From July 16 to July 22, The representatives from Beijing, Dalian, Hangzhou and Zhengzhou embarked the first IURC-China delegation visit to Europe, focusing on exchanging best practices in sustainable agriculture, regional innovation, culture and tourism. The visit in Lazio Region (Italy) and Region of Western Greece (Greece) provided the delegation provided a glimpse of European regional development strategies and innovation approaches.
Lazio Region: Insights into Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation
The journey started with the institutional meeting on July 16 in the Lazio Regional Government. The IURC Central Coordination Service, Regional Cabinet Office, the Regional Directions for Environment, Agriculture, and Training, Education and Labor Policies together with the Regional Council welcomed the delegates.
The Chinese delegation was introduced to several key institutions in the Lazio region, gaining comprehensive insights into the area’s strategic focus and innovation in various sectors. AGRO Camera – Rome Chamber of Agriculture, IZSLT (Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety), and the GreenSapiens Laboratory at the University of Rome provided a deeper understanding of Lazio’s smart specialization in agriculture, green and circular economy, life sciences, and digital and creative industries.
Afterwards, the Chinese delegation visited various entrepreneurial, tourism, and high education organisation in Lazio region, gaining insight into the agricultural products, production logistics chains, as well as the multifunctional nature and diversification of agriculture in Lazio region. They started in Villa Mondragone in Monteporzio Catone, the conference center of the Tor Vergata University, and learned about its history and tourism sciences. The journey highlighted the exploration of the organic farms Agricoltura Nuova and Cooperativa Sociale Agricoltura Capodarco. The journey concluded with a visit to the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, showcasing region´s rich historical heritage and its reservation.
The visit exemplified Lazio region´s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices and heritage conservation.
Exploring Cultural Heritage and Innovation in Western Greece
From July 21, the delegation moved ahead to Western Greece, a region also known for its rich agricultural heritage and emerging technological ecosystem. The visit start with a cooperative meeting in the Regional Governor’s office of Western Greece, focusing on institutional dialogue and cooperative discussion. officials from both Chinese cities and Region of Western Greece shared good practices and collaborative initiations in various sectors like industry, academia, agrifood, and technology.
On July 22, the delegation visited the Patras Science Park and several innovative enterprises, gaining insight into how Western Greece successfully integrates technology with agriculture to spur economic and sustainable development. Additionally, the delegation visited the ancient town of Mesolonghi, a site of historical and cultural importance. It showcased Western Greece’s rich cultural heritage and highlighted the region’s efforts in promoting economy linked to its historical landmarks.
Engaging in Bilateral Discussions and Workshops
Throughout the visit, the Chinese delegates engaged in dialogues with their European counterparts focusing on topics such as sustainable agriculture, circular economy, and cultural tourism. The discussion faciliated a mutual understanding of regional innovation strategies and explore potential areas for future cooperation.