In 2016, the State Council of PRC introduced the concept of blockchain as part of an information technology reformation strategy in the country’s 13th five-year economic development plan valid through 2016–2020. Based on this plan, the government of PRC is heavily promoting the adoption of blockchain technology. This has been also proven by the huge amount of investments coming from the government and leading Chinese ICT companies. For instance, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, supports the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform. The Bank of China has also revealed its plans to aggressively invest in the development of fintech and blockchain technology. In addition, the National Audit Office is considering using blockchain to improve its data infrastructure and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology plans to set up a national blockchain standardization committee.
The 17+1 (formerly 16+1) format is an initiative by the People’s Republic of China aimed at intensifying and expanding cooperation with 12 EU Member States and 5 Balkan countries. The format includes: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The first 16+1 Summit was held in Warsaw, Poland, in 2012. At the event, the Prime Minister of China announced a comprehensive initiative in cooperation with 16 Central and Eastern European countries, entitled China’s Twelve Measures for Promoting Friendly Cooperation with Central and Eastern European Countries, which is the framework document for the 16+1 initiative.
Previous 17+1 Summits:
These summits have always been breeding grounds for defining specific guidelines and medium-term agendas. During the Suzhou summit in 2015, the Slovak Republic was appointed by the Chinese government to lead the collaboration in the field of innovation, technology transfer and R&D.
In the fields of investments, transportation, finance, science, education and culture; from the framework of the initiative.
China has defined three potential prioritized areas for economic cooperation:
17+1 Framework &
The Slovak Republic is one of the essential members of the 17+1 initiative. At the 8th Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries, the Slovak Prime Minister, Peter Pellegrini, praised China’s activities on the European market, including those of Chinese entrepreneurs.
As part of the 17+1 cooperation framework, both Peter Pellegrini and the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, discussed the questions on how to support the bilateral cooperation in the trade, logistics and innovation sectors. In addition, the “Dubrovnik Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries” document states explicitly that all parties welcome the decision to host the “5th Ministerial Conference on Innovation” in Slovakia in the year 2020 as part of the 17+1 initiative.
Furthermore, the document mentions that Slovakia will consider, per discussions with concerned parties, an establishment of the “17+1 Blockchain Centre” under the country’s supervision and in close cooperation with the interested parties. The decision alone serves as evidence of Slovakia’s perpetually active contribution to the innovative collaboration of the 17+1 initiative and has, once again, proven its leading position in the field of innovations.