries along the Belt and Road routes. With an ambition of becoming a world-class conglomerate, HNA Group said it would continue to innovate and pursue excellence in the coming years to make greater contributions to society. Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague welcomes Hainan Airlines' first direct flight from Beijing to Prague, with a "water gate" ceremony, on September 23 last year. The Czech Republic is now China's second-largest trading partner after Poland among the 16 Central and Eastern European countries, and China has replaced Poland to become the third-largest trading partner of the Czech Republic globally. Outside of the European Union, China is the most important trading partner of the Central European country. CEFC China Energy Co Ltd increased its stake in the Czech-Slovak investment group J&T Finance last year.

Acquisitions by CEFC China have injected enormous sums of money into the Czech market and boosted local market transactions. Other Chinese companies with businesses in the Czech Republic include financial institutions, airlines and smart device manufacturers.
Bank of China set up a branch in the Central European country and China UnionPay has promoted its bank card business there. Home Credit China, for example, a subsidiary of Czech-based PPF Group, now provides financial services in 24 provinces and has 33,000 employees in the country. Other Czech companies engaging in automobile, rail transportation and machine tool sectors have also tapped the Chinese market for years.
China-Czech cooperation has a strong potential for further development, especially in the machinery, aviation, automobile, energy, biology, nanotechnology and new materials sectors. China's new development plans in the coming years will continue to offer opportunities to foreign businesses including those from the Czech Republic. During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), China will put more priority on innovation-driven strategy, energy conservation and environmental protection, in a bid to promote its industrial and economic upgrades and build a resource conserving and environmentally friendly society.
The country will largely increase its investment in foreign countries in the coming five years, and plans to exceed $500 billion. Guests from the Czech Republic celebrate the opening of the Czech consulate in Chengdu in September last year.
The deal, signed last year, is China's largest investment in the Czech Republic in recent years, following which both parties will integrate strategy, culture, business and corporate institutions. Yin Jian'an, chairman of Shaangu Power, said the transaction is not only a new attempt at capital operation, but also an integration of superior resources to enhance the manufacturing and service capability for the new "compressor plus industrial steam turbine" system.
EKOL is a leader in the design, manufacturing and maintenance of power engineering, specializing in gas turbines, steam turbines, steam boilers and comprehensive power-energy systems and assemblies. Shaangu Power, based in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, is a subsidiary of Shaanxi Blower Group, a manufacturer, system solution provider and infrastructure operator in the energy conversion field. Shaangu Power is the world's largest provider of axial compressors and energy recovery and power generation equipment. The company has established an industrial service center, with more than 300 technicians providing 24-hour online service for its nearly 100 clients in China and overseas. Business-to-business communication has its own set of rules different from common communications. If we add to that the regional specificities of the European environment and the nuances of Czech customs, the best solution is to find a reliable media partner in the Czech Republic: one with vast experience in B2B communication and a professional team of editors. The Technick tdenk magazine, published by one of the largest Czech publishing houses, Business Media CZ, has been operating in the Czech and Slovak markets for 64 years. It has a wide subscription base and a high success rate of advertisements published both in the printed version of the magazine and on its website.
A large part of the circulation is regularly sent through direct mail to company executives, decision-makers, government institutions, state administration authorities and technical high schools and universities. A team of experienced editors and graphic designers will assist you with publishing as well as with the creation of advertisements, presentation articles or professional papers, interviews or any other formats you choose for your presentation or inquiry. When it comes to exchange of information and communication in different languages, it is a major challenge as the Chinese and European language backgrounds are very different. In compliance with legal requirements, all the product information must be published in the local language - in the case of EU countries this is a total of 24 official languages.
Some importers are facing major difficulties in EU markets with documentation translated by free machine translation service or cheap translation agencies with unprofessional translators.
Also at meetings, the correct interpretation is crucial to understand your business partners from other countries correctly. In this aspect, Technick tdenk has a professional team for translation - from English into Czech or from Czech to English. The Czech Republic is an open economy in the middle of Europe, between the East and West, doing two-thirds of its business with other EU countries.
The latest statistics show the industrial sectors account for 47 percent of GDP, with the automotive industry being the strongest sector.
Cooperation with China also grows significantly every year and more and more Chinese companies use the Czech market as a gateway to other European economies.
This year is special for the Czech Republic and its relationship with China not only due to President Xi Jinping's visit, but also due to the fact that this year, China will be the partner country to the region's most important international engineering fair, which takes place on Oct 3-7 in Brno. The story is written by Andrea Cejnarov, editor in chief of Technick tdenk, and Lszl Jankovics, general manager of STAR Czech. The Technick tdenk magazine is a widely read industry-oriented magazine in the Czech Republic, with a history of more than 60 years.
