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2022-02-23  |  

[Overview] The Brussels-Capital Region is located on the banks of the Senne, a tributary of the Schelde River in central Belgium. The region covers an area of 161 square kilometers and has a population of 1.19 million.

[Politics] The Brussels-Capital Region comprises 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The region has supervisory and partial financial authority over the municipalities under its jurisdiction, and the laws of the region apply to all the municipalities. The governing bodies of the region include the Parliament and the Government. The Parliament is the legislative body of the region. Its main duties are to legislate, review and approve the budget, and supervise the Government. It is made up of 89 members, elected by citizens in 19 municipalities for a term of five years. The Government is the region's executive body and is elected by the Parliament. It comprises one minister-president (equivalent to the mayor), four ministers (equivalent to deputy mayors) and three secretaries of state, elected for a term of five years. The incumbent Minister-President Rudi Vervoort took office in May 2013 and was reelected in July 2019.

[Economy] The Brussels-Capital Region is Belgium's second largest economic center, second only to Antwerp, and ranks among the top European business cities, characterized by frequent business activities. There are many industrial and technological parks in the region. The tertiary sector is the mainstay of the region's economy. Banking, insurance, finance, transportation, chemicals, and tourism are the region's pillar industries. In recent years, its biotechnology and telecommunications industries have developed rapidly. There are thousands of foreign trade companies in the region, mostly small and medium-sized ones, and more than half of the region's products are exported.

[Culture and Education] Education in the Brussels-Capital Region can be divided into community education (including kindergarten, primary and secondary education), vocational education and higher education. The Université libre de Bruxelles and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are in the region. There are also many European and international schools and special schools. The region integrates Latin and Germanic cultures. It is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community and thus a bilingual region (French and Flemish), with rich cultural heritage. The Grand Place of Brussels and Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

[Relations with Beijing] On September 22, 1994, Beijing and the Brussels-Capital Region established a sister city relationship. On October 21, 2014, the Cooperation Agreement between Beijing and the Brussels-Capital Region was signed. In recent years, the two sides have maintained good official ties and engaged in exchanges and cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, culture, education, tourism, science and technology, and urban planning and management.

Investment and Trade: The Beijing International Trade in Services Center (the executive agency of the China International Fair for Trade in Services) and the Beijing Investment Promotion Service Center have maintained exchanges and collaborations with the Foreign Investment and Trade Promotion Authority of Brussels. The Beijing Investment Promotion Service Center has signed a memorandum of cooperation with, the Brussels Agency for Business Support.

Culture and Tourism: The Brussels-Capital Region joined the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) established on the initiative of Beijing in 2012 and has since then sent representatives to attend the WTCF Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit every year. Since 2012, the Brussels-Capital Region has held the Brussels Food Festival in September each year. Beijing has sent outstanding catering companies to the region for eight consecutive years to participate in the food festival. In October 2014, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the sisterhood between the two sides, the Brussels-Capital Region held the Brussels Day event in Beijing, including the “Breaking Out of the Door: Legacy and Imitation” modern art exhibition and a tourism seminar. In September and November 2019, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sisterhood, the Brussels-Capital Region presented Benoit+Bo's solo exhibition “Garden” and a banquet in Beijing.