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Opening of FAPESP Week China brings together academic, political and

The official opening ceremony of FAPESP Week China was held on Friday (June 28) in the city of Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Organized in partnership with the China-Lac Technology Transfer Center (CLTTC), the event brought together political, diplomatic and academic leaders from both countries and also marked the start of the Conference on Technology Exchange and Development of China-Latin America Cooperation.

The official opening ceremony of FAPESP Week China was held on Friday (June 28) in the city of Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Organized in partnership with the China-Lac Technology Transfer Center (CLTTC), the event brought together political, diplomatic and academic leaders from both countries and also marked the start of the Conference on Technology Exchange and Development of China-Latin America Cooperation.

“On behalf of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, I welcome the guests and congratulate the organizers. All friends who share the same mission are not separated by geographical distance. China and Brazil are strategic partners. China sees Brazil as a strategic partner in science. We have pragmatic cooperation in aeronautics, medicine, health and other fields,” said Zhuang Jia, deputy director of the International Cooperation Department of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

Jia stressed that the current era faces a huge challenge, and China is focusing on deep cooperation in science and technology, seeking to develop an open environment for cooperation with Latin American countries. “China’s Ministry of Science and Technology will make efforts to promote a platform for cooperation, network building and win-win technology cooperation. We have important guests here. With your support, we will contribute to a brighter future,” he added.

Fu Gui, an advisor to the Chinese Science and Technology Exchange Center, then pointed out that despite their geographical distance, China and Brazil enjoy a relationship based on equality and mutual respect. “They’re good friends with common interests, and scientific and technological cooperation is a crucial part of that relationship. Holding this major event shows our willingness to promote bilateral relations,” he said. 

According to Gui, China and Brazil are large developing countries that share many characteristics, abundant resources and vast market opportunities. “There’s complementarity. We hope to collaborate in more sectors, such as climate change, food security and global technology governance, in order to create a fairer and safer environment.”

The inspector of the Science and Technology Department of Guangzhou Province, Gong Jianwen, said that Guangzhou, with 127 million inhabitants and a gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 13 trillion Yuan (almost R$ 10 trillion), is a strategic region because it has a strong capacity for innovation, a favorable business environment, an important role in industry and, like São Paulo, is the engine of national economic development.

“Dongguan has a similar climate to Latin America, which is an important trading partner and significant investment destination for Guangzhou. There’s vast potential for scientific cooperation in areas such as biomass energy, electric vehicles, climate change, clean energy, agriculture, health, pharmaceuticals and aeronautics,” he noted. “Peace and development are common themes around the world. Looking to the future, we hope to collaborate with Latin America with an even more open attitude, promoting innovative cooperation for mutual benefit. To contribute wisely to shared prosperity.”

Afterwards, the Consul General of Brazil in Guangzhou, Alan Coelho de Séllos, pointed out that the state of São Paulo has always emerged as a pole of leadership in all the important moments of Brazil’s history, since independence. “And in the field of international and scientific cooperation, it has set another example to the other units of the Brazilian federation by sending this prestigious mission from its Research Support Foundation. By choosing the very important province of Guangzhou as a destination, they’re opening up prospects for greater mutual knowledge between Brazil’s main state and China’s richest province. The cradle and starting point of the Silk Road, the first and most cosmopolitan of China’s ports, Guangzhou has become the factory of the world, the center of high-tech development in the innovative fields of new energies and electric cars,” he stated.

According to Séllos, Brazil has much to gain from a partnership with China. “Since 2015, Brazil and China have been working together in areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and renewable energy. The promising future of this partnership depends on continuous and collaborative efforts. The FAPESP mission present here today is an excellent example for all units of the Brazilian federation,” he added.

In his speech, Carlos Américo Pacheco, Executive Director for FAPESP’s Executive Board, said that China is now recognized as a superpower in the field of science and technology. It plays an extraordinary role in the world, in countless areas of knowledge and technology. On the other hand, he pointed out that São Paulo is a state in the Brazilian federation that accounts for a third of the country’s GDP and 40% of its scientific production. “It’s a special place in Brazil, with links to all the other regions of the country. It has high-quality institutions, renowned researchers and innovative companies in significant numbers,” he emphasized.

“Certainly, in the coming months, we’ll detail initiatives and joint calls in various areas of science, technology and innovation. Cooperation between Brazil and China can respond to strategic challenges for both countries. China has extraordinary scientific and technological potential. And there are many complementarities with what we’re doing in Brazil and can do together,” he highlighted. “The world in the coming years will be inexorably driven by the challenge of technological advances in countless areas, whether in artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, materials, adaptation to climate change or genomics. And there’s a lot of room for cooperation between Brazil and China, a lot of synergy. The distance between the countries is great, and language is another obstacle. But if we look back and see what has been built in the area of space, satellites, we can see that it’s quite possible if there’s mutual trust and confidence that this cooperation will be constructive for both countries,” said Pacheco.

The vice-president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Zhang Yongtao, recalled that the organization he represents already has agreements with the main Brazilian funding agencies, including FAPESP, and pointed to the area of agriculture as the next “crucial sector” for collaboration with Brazilian partners.

The event was hosted by the vice-president of Dongguan University of Technology, Yongjun Xu. Also present was FAPESP’s scientific director, Marcio de Castro Silva Filho, and Dongguan’s deputy mayor, Li Jun.

FAPESP Week China was organized in partnership with the CLTTC, a technology transfer center for Latin American and Caribbean countries that opened in Dongguan, Guangzhou Province, China in June 2023. One of the center’s objectives is to help build a platform that serves both the country’s diplomatic work and promotes economic development, exchanges, cooperation in science and technology and technological innovation, and technology transfer between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries.

In December 2023, FAPESP and the CLTTC signed an agreement aimed at promoting scientific and technological collaboration between researchers associated with the Chinese organization and universities and research institutions in the state of São Paulo through the joint funding of projects.