The Shandong government welcomed companies in the global top 500 to invest in the coastal province at a "Shandong Night" promotion on Sunday during the 2016 China Development Forum in Beijing. The province has more than 3,000 kilometers of coastline, accounting for one-sixth of China's total coastline, and is the third-largest economy among China's provincial regions with about $1 trillion in gross domestic product last year, roughly the size of Indonesia's GDP. Shandong Night was co-organized by the Shandong government and China's State Council Development Research Center. Shandong Governor Guo Shuqing, 17 mayors from the province and representatives of key Shandong enterprises that have overseas operations met a number of entrepreneurs of the world top 500 enterprises and many other industrialists at the event, and discussed future cooperation. The main international companies investing in Shandong include Elecricite de France, the Man Group of Germany, General Motors from the United States, Kia Motor Group and LG Electronics from South Korea, Royal P&O Nedlloyd of the United Kingdom, Pirelli SPA of Italy and Volvo from Sweden. Their projects are mainly located in the cities of Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai, Rizhao, Jining and Linyi. Citizen Watch of Japan closed its branch in Shanghai and upgraded the Zibo company to its headquarters in China in 2011, because of the robust development of the latter. Zhang Weike, foreign investment division director of the Shandong commerce bureau said: "Supplementary investment and projects have become an important channel for Shandong to attract foreign funds.
Ericsson Chairman Leif Johansson is optimistic about Shandong's high and new technology industries. He said Shandong has a market full of vitality and the prospects of bilateral cooperation between Shandong and Ericsson are "exciting" as the Shandong government aims to build a 5G network infrastructure and improve its service abilities. Li Guangjie, a researcher of economics with the Shandong Academy of Social Sciences, said the province's main focus on the world's top 500 enterprises shows its strong intentions to upgrade its industries and restructure its economy through the spillover effects of high and new technologies and advanced management.
Toni Hagelberg, president of Volvo's construction equipment company in China, said the company has invested $256 million in Jinan since it set up in the provincial city in 2010. The company was Volvo's only research and development center in the field in China and serves Volvo's global operations. The Jinan-based China National Heavy Duty Truck Goup makes its trucks more fuel-efficient through cooperation with the Man Group. It exported 27,800 trucks last year, and has been the largest heavy-duty truck exporter in China for 11 consecutive years. Loctite was the first Fortune 500 listed company to set up in Yantai, establishing a joint venture named Henke Loctite China Co with the Yantai Machinery Research Institute in 1987. Zhang said Yantai has successfully attracted 97 Fortune 500 companies during the past three decades, including Mitsubishi, LG, General Motor (GM) and Total. Foreign companies are mainly engaged in areas such as automotive and components manufacturing, ship building, business services, electronic information technology, new energy and culture development. Zhang said the GM production base in Yantai is one of GM's largest in China, with total investment having reached $3.5 billion. Zhang said Yantai would continue to support key foreign invested projects launched by companies such as China Resources Co, Heraeus Group and Jurong International in the coming years. The latest figures from the Yantai government show there are more than 3,000 companies from over 90 countries and regions in the city. Those companies have brought in 13,500 investment projects, some of which play a significant role in the country. Companies in Yantai have also made breakthroughs in overseas expansion in the past few years, during which 274 domestic companies have invested in 428 projects in 66 countries and regions. The Yantai Economic and Technological Development Zone ranked sixth among 219 national-level economic zones China in a recent comprehensive development evaluation. Zhang said many companies showed great interest in investing in the China-South Korea Industrial Park.
In 2015, Yantai's exports to South Korea were valued at $11.08 billion, accounting for one-third of those from Shandong. Officials said that investment projects initiated by South Korea companies such as Hyundai Motor Co and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co are progressing rapidly. The construction of a Sino-South Korea New Energy Vehicle Industrial Park, Sino-South Korea Medical Equipment Industrial Park and South Korea Goods Trading Centers are also advancing well. This year's fair, which opened on Wednesday, pays special attention to businesspeople from developed countries in Europe and America, said Ouyang Jinquan, head of the Zhongshan bureau of commerce. He said exhibitions at the fair focus primarily on cooperation with Europe and the Americas, as well as innovation-driven development. Zhongshan's Party chief Xue Xiaofeng and the Mayor Chen Liangxian have led teams to visit Europe, the United States and Canada to promote the city to more entrepreneurs.
