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The 5th China-CEEC Conference on Innovation Cooperation Successfully Held in Beijing

Release time:2021-09-27

The 5th China-CEEC Conference on Innovation Cooperation was held in Beijing on September 24, 2021, in the form of online and onsite, on the sidelines of the 2021 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum), in an effort to implement the consensus reached in China-CEEC Summit 2021 on February 9.

Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology of China, and Chen Jining, Mayor of Beijing, attended the conference and delivered a keynote speech and remarks respectively. Also present at the conference at invitation were Branko RUŽIĆ, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Zdravko Počivalšek, and Deputy Prime Minister of Slovenia, alongside ministers (or deputy ministers) of science, technology and innovation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, North Macedonia and Montenegro, as well as representatives with Chinese embassies in Central and Eastern European countries. Representatives of embassies of Central and Eastern European countries in China, relevant ministries and national commissions of China, scientific research institutions, universities and colleges, and businesses participated in the conference in Beijing.

China-CEEC cooperation is a cross-regional cooperation platform jointly initiated by China and Central and Eastern European countries out of shared aspirations with an eye on common demand and common development. China-CEEC Conference on Innovation Cooperation, as part of the effort to deliver on consensuses and outcomes of China-CEEC Summits, has been successfully held in China, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia since 2016, playing an important role in strengthening China-CEEC bilateral relations, elevating cooperation level in science and technology, and deepening innovation collaboration. Themed with “Openness and Innovation for Shared Development”, the Fifth China-CEEC Conference on Innovation Cooperation prioritized “innovation supporting COVID-response, empowering economic recovery, and leading sustainable development” on its agenda, targeted at continuously deepening China-CEEC cooperation on technological innovation and serving the common interests and aspirations of sustainable development of all stakeholder countries.

Minister Wang Zhigang noted in his speech that thanks to the concerted efforts by leaders of China and Central and Eastern European countries, China-CEEC cooperation on technological innovation grew fast and became increasingly mature, as was evidenced by a growing number of participating departments of stakeholder countries, the constantly expanding cooperation areas, continuously improved models, and fruitful outcomes in substantive cooperation, thus making a fair share of contribution to promoting the well-being of the people and prosperity and development of countries involved. Both sides were engaged in practical and effective cooperation in vaccine research and development, expert exchanges and epidemic prevention material assistance, among other feilds, acting on the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. Wang stressed that China’s technological innovation was conducted in an open environment, and China would only be more resolute in expanding cooperation on technological innovation with bigger steps to be taken. He put forth a proposal to jointly tackle global issues and challenges and focus on green development and industrial upgrading with a view to bettering people’s lives. Technological exchange events in response to COVID-19 would be held on a regular basis. Joint research and development, industrial cooperation and people-to-people exchanges would be carried out in areas of common interest, alongside enhanced policy dialogues and coordination over technological innovation. Wang expressed China’s readiness to work together with CEEC in tiding over the trying times in solidarity and taking technological innovation cooperation forward with higher standards, offering more possibilities for relevant countries to push forward high-quality development.

In their speeches, ministers of CEEC highlighted that when COVID-19 was raging across the world and global economy got bogged down in the recession, technological innovation was the only tool that we could resort to for economic recovery and green, inclusive and sustainable development. The Conference held at the moment was thus highly relevant and of great significance. They acknowledged the accomplishments scored in China-CEEC technological innovation cooperation, especially the achievement in international collaboration in COVID response, and called upon all partner countries to further step up technological cooperation and exchanges in addressing the pandemic. They pointed out that in the future, it was imperative to boost technological innovation in such fields as AI, energy and environment, healthcare, and digital economy, scale up financial input in R&D, and encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in innovation and business start-up, with more bilateral and multilateral dialogues, joint research and development, and talent exchanges between China and Central and Eastern European countries to be carried out.

The Conference witnessed consensus reached by all sides on cooperation over a broad range of issues. Interested parties jointly adopted the Action Plan for China-CEEC Innovation Cooperation, umbrellaing plans to strengthen S&T exchanges over the pandemic prevention and control, jointly build China-CEEC Innovation Cooperation Research Center, establish and improve the liaison system for technological innovation cooperation, host the China-CEEC Youth Technological Talent Forum, and promote technological cooperation in green areas like carbon peak and neutrality targets.

Source: Ministry of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China