11 May 2021, Amsterdam.
The CFC received H.E. Mr. TAN Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Netherlands, and other Embassy dignitaries virtually on 11 May 2021.
Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), was accompanied by Mr. Axel Gruber, Chief Operations Officer of the CFC, and Mr. Andrey Kuleshov, Strategy and Development Advisor of the CFC.
After exchange of usual greetings and pleasantries, Ambassador Tan inaugurated the meeting involving high officials from the Embassy of The Hague, namely Mr. Zhang Guosheng, Economic and Commercial Counselor, Mr. Wang Sheng, Third Secretary, and Ms. Li Xi, Third Secretary. In his inaugural statement, Excellency Tan felicitated CFC for its innovative work and dedication for the SMEs and Smallholder farmers in developing countries.
During the meeting, Ambassador Belal briefed Ambassador Tan and his delegation on the current as well as probable future initiatives of the CFC. Ambassador Belal elaborated on the elements, what he termed as green recovery in a post pandemic era, to help COVID-19 wrecked smallholder and SMEs to get to their feet on the ground at the earliest. Ambassador Belal wished to see more working relations and partnership with China in the days to come, and is looking forward to further exchanges with Ambassador Tan bearing in mind his extensive knowledge on African affairs.
In view of Ambassador Tan’s extensive knowledge on African affairs, among others, the following points were discussed in the meeting:
A. The Future together in Africa and beyond;
B. A briefing on the effect of COVID-19 on the working of the CFC; and
C. An update on the CIIF.
The success of the Belt-and-Road-Initiative of China was noted and in this context it was remarked that the Central Asian countries, who also depend largely on commodities, are missing from the fold of the CFC which with the help of China could be amended.
The meeting further discussed the Commodities Impact Investment Fund (CIIF), the establishment of which is currently being considered in a Working Group of the Governing Bodies of the CFC. The Government of China expressed its support and interest in the establishment of CIIF. The meeting was concluded by Ambassador Tan with the assurances of remaining engaged and do the necessary follow up in the days to come.