A China-Europe forum on the central government's Internet plus strategy, energy saving and environmental protection was held on Thursday. Ouyang said projects signed at this year's fair involved high-end fields such as health and medicines, advanced equipment manufacturing and new materials. Projects in ecotourism, modern logistics, e-commerce and commercial services were also initiated at the fair. A project to be financed by Shenzhen-based Huaxun Fangzhou Co was the biggest investment deal signed at this year's fair, totaling more than 3.16 billion yuan. Nearly 600 delegates from 42 countries and regions attended the second Zhongshan Consultative Conference on the Economic Development and Foreign Enterprises Forum on Wednesday. The top talent fair, also called the third Top Talent Networking Zhongshan, was also an important part of the event.
Participants at another forum discussed how to improve Zhongshan's innovation and entrepreneurship environment. A conference was also held to promote research cooperation between industry and universities and innovation-driven development in Zhongshan.
Zhongshan, the home city of modern China's founding father Sun Yat-sen, is an important advanced manufacturing and modern services hub in Guangdong.
Agreements for 144 projects, with combined investment of $6.32 billion, were signed during the Zhongshan Trade, Investment and Top Talent Fair.
It neighbors the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and has a permanent resident population of 3.21 million.
A major city at the heart of the Pearl River Delta region, Zhongshan is at the forefront of economic development in South China's Guangdong province, according to Xue Xiaofeng, the city's Party chief.
Xue introduced the city's many investment opportunities to businesspeople from around the world during the fair. He also spoke of the Tsuihang New Area, proposed by Guangdong Party chief Hu Chunhua in 2015, which is planned to become Zhongshan's industrial and innovation center. Covering nearly 230 square kilometers of land, the new area is divided into five districts covering innovation, advanced manufacturing, cultural exchanges, personnel training and international tourism, plus a central business district. By the end of 2015, the new area had attracted 75 projects in the fields of biomedicine, medical appliances, smart devices and healthcare services, with combined investment of 68 billion yuan ($10.44 billion).
The Sino-Swiss (European) Industrial Park, part of the new area, is an "important platform for international investment and technology and cultural cooptation", Xue said. The park had attracted 18 projects as of February and is negotiating on another 14 projects, covering new energy, advanced equipment manufacturing, electronic information and modern services. Zhongshan is now home to 83 European companies and eight Swiss companies, and has lower labor costs than Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, according to Xue.
He said the city also highlights the protection of intellectual property rights, and it was awarded the title of IP Demonstration City by the State Intellectual Property Ofice. To attract more professionals, Zhongshan launched a talent festival - the Top Talent Networking Zhongshan - in 2014, as part of the trade and talent fair. A highlight of this year's festival, from Wednesday through Friday, is a project matchmaking activity, which has attracted nearly 40 European and US companies, 42 Chinese and overseas PhD holders, and representatives from about 100 local companies. A talent development blue paper was issued during the fair, which analyzed the city's human resources and forecast the trend of Zhongshan's talent strategy.
This year's Zhongshan Trade, Investment and Top Talent Fair had a theme of "Open Innovation, Win-win Cooperation". Delegates from 42 countries and regions attend the Zhongshan Trade, Investment and Top Talent Fair held from Wednesday to Friday. Barbados' diversified economy comprises major contributions from tourism and financial services, supported by activity in the energy, agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Commercial relations between Barbados and China have been cemented by several reciprocal trade missions and more than 20 economic agreements.
China already plays an important role in the socio-economic development of Barbados and has funded major construction projects such as the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, the Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference and Cultural Center, and the renovation of the island's iconic Cheapside Market building. The government is finalizing plans for numerous tourism projects including a $600 million development of the Pierhead Marina and discussions are also underway to build a $420 million sewerage plant that will significantly enhance the water distribution network.
In many ways, the recent history of Sam Lord's Castle tells the story of tourism in Barbados today. China has played an important part in its redevelopment via a $170 million preferential loan to fund the project. It was the first major preferential loan China has made to the tourism sector in Barbados since President Xi Jinping announced in 2013 that $1.5 billion in preferential loans would be made available to the Caribbean. China's Ambassador to Barbados Wang Ke said at the groundbreaking ceremony that the investment wrote "a new chapter in the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Barbados, making China the only country to offer large-scale preferential loans to finance infrastructure projects in Barbados". Barbados already has a well-established tourism sector but the government is determined to upgrade its facilities futher. This approach is best illustrated by the Sam Lord's Castle, which will be powered by renewable energy sources and aims to achieve platinum certification under the international Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. There are many other projects under discussion that offer significant investment opportunities. The Pierhead Marina development would create berths for 80 superyachts, enhancing Barbados' ability to cater to the luxury market. These projects carry a potential investment value of $600 million, outlining their importance. If you feel this image is in violation of our Terms of Service, please use the following form to have it manually reviewed by a staff member. As I'm pouring in the sugar, flour, butter and almonds, my boyfriend scoots over appreciatively asking what I'm baking. Bread baking in Brussels, Take Two!For our second foray into bread baking lessons, we opted for a summertime course.
