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05/07/2021  l  Football in Belgium and in China
These days, Belgians are passionately watching the EURO 2020 football championships. The Belgian national team has top players in leading international competitions, which are followed by an estimated 300 million football fans in China. Many of them wonder: how is it possible that a small country, such as Belgium, is so much better at football than a huge country, such as China? Belgium only has 11 million inhabitants and is currently ranked 1st in the FIFA world ranking. Chi...

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01/06/2021  l  SIAL China 2021: Business as Usual
Despite COVID-19 is still hurting large parts of the world, Asia's biggest food and beverage exhibition SIAL China took place in Shanghai from 18 to 20 May 2021. The three-day event hosted more than 4500 exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions. Due to the pandemic the 2020 edition had to be postponed until September 2020, but the 2021 edition took place as planned.  The pandemic is largely under control in China. Demand in the country is slowly getting back on track and the Chinese e...

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27/04/2021  l  Report about the virtual trade mission to Hainan and outlook to the Hainan Expo in May
From 24 to 26 March 2021, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) and Voka Mechelen-Kempen Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI) organized a 3-day virtual trade mission to Hainan. During the first two days, the participating Belgian companies had the chance to learn about the beneficial policies of the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) and get information about the China International Consumer Products Expo (or Hainan Expo), to be held from 7 to 10 May 2021. A...

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15/04/2021  l  Update about Travel Restrictions to China for Belgian citizens
Starting from 15 March 2021, the Chinese government announced new ‘relaxations’ for foreigners to enter China. Foreigners from dozens of countries, including Belgium, are able to enter China again, but only if they have been inoculated against Covid-19 with a Chinese-made vaccine. This can be either the full two-dose course of a vaccine or a single-dose vaccine at least 14 days prior to the application.   Additional alleviations have been announced as follows:  For...

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01/04/2021  l  Report about China's National People's Congress
From Friday 5 March to Thursday 11 March, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) was held in Beijing, also called ‘Two Sessions’. In line with the national COVID-19 prevention and control requirements, the event was mostly virtual and only lasted seven days instead of the usual 10 days.   The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses the annual NPC session as a political platform for major policy efforts and to decide on long-term strategies. This year’s ...

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17/03/2021  l  Blockchain Technology: Opportunities for European SMEs China
‘Blockchain’ is a term that first emerged in 2009 in the context of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is an online digital currency that was first published on the internet in 2009 by an anonymous group or person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. In spite of its first introduction as a support of cryptocurrency, today there is much more talk about the underlying technology known as blockchains. Therefore, the knowledge and understanding we have around this very young technology is evolving at a fast pace. T...

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24/02/2021  l  Opportunities in China‚Äôs 2nd Tier Cities
There is more to China than its major cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen (also called 1st tier cities). Nowadays, 2nd tier cities offer a lot of business opportunities for European SMEs as a manufacturing base or potential consumer market. Although still not very well-known to the Western world, they are key cities in the development plans of the Chinese government. Many of those 2nd Tier Cities have a population of 5 million or more and reports show that consumptio...

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27/01/2021  l  10th Anniversary of WeChat
In January 2021 Tencent’s app WeChat celebrated its 10th anniversary, a decade of influencing China’s online world. WeChat, the Rolls Royce of all China-based apps, started as a copycat version of WhatsApp and is now the number one messaging app in China. Even though WeChat is still a messaging app at its core, it has grown to be much more and indispensable for your daily and professional life in China. The possibilities of WeChat seem to be endless and more funct...

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10/01/2021  l  China-EU Investment Deal a major step towards a more level playing field
During a video meeting on 30 December 2020 the leaders of the EU and China announced that there is an agreement in principle on an investment treaty. The negotiations for this Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) dragged on for 7 years and demonstrate an important innovation: the EU is finally speaking in one voice and is trying to conduct its own business with China, despite the pressure from the US. The EU unquestionably takes a different path from the US, which opts for ...

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21/12/2020  l  EU Companies Should Get Ready for China in 2021
Having suffered through the worst of the outbreak in the first quarter of 2020, the zero-tolerance approach of the Chinese government with strict lockdowns and frequent testing is bearing fruit and has kept the virus under control. The impact of the first quarter was followed by an impressive revival. In the second quarter of 2020, China’s economy grew faster than in the same period a year before – by 3.3 percent – and ...

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