From left: Wu Yanhua, deputy head of the Chinese space centre shakes hands with Luxembourg economy minister Étienne Schneider
Photo: Luxembourg economy ministry
Luxembourg is to create a space research centre as a result of an agreement signed during this week’s working visit to China.
According to a government press release, deputy prime minister and economy minister Étienne Schneider signed two space cooperation agreements between Luxembourg and China on Tuesday.
One sets out the framework for closer scientific, technical, economic and political cooperation between the two countries for the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.
The second, signed with China’s national centre for space science, paves the way for the creation of a laboratory in Luxembourg to carry out scientific research and technological development activities in areas which contribute to achieving the SpaceResources initiative targets.
The laboratory is expected to employ at least five people. No further information was provided on its location or when it would open.
During the visit, Schneider met with senior officials from China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), whose subsidiary HiWing is the majority shareholder of the Luxembourg-based IEE automotive components company. He also met with Ant Financial executives who, as the financial arm of the Alibaba Group, manages the Alipay online payment service.
Further concrete outcomes of the visit include an agreement to recognise Chinese qualifications and certificates for merchant navy officers, offering employment opportunities for these officers aboard ships flying the Luxembourg flag. The Government Commissioner for Maritime Affairs will from now on issue visas attesting the recognition of the qualifications and certificates issued by the Chinese maritime authorities.