As my time in Belgium and more specifically Brussels draws to an end, I feel it’s only appropriate to give Brussels a little appraisal. Breakfast is regularly touted as the most important meal of the day and so goes the saying 'Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper'. On one of our last hot summer evenings, I ambled down to Parvis Saint-Gilles  in Brussels, to the launch party above Maison du Peuple. The Nationality Guessing GameThis is a game which can be played anywhere in the world, but it's best suited to big, cosmopolitan cities. Half our furniture is being sold as we realise it’s just not possible to keep everything unless we want our new place to look like an overstuffed furniture showroom. And everyone hates the average 45% income tax, and like me, probably let out a little sob when they saw their first payslip and the huge difference between the gross and the net salary. I could go on with my praises and whinges but I feel my posts over the last year or so have adequately covered most of these! And as roaming charges have gradually lowered due to European laws, the price of roaming has becoming increasingly more attractive than the rates I pay in Belgium when I’m not on roaming. Of course, when I’m in Belgium, I have a certain number of free minutes, free text messages and data that I can use under the terms of my monthly contract, but this is only to call and text other fellow Belgium dwellers. Perhaps if the quality of the network or customer service was better than in other countries, I could reassure myself that I am paying for a better product, but this is not the case.
However I am not here to argue the nutritional merits of eating cereal in the morning, I want to rant about the eye-watering prices of my preferred choice of breakfasting in Belgium.
This is of course the higher end of the prices, but for the same cereal in England I will pay on average a third of what I pay in Brussels. One could argue that the higher price is due to lower demand for breakfast cereals from consumers on the continent, hence pushing up the prices.
Secondly, a large proportion of breakfast aisles in supermarkets are dedicated to breakfast cereals, so if it is such an unpopular form of breakfasting, why would so much supermarket shelving be filled with cereals? Most of what we pay for a breakfast cereal is not for the quality of the ingredients, or distribution, but in fact for the brand’s marketing and advertising budget, as well as a nice heavy profit margin for the breakfast cereal brands. Now that my personal stock of mueslis hauled over from the UK has diminished to a couple of flakes and raisins, I am once again eyeing up the purse-plundering prices of the breakfast fare in Belgium and begging UK visitors to bring me some precious muesli gold to tide me over until my next trip back to my homeland… So friends, family, if you’re wondering what to buy me, some Dorset Cereals please! This is a game which can be played anywhere in the world, but it’s best suited to big, cosmopolitan cities. Ok, a girl can dream, but this has always puzzled me as there is not a drop of Russian or Eastern European blood in me, which shows that when you mix French, Italian and British you get an unknown quantity, or a mongrel, as my Dad likes to say… thanks Dad.
So if any long-lost Russian oligarch uncle of mine is reading and wishes to bestow any fortune to me, I’m here waiting in Brussels! It’s been a long time coming and I’ve finally taken the plunge and begun my driving lessons. My main experience of driving on the streets of Brussels so far has been that death-defying task: successfully crossing the road.
Of course, you can do the same in other countries, but you always need another experienced driver in the car with you, which, well, come to think of it, does seem much safer… In any case, if all goes to plan, I will be unleashed on the roads in July, so watch out fellow Brusselites! Firstly I was surprised from the outset of how open-minded and easy it was to settle oneself in Brussels as a foreigner. This is not a post which should be taken as denigrating the UK, by the way, since my previous post teased out my deeper love for my fatherland since being an expat. As a semi-experienced expat, I’ve had a few years to reflect upon both the ups and downs of living abroad, away from familiarity and home comforts. Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones and have had good experiences so far, but trust me, I’ve had days, weeks, months when it’s been tough. I’ve always craved living abroad, so perhaps the leaps to France and Belgium in my life thus far haven’t been too intimidating, as I actively relished the opportunities and challenges.
