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Bart Horsten meets Prime Minister Charles Michel

On the 30th of October Bart Horsten, Managing Director of Horsten International, was invited at the Belgian Embassy in Beijing to attend a meeting with the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. Together with 15 other Belgian experts and business people Bart shared his views on the activities and challenges of Belgian companies in China.

Bart explained that there is a big lack of knowledge and understanding of many Belgian businesses about the Chinese market and Chinese business practices, which often leads to a sense of anxiety amongst many Belgian companies, long decision processes and as a result lost opportunities in China. Nevertheless there are still huge opportunities in China for many Belgian companies with unique products or technologies, also SME's. The Belgian government should do more to ‘educate’ Belgian companies and encourage them to be more proactive in China.

The visit of Prime Minister Michel is organised to mark the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between China and Belgium. On October 25, 1971, China and Belgium officially established diplomatic relations. Recently King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium paid a week-long state visit to China and the same month witnessed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Belgium. In the spring of 2014, Chinese president Xi Jinping conducted a state visit to Belgium.

During his two-day stay in China Charles Michel has meetings with Chinese top political and business leaders, attends a conference to present Belgium to Chinese investors. Also several contracts will be signed.

The relationship between the Horsten family and China started 37 years ago when Joos Horsten visited China for the first time in 1979. This ultimately led to the successful joint venture Xi'an-Janssen, one of the great milestones in the relationship between the two countries.


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