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Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the Business Forum in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up and the 1st China International Import Expo Roadshow(2018-05-17)
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Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the Business Forum in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up and the 1st China International Import Expo Roadshow

8 May 2018

Mr. Richard Bolt, Secretary of Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources of the State of Victoria,

Ms. Bing Liu, Asia Lead of Austrade,

Mr. FANG Hao, Head of Exhibitor Invitation Division of China International Import Expo Bureau,

Mr. CHEN Huaiyu , Chairman of CCCA,

Hon. Ken Smith, President of ACBC Victoria Branch,

Mr. Paul Li, President of CCCA Melbourne,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,


Good morning!

Welcome to the Business Forum marking the 40th anniversary of Chinas reform and opening-up and the roadshow for the 1st China International Import Expo.

For many years, friends from various sectors in Victoria, including those present here, have followed closely and supported Chinas development and reform and opening-up endeavour, and worked hard to promote China-Australia friendship and cooperation by actively engaging in exchanges and cooperation with China in the economic, trade and other fields. Let me take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks and high regards for all the efforts and contributions you have made.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Chinas reform and opening-up, which, I should say, is Chinas second revolution that has not only profoundly changed China, but also exerted great impact on the world. Over the past 40 years, the focused endeavour of the Chinese people in national development and their unwavering commitment to reform and opening-up have brought enormous changes to the country. China has grown to be the worlds second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. The Chinese people have emerged from a life of shortage and poverty and are now enjoying abundant supply and a moderately prosperous life. We have forged a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. What has happened in China has amply proven that only the path that suits national conditions can best serve the country and lead it to prosperity.

Reform and opening-up is a great process that has seen China and the world develop and progress together. Over the past 40 years, the Chinese people have embraced the world with open arms and contributed their share to the worlds prosperity and development. We have made opening-up a fundamental national policy, pursued development with an open door, and accomplished a great transition from seclusion and semi-seclusion to all-round openness. From “bringing in” to “going global”, from WTO accession to the Belt and Road initiative, China has made significant contributions to countering the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. Contributing over 30% of global growth for several years in a row, China has become a key anchor and driver for the world economy and a positive force in advancing the noble cause of global peace and development.

After 40 years of rapid development, China has shifted from an industry, investment and export-driven economy to one jointly powered by industry and services, investment and consumption, and exports and imports. These structural changes have made Chinas economy more stable and resilient. The good momentum of growth continued in the first quarter of this year, which saw steady progress in economic transformation and upgrade, further increase in quality and efficiency and a GDP growth of 6.8%. With that, China has delivered a 6.7%-6.9% growth rate for 11 quarters in a row, demonstrating greater dynamics in consumption and more noticeable improvement in our economic structure.

The 19th CPC National Congress held last October ushered in a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics. It unveiled a blueprint for building China into a great modern socialist country in an all-round manner, and opened up a new chapter for China’s effort for shared prosperity with the rest of the world. We will continue to firmly follow the path of peaceful development, pursue the strategy of opening-up for win-win results, and work with the people of other countries, Australia included, to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The world today is very much different from that of 40 years ago. While the world economy has entered a stage of interconnected development, economic globalization is experiencing some headwinds, the multilateral trade regime being challenged and protectionism on the rise. But human history shows that openness brings progress, seclusion leads to backwardness. When confronted with difficulties and challenges in the process of development, we have no other way out but to reform, and only by opening to each other can we achieve common development of the world.

Based on this judgment, General Secretary Xi Jinping reiterated in his report to the 19th National Party Congress that China will continue to adhere to the fundamental national policy of opening-up and pursue development with its door wide open. At the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference this April, President Xi emphasized that opening-up is key to China’s economic success in the past 40 years and high-quality growth in the future can only be achieved with greater openness. This is a strategic decision China has made in line with its development needs. China’s door of opening-up will not be closed . It will only open even wider!

In Boao, President Xi also announced a number of major measures to open China wider to the outside world. These include: easing market access significantly, especially in the financial and manufacturing sectors, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights, and taking the initiative to expand imports.

This November, the inaugural China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai. It is a major policy initiative and a move China has taken of its own accord to promote a new round of opening-up at a higher level and further open its market.

The Expo, the first of its kind in the world, is a pioneering undertaking in the history of international trade. By holding this expo against the backdrop of setbacks and challenges to economic globalization and multilateral trade regime and rising protectionism in recent years, China is making clear to the world its strong commitment to globalization and trade liberalization and its firm resolve to expand opening-up. The Expo will provide a new cooperation platform for all sides to explore the Chinese market, and has won much acclaim and positive responses from the world community. To date, over 1,700 businesses from more than 120 countries in the world have signed up for the event, and more than 600 of them have signed the exhibition contracts, including nearly 100 worlds top 500 companies and leading businesses from different countries. The gross exhibition area contracted has exceeded 120,000 square meters, and 150,000 domestic and international buyers are expected at the Expo. We sincerely invite businesses in Victoria and Tasmania to attend the Expo.

The Australia-China Business Sentiment Survey, recently released by Auscham Shanghai, shows that the Australian businesses in China are doing very well. 78% of the respondents held a positive outlook for the next 12 months, and 83% of the respondents indicated increased positivity for the next five years. Most of those surveyed believed that they have directly or indirectly benefited from CHAFTA, and they found Chinas business environment more friendly and favourable and the Belt and Road initiative helpful to their operations in China.

We hope that Victorian and Tasmanian businesses will take up the important opportunities presented by the the Expo, focus more of your investment and cooperation in China on innovative R&D and market exploration, get more actively involved in Chinas economic and social development, and share in Chinas development dividends.

Thank you.

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