That daily lived experience of being different changes your own opinions of yourself and forces you to reflect upon your habits and idiosyncrasies, which are sculpted by where we have grown up. Coping and adapting to another country, in another language, forces you to become more self-reliant and to laugh at yourself. One of the most surprising outcomes of living abroad has been that I have cultivated a greater love and affection for Great Britain than I ever had when I lived there. The expat life has bequeathed me a more informed perspective on politics, cultural differences and my country. Living in Brussels is, as I’ve mentioned previously, a hybrid space, a cultural melting pot of many different nationalities, and perhaps not a true representation of Belgium and what a Belgian is. My friends keep asking when I’m coming back, and honestly I’m not yet sure when or if I’ll ever move back to the United Kingdom. Puzzled, I queried how that could be, and noticing his extraordinarily calm tone of voice, I just thought he was playing a joke on me and would actually turn up 5 minutes later at my office laughing at my gullibility. I genuinely believed it must be stolen since he had parked the car legally, in a normal spot, there were plenty of cars parked on the same street and the trams were able to pass by easily; we had heard them all morning from 5 am shuffling by in their usual manner. Brussels local authorities have this particular unpleasant and legally questionable habit of placing signs banning parking in particular streets, on particular dates and times with very little notice or warning.
In the best case scenarios, Sneaky ‘no parking’ Sign Syndrome will strike 24 hours before said parking prohibition will take effect, which I still believe to be a wholly insufficient period of notice.
People-oriented policies are the core of the new-style urbanization, the government said, which requires the provision of equal public services and political treatment to urban and rural residents. Some Chinese classics, such as Records of the Grand Historian written by Sima Qian during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), included the Yellow Emperor. They talked about the relationship between the Yellow Emperor and the Chinese nation as well as why it is necessary for Chinese to worship the ancestor and learn related culture. It would help attract more Chinese and foreigners to visit the mountain and Xinzheng and help both the city and province prosper, he said.

The Beijing-Guangzhou railway and high-speed railway, Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao expressway and national highway 107 pass through Xinzheng. He has been recognized as the earliest leader to unite China and the ancestor of the Han Chinese, according to Chinese mythology. In 2006, there was only one sponsor, the Henan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. It has also played an important role for promoting the peaceful reunification of the mainland and Taiwan, the government said.
From 2009 to 2012, it was named one of the most internationally influential worship activities by People's Daily. They attracted more than 120 projects and 41 teams were chosen to take part in a road show. Gutierrez, Haier Group Rotating Chairman Zhou Yunjie, Trend Micro Founder and former director of Intel Research Center in China Wu Gansha, Director of Information Science and Engineering School of SDU Huang Weiping and experts on startups will share their insights during the events.
They not only serve the few who are ambitious to start their own businesses and keenly interested in innovation, but are also open for every student here. It has offered special training camps for students with strong innovation abilities and given special certificates for quality performances in building and operating virtual companies. The park will focus on biology, pharmaceuticals, materials, energy, oceans, the environment, information and transportation.
The Shenzhen Virtual University Park and Suzhou's higher learning innovation district are actively encouraging local universities to join the park. By the end of 2015, Xi'an Jiaotong University had 1,825 international students from 97 countries and regions.
Currently, courses on Chinese and international commercial law, Chinese culture, an MBA program and engineering management are being constructed.
The university is the only institute in China to have three bases for international cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Bureau of Foreign Experts. Urban has visited Xi'an Jiaotong University on a number of occasions and has contributed greatly to the establishment of Xi'an Jiaotong University-Germany international dielectric research center. Xi'an Jiaotong University has successfully implemented seven education plans jointly designed by the Ministry of Education and the State Bureau of Foreign Experts. The scholars working in the bases have published a number of important research results in top international journals such as Nature and Science, and have won a number of National Natural Science awards. In 1955, the State Council decided to move the university to Xi'an, upholding its longtime traditions while promoting the internationalization of education through the overseas cooperation, innovating teaching resources and building research platforms.
It built a laboratory with the University of New South Wales and a research institute with the University of Liverpool and established the Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Beijing is currently building high-level relations with Germany, the United Kingdom and France and has entered into strategic partnerships with all three. Proof of this was seen in the establishment of the 16+1 initiative, which serves as the official platform for collaboration between the 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the People's Republic of China. I am convinced that mutual cooperation is and will be beneficial for both sides in many ways. Our unencumbered economy is the second-fastest growing in the European Union and our healthy and stable financial sector is an unquestionable national asset. We also have the ambition to be a regional transport and logistics hub by taking advantage of our favorable geographical position in the heart of Europe. The strengthening and intensifying of our cooperation has already led to great success, with a massive boom coming in aviation and tourism. Our future plan is to connect Prague with one of China's largest economic centers, Chengdu. Chinese tourists are gravitating to our country more and more and enjoy spending their money here.
