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2016 China Investment Forum held in Prague with the Support of CEFC China as General Partner

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From November 14 to 16, the 2016 China Investment Forum was grandly held in Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic. The Forum was organized by China Economic Cooperation Center and Czech China Chamber of Collaboration. CEFC China offered its strong support as general partner. The activities were honored by the presence of Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, as well as politicians and entrepreneurs from 16 CEE countries. Themed on “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, Effective Platform for 16+1 Cooperation Development, the Forum held three sub-forums and B2B meetings where all participants could exchange ideas on various aspects including finance, sustainable development, tourism, e-commerce, infrastructure, sports and culture.

China Investment Forum has been gradually expanding its influence since its startup. In 2013, it was included into the Bucharest Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries as “16+1” Cooperation Project, becoming an important platform for cooperation of China and CEE countries. President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to the Czech Republic in March this year. It was the first visit of President Xi to CEE countries and created opportunities to boost Czech-China cooperation and China-CEE cooperation as well.

CEFC China, a pioneering Chinese investor in the Czech Republic, has established its second headquarters in Prague. Taking Czech as a pivot point, the Company has invested in the energy, industrial equipment, tourism and airlines sectors in Europe and proactively facilitates bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation, becoming an important bridge and organizer of Czech-China cooperation. CEFC China has so far been the largest Chinese investor in the Czech Republic. The Company signed acquisition agreements with J&T Finance Group in March this year in the presence of both Chinese and Czech Presidents, acquiring 50% equities of J&T Bank. Meanwhile, with the support of CEFC China and on behalf of the Czech government, J&T Bank launched the China-CEE Investment Fund together with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in the aim to facilitate the China-CEE cooperation and bridge Chinese investors with Belt and Road projects. 

CEFC China has been promoting the domestic industrial transformation and upgrade and propelling cross-border industrial cooperation with its booming investment in the industrial equipment manufacturing in the Czech Republic. In August, 2016, the Company finalized its acquisition of the special steel manufacturer ZDAS.a.s, which is one of the largest investments by a Chinese enterprise in the Czech Republic, and the acquisition was approved by the Czech anti-monopoly office. ZDAS is a top-notch metallurgy and engineering enterprise in Europe with a history of 65 years and annual revenue of 1.3 billion euros. It is known that CEFC China has been in close contact with Czech enterprises about projects like aircraft manufacturing and special vehicles. The Company also plans to conduct strategic cooperation with SOEs in Hubei Province and other regions in China as well, aiming to introduce advanced technologies for domestic production, and establish industrial bases for general aviation manufacturing, special vehicles production, aircraft maintenance and repairing, aviation training and aircraft leasing and so on.

The glassware crafted in the Czech Republic enjoys worldwide fame. Aiming to promote the China-Czech cooperation in glassware industry and the development of glassware culture industry in two countries, CEFC China capitalizes on its sound investment move in the Czech Republic and actively introduces into China established Czech glasswork companies, which bring with them state-of-art techniques and designs. On October 2, CEFC China signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Pujiang town of Zhejiang Province, the base camp of China’s glassware industry, to facilitate the industry transformation and upgrading of the town. Meanwhile, CEFC China is partnering with Haikou city of Hainan Province in setting up crystal workshops there, taking advantage of Hainan being an international tourism island and its tax free policies. This deployment will stimulate the interaction between the Chinese and international markets and propel the design and development of crystal ware as well as the promotion of the brand value. Bolstered by its solid foundation in the glassware industry, the Company is also going to establish a crystal museum in Shanghai to showcase the beauty of modern crystal products and glassware craft to more Chinese citizens.

With the opening of several direct flights linking China and Czech, the economic and trade ties between the two countries have become ever stronger. This development will directly push the advancement of different industries in Prague, creating a long-lasting effect on the economic, trade and travelling activities centered on the Belt and Road Initiative. Invia, the biggest online travelling company in Czech and the Central and Eastern Europe at large, has been acquired by CEFC China and started offering travelling products targeting Chinese customers. Corresponding to its unfolding travelling business, CEFC China has bought two five-star hotels in Prague, namely Mandarin Oriental Prague and Le Palais Art Hotel Prague. The former is constructed on a 14th century monastery brimming of cultural and historical heritage. It will be able to provide services with Chinese features to more and more tourists visiting Prague after the acquisition.

Recently, an asset management company under CEFC China won the bid for the Florentinum building, the largest office building in Prague. Designed by the renowned Czech architect Jakub Cigler, Florentinum is one of the best of its kind in the CEE region. Close to fully occupied, it now has over 70 long-term tenants, including Ernst & Young Global Limited, Havel Holásek & Partners and the Czech branch of Bank of China. This iconic move has greatly expanded the brand influence of the strategy of CEFC China’s European headquarters.

Aside from promoting its own investment, CEFC China, as a general partner of China Investment Forum, is also continuously building platforms for more Chinese enterprises to “go out”. In September this year, the Company signed a Heads of Agreement on overseas office establishment with Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce to facilitate the setting up of its Czech office with the support of the Company’s local resources and bring more foreign investment to Shanghai. In this year’s China Investment Forum, CEFC China leveraged its favorable status to further business-level communication between China and Czech by inviting representatives of dozens of famous Chinese enterprises and institutions including China General Nuclear Power Group, China Everbright Group, China Pacific Insurance (Group) Company, Haitong Securities Company Limited, Yunnan Provincial Energy Investment Group Company, and Beijing International Trust Company. With Czech as a pivot, the Company’s investment cooperation in various fields is radiating towards the 16 CEE countries and the wider Europe.

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