Mr. Frank Smeets visited the tree he planted four years ago in Haizhu Wetland Park [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Sometimes, nature has a strange interaction with human beings and society. Four years ago, Frank Smeets, the then vice governor of Limburg, Belgium visited Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province for the first time. He planted a tree in Haizhu Wetland Park with his fellows.
Three years later, in 2015, Guangdong and Limburg signed an agreement to become sister provinces. Now, in 2016, when Mr. Frank Smeets came to Guangdong again, the tree is still there and it becomes bigger. This time, a package of agreements on education, communication and tourism have been signed and the cooperation between the two places also grow bigger and bigger.
On Dec.10, Frank Smeets, first vice governor of Limburg along with Jean-Paul Peuskens, vice governor on communication and education and Erik Gerits, vice governor on economic and finance had an interview with Newsgd.com after they paid a one-week visit in Guangdong.
Mr. Frank Smeets (2nd right), Mr. Jean-Paul Peuskens (2nd left), Mr. Erik Gerits (1st left) and Frank Zwerts, Director of Locate in Limburg Organization
Q: Mr. Smeets, could you tell us your trips to Guangdong?
Frank Smeets: The first time I came in Guangdong, which was four years ago, to participate in the Congress of the United Cities and Regions on Climate Change. I came second time to Guangdong last year. Our government was here to sign an agreement of sisterhood between our region and Guangdong.
Guangzhou is a big city and Guangdong is a beautiful region. We planted a tree in a park. It is still there and it is bigger. That’s the witness of the tie between the two provinces. I hope that the tree will live a long life and it could become much bigger.
Q: Mr. Peuskens, how about your trips to Guangdong?
Jean-Paul Peuskens: It is my second time here. In 2015, I was here with our governor. He visited a lot of factories. We visited a university (Guangdong University of Technology) and the tourism institute (Guangdong Tourism Institute) here. We had good contacts at the first time so we signed the cooperation (agreement) now. The University of Technology visited us in Hasselt afterwards. I’m impressed the most by your people because they are friendly. I feel we have many common interests in the fields of culture, sports, education, communication, etc. That’s really important.
Q: Mr. Gerits, is this your first time to Guangdong?
Erik Gerits: For me it is the first time. What I remember are the warm welcome, the nice and polite people, professional factories and good food. It is enormous. I have read a lot about China but it is my first time to China. Everything is so nice. The people here are so polite, hard-working. If there was another possibility in the next year or a few years later, I certainly will come back.