The Chinese mission was a success

The delegation of representatives of the Moravian and Silesian Region, the statutory city of Ostrava, and the HC VÍTKOVICE RIDERA ice-hockey club has returned from a twelve-day trip to China.

During this mission, the participants introduced their Chinese partners to the quality of Czech ice hockey as well as options for cooperation with our region and the city of Ostrava in tourism, trade, industry, science, technology, and education. The delegation visited Qiqihar, Harbin, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Jining, and Beijing, and led talks with representatives of Sichuan.

During their stay in China, the region and city representatives held several discussions with leading representatives of individual, multi-million municipalities and the local, potential investors and representatives of major companies. “The Chinese market is as interesting to us as other Asian regions and we are preparing specific offers for cooperation based on our numerous discussions. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by the change in thinking of our Chinese partners, as they highlighted environmentally friendly solutions, patent protection, and interest in importing Czech goods,” said Stanislav Folwarczny, Deputy Governor of the Moravian and Silesian Region.

The Deputy Governors Michal Mariánek and Břetislav Riger represented the statutory city of Ostrava under the delegation. “Although we are two very different countries, there are certain parallels, whether being the attractiveness of both countries for tourism, their rich histories and industrial infrastructures, or the fact that both countries are undergoing transformation from heavy industry to advanced, industrial technologies and need to make changes in their educational sectors. These are our common interests and serve as a good basis to develop cooperation,” said Břetislav Riger.

Jia Jianping, President of the Grand Europe Association, confirmed that the Moravian and Silesian Region and the city of Ostrava had great potential. “Over the last two decades, this region has managed to redirect its activities from almost exclusive focus on heavy industry to a much wider spectrum of industries, ranging from automotive, to IT and modern technological industries. This, combined with a broad offer in tourism and the spa industry, and excellent transport connections, makes the region a highly attractive destination, and we are pleased that we can introduce this potential to investors interested in Central Europe and the Czech Republic through sport – ice hockey in this case.

The Moravian and Silesian delegation’s journey to China also included the participation of young ice-hockey players from Vítkovice, the current runners-up in the Czech Republic in young juniors and future juniors, at a top international tournament in Qiqihar. A group of five ice hockey players aged 20 to 22 years from Qiqihar arrived in Ostrava for three days of training.

“This cooperation was initiated exactly one year ago through the Grand Europe Association, an organisation helping to establish relationships between China and the Czech Republic in various areas. In July 2016, a delegation of Qiqihar representatives and the local ice-hockey club visited Ostrava, seeking out European ice-hockey clubs to establish cooperation in the sport before the winter Olympic games in Beijing 2022. Ostrava, as a city that has hosted several world championships in ice hockey, was thus a logical place for the delegation’s visit. The accommodating and professional approach of our club, top-quality facilities of the OSTRAVAR ARENA, and support from the statutory city of Ostrava and the Moravian and Silesian Region under the project were factors contributing to the project progressing from planning to implementation in a very short time for the conditions in China,” said Petr Handl, President of the HC VÍTKOVICE RIDERA club.

The team of selected Vítkovice players demonstrated their skills at the tournament in Qiqihar, performing excellently in the local competition against selected teams from Russia and the USA. “We played our first match against the local Chinese team, with players older on average by two years. However, our boys put up a good fight and snatched victory 2:1 in front of a full arena. This success set us up for a game against a team of selected players from Chicago, who were older by one year on average. Despite this disadvantage, we won decisively, scoring 11:0 and winning the entire tournament. We were very happy about this,” commented coach Radek Philipp about the success. After the tournament, the team travelled to Beijing to play an exhibition match against the local, selected team Beijing Flying Bears. The victory of 13:0 of the ice-hockey team from Ostrava speaks for itself.

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