During my visit, 31 agreements and memoranda were signed in various fields with particular emphasis on specific cooperation in healthcare, education and business. Such moments came during my personal meetings with representatives of the People's Republic of China, which symbolize the strong basis for the development of our future cooperation.
This is an important event since it marks the first visit of a Chinese president to the Czech Republic, and I am sure that we will continue with the topics raised during my recent visit to China in the autumn. On the occasion of this upcoming visit, the Czech Republic will be the only European stop for the Chinese president, which is testament to the dynamic development of Czech-Chinese relations. It is now a conglomerate that covers six business sectors including aviation, real estate, tourism, finance, logistics and eco-tech, with total assets of more than 600 billion yuan ($92.3 billion) and nearly 180,000 employees worldwide. It also established Urumqi Air in 2013, Fuzhou Airlines in 2014 and Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines in 2015 by cooperating with local governments and companies to help create an aerial Silk Road route.
The group has considered CSR a core business development strategy for the past two decades.
Cihang Foundation is now the largest single shareholder of HNA Group and also serves as an important platform for HNA to fulfill its social responsibilities and commitments. It will also create high-quality tourist products and travel routes for those countries, the company said. In 2015, bilateral trade between the two countries hit $11 billion, according to China's statistics.
It was the biggest investment by China into Czech Republic's manufacturing industry in recent years. The Chinese company also acquired several Czech companies covering the beer, tourism and aviation industries, and became a partner of the Czech national football team.
Hainan Airlines launched a direct route between Beijing and Prague last year, and Huawei, ZTE and Coolpad have been active in the local telecommunications markets. And companies from the two countries are welcome to enhance cooperation in such sectors as smart cities, telecom services, e-commerce, online tourism and software development. Its products include axial compressors, centrifugal compressors, centrifugal blowers, large fans and steam turbines. Its sales network has extended overseas to regions including Germany, South Korea, Russia, India, Brazil and Turkey. Many of the company's energy-saving products, such as the 5,000-cubic-meter turbine systems for blast furnaces and large air separation units, boast world-class technology and performance. One of the award-winning technologies that retrieve heat and pressure in metallurgy was listed in the Top 10 Energy Efficiency Best Practices And Best Available Technologies earlier this year by the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation. It has also installed distant monitoring systems on more than 1,000 units to detect potential problems. It is important to not only properly select the form of communication, but to also have sufficient knowledge of the target group and the proper distribution channels.
The variety of languages in Europe is significant with its 285 languages spoken in 50 countries. The interpreter not only has to be perfectly skilled in the languages of interpretation, but also has to know the topics of the talks.
Vice-general Manager Yang Bing said the company expanded from 11 employees to more than 300 over 10 years, and its registered capital volume has increased from $1.85 million to nearly $30 million. Last year, 25 of the world's top 500 corporations increased their investment in the province, along with some newcomers from South Korea, Australia, Israel and France." According to the bureau, two-thirds of the projects funded by foreign companies are in Qingdao, Yantai and Jinan, and more than half of them are manufacturing industries. There are almost 100 Fortune 500 companies already in Yantai," said Zhang Yongxia, mayor of Yantai. Langchao LG Digital Mobile Communications Co has the largest CDMA mobile phone manufacturing base in China located in the city, and CIMC Raffles has the largest semi-submersible platform manufacturer in the nation.
It has paid more attention to Europe and America since last year to develop local emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing and medicines. There was also a research tour of the city's Tsuihang New Area for overseas businesspeople.
These include 24 health and pharmaceutical projects worth about $550 million, accounting for about 8.7 percent of the total investment at the fair. It involves research and development related to radar and unmanned aircraft communications.
This was one of the largest international promotion activities that Zhongshan has hosted for attracting investment, Ouyang said. Hong Yan, head of the city's human resources and social security bureau, said that this year's talent fair focuses on individuals and teams that have a strong intention to innovate and start businesses in Zhongshan. Ten industrial clusters flourish in the city, including equipment manufacturing, electronics and telecommunications, home appliances as well as textiles and clothing.
The Confucius Institute now operates from the University of the West Indies to improve the understanding of Chinese culture and language. The five-star resort was destroyed by fire in 2010, but construction has begun on a resort on the site that, when completed, will rival any other tourist destination in the world for its luxury, business and well-being facilities. It will give the national economy a boost and enhance the competitiveness of Barbados as a high-end tourism destination," she added. A dedicated terminal for cruise ships is also being designed that would free up the island's main commercial port in Bridgetown by separating cruise traffic from cargo vessels.
