On July 14, 2021, the fifth meeting of the China-Belgium (Wallonia-Brussels) Joint Committee for Science and Technology Cooperation was successfully held via video link. The meeting was co-chaired by Zhao Jing, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and Christian Carette, Deputy Director-General of Wallonia-Brussels International.
During the meeting, the two sides briefed each other on their policies and plans and priorities on science, technology and innovation (STI), reviewed the progress and outcomes of cooperation since the last joint committee meeting, applauded the productive efforts the two sides have made in promoting cooperation in scientific research projects, personnel exchanges, efforts in science and technology against the pandemic and science park cooperation, discussed and adopted the arrangements for the inter-governmental projects in 2021, and explored the priority areas and work plans for the next phase of cooperation.
Deputy Director-General Zhao Jing said that China and Belgium have maintained close cooperation in the field of STI for a long time, and achieved positive progress in recent years. Cooperation between the two sides has given a strong boost to the economic and social development of both countries. It is hoped that through this meeting, the two sides can further strengthen communication of STI policies, promote various projects of practical cooperation, and contribute scientific and technological outcomes to the 50th anniversary of the China-Belgium diplomatic relations. To promote future cooperation, Deputy Director-General Zhao suggested that the two sides further leverage the platform function of China-Belgium governmental cooperation mechanism, continue to issue joint call for proposals, promote exchange and discussion in key cooperation areas, and support the construction of a long-term cooperation platform.
Deputy Director-General Christian Carette applauded the productive results of project cooperation between the two sides and said that stronger STI cooperation is in line with the development needs of both sides, and that the Belgian side is willing to further deepen cooperation with China, continue to jointly solicit projects in areas of common interest, and work for the delivery of more practical results.
Guo Xiaolin, Science and Technology Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, Justine Colognesi, Chief Representative of Wallonia-Brussels International in China, and representatives of the National Natural Science Foundation of China attended the meeting. A tentative decision was made at the meeting to hold the sixth meeting of the China-Belgium (Wallonia-Brussels) Joint Committee for Science and Technology Cooperation in China in 2023.