On Wednesday evening, The Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels and the China-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CHINA-LUX) held reception their annual Chinese New Year reception in Kirchberg, welcoming in the Year of the Rooster.   With guests of honour Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and Huang Changqing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Luxembourg, the event attracted a capacity 550-strong attendance in the largest reception room the Chambre de Commerce has to offer.

Carlo Thelen, Director of the Luxembourg Chambre de Commerce, spoke in birh French and English and acknowledged that Luxembourg treats China as its top business partner in Asia. He recollected a Luxembourg trade mission to China as well as a Luxembourg finance mission to China, and the launch of the first Chinese Green Bonds in Luxembourg. He also referred to the new One Belt, One Road initiative, a series of conferences, and expects 2017 to be busy with events both in Luxembourg and China, developing economic and financial ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel welcomed everyone in Mandarin before addressing the attendees in English and in French. He referred to the rise of anti-globalisation and protectionism and Europe's response of diversity and inclusion. Lux will continue to be an advocate of free law. He described the friendship between China and Luxembourg being based on friendship and mutual respect. He recalled the first Luxembourg economic activity in China in the 1980s with the construction of a steel industry blast furnace, with numerous business sectors becoming active since then. And he also referred to the Chinese banks already in Luxembourg as well as another one planned fir 2017, and also the Logistics Hub with a major shareholder from China in Cargolux.

The Chinese Ambassador then spoke in French and welcomed in the Year of the Rooster and wished everyone good health for the year ahead.

Shirley Lam of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, explained that those born in the Year of the Rooster are sociable, brave and charming. She recalled that in Hong Kong, they have successfully implemented the One Country, Two Systems initiative, getting the "best of both worlds". She mentioned that FinTech is a priority of both Luxembourg and Hong Kong and announced that Hong Kong is planning to create an innovation space for 150 companies active in this area.

Dirk Dewitte, President of China-Lux, confirmed that thus is the 5th year the chamber is organising this Chinese New Year event. With 9 Chinese banks now established in the Grand Duchy, the chamber has steadily grown and acts as an incubator between its members and the government here. The chamber now has a number of committees to organise events going forward, including within the One Belt, One Road initiative.

The official speeches were followed by a traditional lion dance, a Chinese song and a tea ceremony performed by the students of the Centre de Langue et de Culture Chinoises du Luxembourg (CLCCL) and a cocktail reception / walking dinner.