（UrbanCNet)——2017 EU-China Forum on Sustainable Urban Development was held in Putian, Fujian on March 20. This forum was organized by China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) of China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) together with EUROCITIES, JPI Urban Europe and European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, implemented by Putian Municipal People's Government, Fujian Province with special support from the EU Delegation to China.
Distinguished speakers included Fan Hengshan, Deputy Secretary General of National Development and Reform Commission, Zhang Zhinan, Executive Vice Governor of Fujian Province, Chen Hongwan, Deputy Director General (in charge) of China Center for Urban Development of National Development and Reform Commission, Lin Baojin, Secretary of the CPC Putian Municipal Committee, Fujian Province, Laurent Bochereau, Minister Counselor of EU Delegation to China for Scientific Research and Innovation, and Nicholas, Chief Coordination Officer of EUROCITIES. The opening ceremony was moderated by Qiao Runling, Deputy Director General of China Center for Urban Development, National Development and Reform Commission.
Fan Hengshan, Deputy Secretary General of National Development and Reform Commission
In his speech, the Deputy Secretary General Fan Hengshan pointed out that China and Europe share a common vision and responsibility to drive urban sustainability. The exact difference in urbanization development between China and Europe make their respective advantages complementary. Both sides should continue to expand and deepen pragmatic cooperation under the framework of EU-China urbanization partnership, and sustainable urban development is exactly one of the best conjunction points.
Fan Hengshan said, China has been undergoing the largest and fastest urbanization process in the history of the world since its opening-up and reform. China’s urbanization rate reached 57.35% in 2016. Every year about 20 million people move from rural areas into urban areas, a figure higher than the total population of a middle-sized country in Europe. China’s urbanization rate is expected to exceed 60% by 2020.
Fan Hengshan put forward that China and Europe should deepen cooperation in the following three aspects: 1. Working together to improve quality, and strengthen cooperation in planning and governance; 2. Promoting green development jointly, and strengthening cooperation in energy conservation and environmental protection; 3. Sharing development achievements and strengthening cooperation in project construction.
Zhang Zhinan, Executive Vice Governor of Fujian Province, said that Putian City, as one of the first batch of national comprehensive pilot cities for new-type urbanization, is vigorously implementing the integration of multiple plans, advancing urbanization in local and nearby areas, working toward regional integration and making efforts to build a happy home. He held that urbanization is the necessary path towards modernization. Since European urbanization boasts a long history and distinct features, Chinese cities can learn a lot from Europe in aspects of successful experience and good practices.
Chen Hongwan, Deputy Director General of China Center for Urban Development, National Development and Reform Commission, pointed out that China and Europe share broad common interests. In the past five years, China and Europe have continuously deepened urbanization partnership, constantly expanded new cooperation fields and achieved a number of new cooperation results. EU-China urbanization partnership has become the most fruitful cooperation mechanism in urbanization between the two sides, and the benchmark of China’s international cooperation in urbanization.
Chen Hongwan said that China Center for Urban Development, under the guidance of National Development and Reform Commission, has participated in the organization of previous forums and events attended by main leaders of China and Europe. China Center for Urban Development has also set up the Secretariat of EU-China Urbanization Partnership in China with the approval of National Development and Reform Commission this year which is responsible for affairs related to EU-China urbanization partnership. Meanwhile, it has facilitated the pairing of 18 pairs of cities, implementation of 30 pairs of cooperation projects and construction of 4 demonstration areas, establishing an important platform for EU-China city-to-city cooperation.
Lin Baojin, Secretary of the CPC Putian Municipal Committee, Fujian Province said that Putian is the hometown of Mazu. Mazu culture represents openness and inclusiveness and influences dozens of countries and more than three hundred million people in the world. Putian City is sparing no effort to build Demonstration Areas of Beautiful China, accelerating 9 special actions including urban and rural construction, and striving to explore some experience for the province and even the country through its own development.
Secretary Lin Baojin also said that Putian will take this opportunity to further communicate and cooperate with representatives of relevant institutions, enterprises and cities in Europe closely around the theme of cooperation, innovation and combination.
Laurent Bochereau, Minister Counselor of EU Delegation to China for Scientific Research and Innovation, said that EU and China should constantly strengthen cooperation in low-carbon city construction, be committed to jointly promoting the great cause of new-type urbanization, and strive to make common contributions to mitigating the impact of climate change on both parties’ development.
Nicholas, Chief Coordination Officer of EUROCITIES, pointed out that China and Europe should share a common goal to make more people willing to live and work in cities, and both parties should be committed to working toward this end. Today, the EU-China Forum on Sustainable Urban Development has provided a good opportunity for both parties to work hard together and find out solutions for future development.
Qiao Runling, Deputy Director General of China Center for Urban Development, National Development and Reform Commission, hosted the opening ceremony.
China Center for Urban Development, National Development and Reform Commission formally announced the establishment of “China International Cities Alliance” at the opening ceremony. It was set up under the guidance of National Development and Reform Commission. This alliance aims at introducing international resources and providing international platforms for cities, strengthening communication and cooperation between Chinese and foreign cities, enterprises, think tanks and institutions, making both parties complement each other with advantages and achieve win-win cooperation, promoting more international cities (parks, enterprises, think tanks and institutions) to form pairs, enriching and expanding results of international cooperation in urbanization and enhancing international influence of cities through international platforms.
With paired cities of EU-China urbanization partnership as the base, the alliance actively takes in cities at all levels all over the country. The first batch of alliance members include 90 units, covering 67 cities (including prefecture-level and county-level cities), 2 national-level new areas and 21 districts, counties and towns.
Witnessed by guest speakers at the opening ceremony, agreements were signed between China Center for Urban Development of National Development and Reform Commission and EUROCITIES, and between Chinese Cities New-type Urbanization Fund Management Co., Ltd. and Putian Municipal People's Government.
Hundreds of people including government representatives of China and Europe, city mayors, domestic and international well-known experts and scholars and representatives of world-renowned enterprises and media institutions have been invited to attend the forum to share EU-China urban development ideas and demonstration modes, exchange experience and practices in EU-China urban construction, promote best practices of urbanization and explore ways to expand EU-China cooperation mode and mechanism.
(From Finance General )