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He is already envisaging his late afternoon snack- gouter in French- and then he spots the spinach in the bowl and looks at me horrified. Albeit quite a few months ago, I thought it might be handy for those seeking bread baking lessons in Brussels, and a useful comparison to the first course we undertook last winter. On Thursday 5th September I attended their launch party for their Beer for Life crowdfunding and the release of their first beer, Delta. As soon as mid-July hits, the streets become quieter, the pavements less crowded and the city buzz dims down.
As I have been flat hunting and casting an eye over housing in my new city, all I can say to you Brussels is that you have been very kind to us. I must also congratulate Brussels on your low, low council tax or taxe d’habitation as it’s known in French, because, well… there is none. I don’t know whether customer service, administration or income tax should be nominated for this category.
I was hesitant as to whether to slip this into the bad category, but I realised that although it can be pretty useless here, it’s not the worst and it mostly just irritates me.
I’m excited for the next step, but will definitely miss my friends here, and the cosmopolitan nature of Brussels. I frequently lose network, the mobile internet is slow, and customer service, well, don’t make me laugh!
In other countries, we can offset the price of a brand-new, spanking phone with the mobile phone contract.
Apparently this is due to an anti-competition law which forbids phones being used to sell mobile phone contracts. However, time constraints also play into the morning meal, so often, a big bowl of cereal (of which I consider muesli and porridge to be part and parcel) is the most convenient.
I have noticed heavily inflated prices in France, but not to the extent of the prices found in Belgium. Brands such as Nestle and Kellogg’s will often pay a premium to have the best placement on supermarket shelves, at eye level of the unsuspecting consumer. Brussels exists in a quasi-Highway Code free land at times, with its haphazard signposting, drivers’ loose perception of speed limits, a general lack of courtesy to fellow drivers and a strong reflex to the car horn. I’m occasionally accused of being a bit cynical about Brussels and not always appreciating its positive aspects. In fact, being an expatriate seems to be the norm more than being a Belgian here, where we all feel like kin, swimming around in this little cosmopolitan bubble which is Brussels.
At this point I would like to specify that I applaud the food more than the service, the latter being a well-known gripe amongst us expats. I think I visited more tourist attractions in those 8 days then I have done in the past 8 years in the UK and suddenly I understood why all foreigners find the UK expensive. Of course they are sold in many countries, but only Belgium has the most extensive range, breadth and quality of different speculoos and derivative products. I’m a strong proponent of the expat life and truly believe everyone should be an expat once in their life.
Knowing that I’m not too far from home and having family in France has inevitably eased the process for me.
Because you learn bucketloads about yourself, your limits, and you get a much clearer perspective on your homeland.
It makes you more self-aware, more understanding of how your local culture is perceived by outsiders, more understanding of other cultures, better informed and I feel it makes you a better-rounded person. The number of embarrassing incidents increased exponentially during my first expat experience in France.
Seeing and experiencing both the positive and negative aspects of other countries has allowed me to better critique and analyse my home country. I’m not saying you cannot be informed having never tasted the expat life, but the lived experience is always much richer than that gleaned from news or television. However, living in this incredibly cosmopolitan environment has opened my eyes up to other countries which I haven’t yet had the opportunity to live in, a vicarious experience of other places unveiled to me by my fellow expatriates. Because as much as I adore my country, I also love what life as an expat is offering me now… and that each country you move to enriches those experiences further. I repeated my question, each time in response to his calm observations that the car simply wasn’t where he had parked it the night before. Often we will not use our car during the week, so if we do not pass by our car for a whole week, how will we know that a parking prohibition has been established at the last moment?
To enhance the employable skills and entrepreneurship abilities of farmers in urban areas, the city government launched six projects, including training, setting up farmers' associations and improving the urban-rural social security system.
Later, the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and the All China Taiwanese Association joined the organizing committee in 2009. To further encourage the students, SDU set up a maker's space at the university - a teahouse named Phoenix Tea. The university has developed a thorough English teaching curriculum for graduate students in order to allow them to improve their teaching content and methods. It was listed as a top university in China in terms of the number of projects and achievements. Tong Li School, a joint school with Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been established at Xi'an Jiaotong University for 14 years. Given the importance of the People's Republic of China and its cooperation with other European countries, it is clear that the deepening of Czech-Chinese relations is one of the priorities of our government. The People's Republic of China is currently the fourth-largest business partner of the Czech Republic and this relationship is constantly being reinforced. This will make traveling between both countries easier not only for business purposes but also as a way of supporting tourism. This was reflected in a notable and significant increase in this sector in the final months of last year.
