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Chinese Cities Mission to EU Cities

City-to-city exchange between European and Chinese pilot cities under the IUC ASIA programme from 12 to 20 September 2018

A Chinese city delegation conducted a working mission to three EU pilot cities Granada (Spain), Rome (Italy) and Nice (France) during 12-20 September 2018. This is the first time for the Chinese pilot cities of 2018 to undertake the fact-finding mission to their European counterparts this year. Based on the EU city delegation’s mission to China in July this year, this mission in September aims to follow up on the results out of the initial exchanges regarding the potential cooperating areas of mutual interest and pilot projects.


The Chinese delegation was led by Ms. HUANG Weibo, Deputy Director General of Regional Economy Department, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and consisted of representatives from NDRC and 5 Chinese pilot cities of 2018 – Haikou, Kunming, Liuzhou, Yantai and Weinan. The city delegation is made of high-level representation – two executive vice mayors and two vice mayors in charge of regional development and cooperation in the cities.

Main agenda

The mission included meetings and visits in three EU pilot cities of this year Granada, Rome and Nice, where political meetings with local city councils, field visits and exchanges with local industrial clusters, institutions and companies were arranged.

  • Granada

In the two-day program in Granada, meetings were held with the City Council, PTS health tech park, University of Granada and Chamber of Commerce, to discuss about various cooperation possibilities in the areas of government-to-government exchange, bio medicine and health care, education and training, as well as commercial promotion.

At the meeting with the Mayor of Granada, all the five visiting Chinese cities signed a city-to-city cooperation MoU with Granada. The main purpose of the MoU is to reconfirm the cities’ intentions of building friendly relationships and cooperation as pilot cities under the framework of China-EU regional policy cooperation mechanism.

Based on the exchanges in Granada, the following areas were identified for possible cooperation:

  • Tourism and culture
  • Sports (Granada football team)
  • Health care and pharmaceutics
  • Technology Innovation
  • Rome

During the one-day program in Rome on 17th September, the Chinese delegation met and exchanged with several councilors of Rome City Council, then attended an Italy-China Workshop to know the latest innovation results in the areas of health, smart city, tourism, pollution control, security, high-tech and etc.

The delegation also visited local clusters, public institutions and companies such as the Mobility Services Agency , during which they were introduced the traffic challenges faced by Rome and its solution, which is referred to as Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP).

Based on the work meetings and visits conducted in Rome, following areas and projects have been discussed as potential cooperation fields:

  • Smart city
  • SME Innovation
  • Tourism and cultural heritage
  • Clean and Renewable Energy
  • Joint research project
  • Nice

As the last stop of the mission, the delegation visited Nice Cote D’azur for an one-day and-half program. Chinese delegates met with city council representatives and visited the CEEI (European Center of Enterprises and Innovation), Smart City Innovation Center, Elderly Care Training Center and so on, to discuss about cooperation possibilities in technology innovation, tourism, inclusive city and sustainable city, smart city, silver economy and health care. Before the departure, a meeting was held between Nice Airport and representatives from Kunming and Haikou, to discuss the possibility to open new flights between the cities.


Next steps


To further expand and deepen the content of city exchanges, the plan for the next steps have been made:

    1. Keep communication with each pilot city to follow up on the specific cooperation area and project, identify suitable key stakeholders and design a feasible road map for implementation
    1. Engage cluster experts to compile the Local Action Plan and update accordingly the living document as the cooperation status of each city proceeds
    1. Prepare for the second EU city delegation’s mission to China in November, and through full communication with cities, identify and involve the right stakeholders in the mission to maximize the results of cooperation


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