The European Union would like to work with China on sustainable development and connectivity. European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, recently visited China and met the Chairman of the newly established China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), Wang Xiaotao, and both leaders agreed to look for synergies and concrete areas of cooperation to boost EU–China development cooperation. Brussels has embraced CIDCA’s establishment, which it sees as an opportunity for Europe to enhance their cooperation as global development partners.
Both sides highlighted their interests in working together on tangible initiatives to promote sustainability and bilateral exchanges on policymaking and best practices. In this context, Commissioner Mimica emphasized that both sides “have a shared responsibility to deliver on the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals,” as the EU seeks to intensify our exchanges on development policies. “There is great potential to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda when working in partnerships,” he added and stressed the importance of catalyzing public and private investment in the connectivity and sustainable development of the Central Asia region – including job creation, sustainable infrastructure, more robust environmental protection and stronger climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Mr. Mimica also announced a €7.3 million EU grant to support small and medium-sized businesses in Mongolia and Turkmenistan. The partnership that is driven from the highest echelons of political powers was confirmed at the 20th EU-China Summit in July 2018. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to aim towards creating more synergies between the EU’s strategy to connect Europe and Asia and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.