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Czech President Attends Seminar on Tourism and Investment and Meets with Ye Jianming

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After a busy schedule in Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, led a delegation of political and business representatives to Shanghai on May 17 to meet with Ying Yong, Mayor of Shanghai, and attend the Seminar on Tourism and Investment, which was held on the afternoon of the same day at Pudong Shangri-La Hotel.

Before the seminar, President Zeman witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation agreements between Shanghai and the Czech Republic, including a Sister Cities Agreement between Prague and Shanghai, a Memorandum of Understanding between Shanghai Media Group and Medea Group, and two memorandums of cooperation in the medical industry. The Medea Group, one of the important investments in the Czech Republic of the renowned Shanghai-based enterprise CEFC China, entered into a memorandum of cooperation with Shanghai Media Group, a flagship of Shanghai’s cultural industry. It will bring valuable overseas resources for the cultural industry in Shanghai in terms of foreign cooperation and exchange as well as industry upgrading, further promoting its development.

During the seminar, President Zeman met with Ye Jianming, Chairman of the Board of CEFC China. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on furthering the company’s investment cooperation in the Czech Republic. During the meeting, President Zeman spoke highly of the huge contribution of CEFC China under the leadership of Ye Jianming to the Sino-Czech cooperation, and approvingly noted that their meeting marked a perfect conclusion of his trip to China. As President Zeman’s economic adviser, Ye Jianming proposed in the meeting to set up a Czech National Construction Fund to comprehensively promote the development of the country as aviation, finance and railway transport hubs of Central Europe.

In his speech at the just concluded Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that building roads and railways creates prosperity in all sectors. He also noted that infrastructure connectivity is a priority of the B&R development, and “today, a multi-dimensional infrastructure network is taking shape, one that is underpinned by economic corridors such as the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, based on land-sea-air transportation routes and information expressway and supported by major railway, port and pipeline projects.”

In line with President Xi’s proposal, CEFC China keeps promoting the aviation center construction in Czech, by coordinating with large Chinese airport, road and bridge constructors to expand the Prague Airport and its supporting facilities, and facilitating the direct flight corridor between Shanghai and Prague. Adding to that, the company is also promoting the construction of a railway logistics hub in Czech, as the country lies at the heart of Central Europe and is a key link of China-Europe Railway Express. In-depth discussions over strategic cooperation is underway between CEFC China and TSS Cargo a.s., a major player in Czech in railway construction, maintenance and freight, and manufacturing, operation, leasing and maintenance of special railway vehicles. With the continuous progress in aviation and railway development in the Czech Republic, CEFC China looks to build a logistics hub connecting China and Europe and further promote the comprehensive investment cooperation between the two countries in railway, airport, and road and bridge infrastructure.

In facilitating cooperation in aviation and railway logistics, CEFC China is actively investing in e-commerce in Europe by integrating Czech’s largest online travel agency Invia and acquiring Germany’s largest e-commerce travel agency Unister, so as to create Europe’s largest e-commerce platform targeting both Chinese and European markets and promote connectivity between Chinese and European markets. In the meantime, CEFC China is also planning to integrate its resources to establish an exhibition center themed on Sino-Europe cooperation in Prague, which will serve Sino-Czech exchanges and collaboration in sports and culture.

What’s particularly noteworthy is that Shanghai and the Czech Republic have a long and friendly history of medical cooperation. In November 2015, under the witness of the Chinese Premier and Czech Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, the Affiliated Hospital with University of Hradec Kralove, Shuguang Hospital affiliated with Shanghai University of T.C.M., and CEFC China signed a memorandum of understanding to comprehensively promote the traditional Chinese medicine in the Czech Republic with the support of resources in Shanghai. As a chief partner, CEFC China supported the establishment in Czech T.C.M. centers and clinics, which have enjoyed an instant popularity among citizens whose high demand quickly dwarfed supply. Recently, the Non-Professional Medical Practitioner Bill (referred to as the TCM law) was passed in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. It is subject to discussion and voting in the Senate in early June, followed by approval and signature by the President. Once the bill is officially adopted, TCM doctors will qualify as certified medical practitioners in the Czech Republic, which will greatly promote the TCM culture and medical cooperation between the two countries. In the future, CEFC China will increase its investment to support the establishment of more TCM centers in the country, which, in addition to the promotion of the TCM globally, will bring the benefits of TCM diagnosis and treatment to citizens in the Czech Republic and Central and Eastern Europe.

The seminar was jointly organized by the Czech China Chamber of Collaboration, the Ministry of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic, the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Shanghai, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai Committee, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai Pudong Sub-council, Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board, and CEFC China Energy Company Limited. It was attended and addressed by President Zeman, as well as Ministers of Ministry for Regional Development and Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, who introduced the tourism cooperation between the two countries and the investment environment of the Czech Republic. Chan Chauto, President of CEFC China, made a keynote speech in which he shared the company’s experience in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, making industrial investment in Czech, organizing and facilitating exchanges of competitive production capacity, and achieving win-win results. China Eastern Airlines and SAIC Volkswagen Skoda also presented successful cooperative projects between the two countries. The seminar was followed by a B2B business matching meeting.

Next: CEFC China Signs Two Cooperation Agreements with the Government of Georgia to help develop an innovative trade model in the “Silk Road Common Market Zone”
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