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  • Writer's pictureSofa Summits

Europe and China Push for a Smarter Future

Relations between the European Union and China have increased in recent years. The main reason for this increment is China’s rapid growth and importance on the world stage. China’s incredible growth has had a deep effect on the country. China moved from a mostly agricultural nation to a heavily industrialised one in a very short space of time.

This rapid development has led to some unintended consequences. One of those consequences has been a decrease in air and water quality. However, unlike other nations, China has decided to fix those problems by focusing on the business opportunities that they offer.

Business opportunities between China and the EU

EU – China relations have been a step by both entities to fix pollution and make their cities healthier places to live and work. This led to increasingly close policy and coordination in many important areas. One of the areas that has seen an increased coordination is city cooperation. The European Union strongly encourages these types of cooperation and coordination. It is considered the key area in the conversation between countries.

Furthermore, this dialogue has allowed for new areas of common interest to be explored. Moreover, there has been an exchange of know-how and EU models of best practices. All this has led to an increase in business opportunities for both sides. These cover a wide spectrum of fields and sectors related to sustainability and smarter cities.

All this has led to the EU-China Policy Dialogues Support Facility (PDSF). It is an initiative co-funded by the EU and China to facilitate and support current and future implementation of Policy Dialogues between the EU and China on a broad range of key sectors and issues, with the overall aim to strengthen strategic relations between both parties. So the business opportunity for citizens of the European Union and China keep increasing as time passes. Furthermore, the PDSFI implemented 26 activities with 62 separate events over five years, involving 19 Chinese Ministries and State Agencies and 12 DGs with a total budget of almost €6.6 million.

Moreover, China and the EU attach great importance to cooperation in the field of Smart Cities.

And while everything seems to be going well so far, there are still some challenges ahead. City cooperation started with a pilot project that has yet to expand into something more. There is a lot of red-tape in the way and talks have been driven by the EU Chamber of Commerce and several technical expert groups from all the nations involved.

The benefits will not be visible right away, however, as the project evolves private and public involvement will increase. China is making a push to lead the world in green energy production. The EU is also looking to improve the current living situation of its citizens. Therefore, as things develop businesses will be created to address the glaring needs of both parties. Nevertheless, it is important to remember involvement at this level is unheard of before, so while the business opportunity is there for the taking, it is the city cooperation between both parties that will determine if the PDSF will be a success or not. For now, all that is certain is that this is a bold push to make cities smarter and more sustainable.


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