I see the future of our collaboration in culture, education, science, research, engineering and digitization.
Consumer electronics giant Changhong and YAPP Automotive Parts increased their investments in the Czech Republic, and some Chinese companies have invested in local auto parts companies. For the perfect preparation for such important events, the interpreter has to receive the respective documentation in advance, which must be studied beforehand. The Sino-Russia Tomsk Wood Trading Cooperation Zone in Russia is the second national-level Chinese-invested trade zone with investment from Shandong companies. I will miss the space, the great location I can live in and most importantly the cheaper rents that we enjoy here in Brussels! Everyone knows my gripes about administration (there is too much and it’s rendered far too complex by the public services).
I know that these pay for some essential services such as our health service and excellent welfare system, but a lot goes towards excessive administration for what feels like 15 million different governments for the different regions of Brussels, different language communities, different language communities in Brussels, Brussels government, national government… It is civil servant overload! In any case, thank you for welcoming these past few years and here’s a beer to you Belgium! To compete, mobile phone companies will offer not only free minutes, free data allowance and free text messages, but a nice shiny phone (either for free or for a highly reduced price). And it seems I’m not the only one who experiences this, fellow Belgians and expats alike concur. I haven’t had any experiences where I have been mocked for being foreign, for speaking another language (which sadly has happened in the UK) and to be honest, when I’m in Brussels, I don’t feel like a foreigner. I did not realise how blimmin’ pricey British tourist attractions are, as is the constant souvenir hunting, postcards, travelling, eating out and sampling local products.
You have to take yourself out of your comfort zones, be proactive and sometimes it feels each day can be a daily battle when you know no one, when the language is different, the customs are unfamiliar and, particularly in Belgium, getting basic services installed, such as internet, is an uphill battle. I have realised that, actually, Great Britain truly is great, and there are so many fantastic things about my country, such as how organised we are! The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council and the Henan provincial government joined in 2012 and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council joined in 2013. It has become the first "online to offline" startup service venue of all universities in the province. At present, two courses in its management school have received international certifications and its management, energy and mechanical engineering schools are equipped with English-language teaching systems. Recently, the Joint School of Design is in its plan with Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy. I was afforded the privilege of personally meeting with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other members of the Chinese government. But more about tax later and other forms of tax definitely do not slip into the ‘good’ category of Belgium.
I have seen a few contracts offering phones as part of the deal, but these are still few and far between.
The prices remain within the reasonable price bracket, although in summer, it’s not necessarily what I’m seeking to kick-start my day, as it is a somewhat heavy, very warming starter to the day! I for one assumed that my Italian friend’s friend, that he brought along to our multicultural dinner, was also Italian… which he wasn’t. In turn, my short sojourn back to England highlighted to me what I find great here, and without further ado, here’s what I find pretty damn great about this little Belgian capital. Be it in Brussels, Ghent, Namur or all over Belgium, I do not have concerns about the quality. I still contend British supermarkets are cheaper than Belgian ones, but being a tourist is not.
It often feels like the waffle smell is deliberately being pumped out in the centre of Brussels to tempt unsuspecting tourists and newly arrived expats into succumbing to their sweet goodness. I just shrugged it off and laughed, something I’m not sure I would have done as easily prior to then. There are the misunderstandings, the phrases lost in translation, the confused looks. And our quirky side, our very dry and self-deprecating sense of humour, the buzz of London, the cleanliness of our streets (note the lack of dog poo), our superb cakes and biscuits! So many things which I could go on listing and which living abroad has enabled me to appreciate much more profoundly than if I had never lived away.
I also met with the mayor of Beijing during my trip as well as with a number of representatives of Chinese companies and the banking sectors. Unfortunately good food is not something I can always guarantee in my home country, particularly in the north. My boyfriend and his friends always remember one of their first conversations with me; we were discussing cheese (as you do in France) and I got the name of one of my favourite cheeses wrong by omitting the accent, so declared quite happily that I loved women’s genitals rather than cheese!
Not that I wish to denigrate British restaurants, since I am a fierce defender of them and our culinary culture. The attractions are cheaper, public transport is about a quarter of the price, and diesel is miles cheaper.
Having daily points of comparison enables me to appreciate the good points of my fatherland, but also more accurately critique the more negative aspects of my country.
Unfortunately a recent trip to the north of England was a disaster on the food front and did not help dissuade my French boyfriend that we have great food and restaurants in the UK!

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