A high-level delegation from China, led by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and cities of Zhengzhou, Hangzhou, Liuzhou, Chongqing, Taicang and Guangzhou, visited Europe. The visit, starting October 22nd in Brussels, was a significant step in the ongoing efforts of the IURC-China program to enhance bilateral relations and knowledge exchange in urban and regional policy.
The delegation’s visit was tightly packed with workshops, site visits, and bilateral meetings. On their first full day in Brussels, the delegates visited the European Quarter and later participated in a meeting with the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Union, together delegates from the Lazio Region, Ljubljana Region, Region of Western Greece, NCI-Bologna, and Sofia. This interaction underscored the EU’s commitment to engaging with global partners in addressing urban and regional development challenges, symbolizing the strengthening of ties between Chinese and European cities and regions.
A notable highlight of the visit was the IURC Final Event, where the Chinese delegation participated in government representative roundtable talks. The followed discussions, held at the European Parliament, focused on topics such as urban innovation, sustainable development, and regional economic cooperation.
The delegation then traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia, where they attended in a cooperation exchange meeting with the Ljubljana Regional Committee. Key topics covered included regional development policies and planning, showcasing Ljubljana’s experiences as the EU Green Capital of 2012. Discussions focused on transferring best practices in green infrastructure, circular economy, and regional innovation strategies. The visit to the Jožef Stefan Institute highlighted the role of science and technology in regional development, underscoring the importance of integrating research with economic and public sector initiatives.
The delegation’s exploration of Ljubljana’s cultural and creative sectors, including visits to Center Rog and the Cukrarna Cultural Center, aligned with the EU’s vision of integrating cultural heritage into creative industry and urban development.
The visit continued with a meeting at the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, followed by a discussion on smart technology with EKWB, a renowned provider of intelligent computing cooling systems. These meetings underscored the potential for future technological and commercial cooperations between Ljubljana Region and Chinese cities.
The delegates returned with deepened insights and strengthened partnerships. It paved the way for continued dialogue and cooperation, reinforcing the commitment to engaging with European partners in building sustainable and innovative urban and regional ecosystems.