A friendship agreement with the Province of Shaanxi in China makes the Province of Antwerp in Belgium the first Belgian province ever to sign an official friendship agreement with a Chinese Province. The friendship agreement was signed in May 1985. It meant a strong support to the investment plan of Antwerp’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Company in Shaanxi.
Janssen Pharmaceutical Company decided in the early 80’s to invest in the North-West of China – a brilliant idea that has proved its success with the years passing by.
Since the signing of the agreement, many projects and cooperations have been carried out and have been realized in several fields, such as education, promotion of economic exchange, culture and poverty relief. A few examples: 33 years of exchange of language students, professional trainings in tourism management and agricultural technologies ; impressing 6-month visit of 2 China Panda’s to the Zoo of Antwerp; splendid exhibitions of Qin Terracotta Warriors in 1993, ‘The World of Han’ in 2006 and ‘Embracing the Moon, Mirror of the Tang Dynasty’ in 2010. Since 2014, the focus of the cooperation is mainly on economic cooperation, agriculture and cleantech, areas of importance in both provinces. The ERDF-funded I²PCC-project is a nice example of this.
In recent years, with the upcoming Chinese investments in Europe, the Province of Antwerp has enlarged its scope of exchanges with China. The economic co-operations with other cities and provinces such as Chongqing, Tianjin and others have been highly welcomed by both sides.
The Province of Antwerp is the driving force of the Belgian economy. It has the second biggest port of Europe, it is the center of world diamonds trade and world second largest chemical industry center. With its strategic location, its highly developed economy, its abundant history and culture heritage of Europe, its openness and tolerance, Antwerp is an attractive place to the foreign businessman and tourists. Therefore the Province of Antwerp will invest in the cooperation with China for the benefit of the economic development of both countries.
Welcome to Antwerp !