Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the CIIE Pre-Departure Briefing for Victorian Exporters

Melbourne, 26 September 2018  

Hon Philip Dalidakis MLC, Minister for Trade and Investment,

Hon John Brumby, National President of Australia China Business Council,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good afternoon.

It's an honour for me to attend the pre-departure briefing hosted by the Department of Economic Development for Victorian exporters to be attending the inaugural China International Import Expo or CIIE. It is great to see so many Victorian business people here today. I'm sure you will have a rewarding and fruitful visit and gain better understanding of China as a country on track to achieve continued development and embrace greater opening up.

    In May 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will host an import expo beginning from 2018. It will be the first ever national expo on import, a pioneering endeavour in the history of international trade.

The Expo has demonstrated the sincere wish and firm resolve of China to actively open its market. After 40 years of reform and opening up, China has become the second largest economy and second largest importer and consumer in the world. China is not only a beneficiary of economic globalization and free trade, but also a staunch supporter and important contributor to the multilateral trading regime. We are ready to share our growing market with businesses from other countries and welcome them on board the express train of China's development.

The Expo will serve as a high-level platform for dialogue and exchanges on global trade and economic cooperation. More than 2,800 businesses from over 130 countries and tens of thousands of domestic and foreign buyers are expected to attend the Expo. During the Expo, a Hongqiao International Trade Forum will be held with the participation of relevant national leaders, government officials, business leaders and senior executives of large multinationals to explore new modalities and opportunities to promote trade liberalization and facilitation and strengthen win-win cooperation.

The Expo will meet our internal need for high-quality growth. China has on average maintained an annual growth of over 7% and contributed over 30% of the global economic growth annually during the past five years. More importantly, China's economy has shifted from relying on investment and export to one mainly driven by consumption, services and domestic demand, from high-speed growth to high-quality growth. The Chinese government will continue to pursue the supply-side structural reform as a high priority, innovating and improving macro-regulation approaches, invigorating the market, bolstering self-driven development, unleashing the potential of domestic demand and fostering new growth areas.

By introducing more quality products and services into China, the Expo can better meet the Chinese consumers’ demand and contribute to the upgrade and transformation of our domestic industries.

China will continue to deepen reform in all areas, open wider to the outside world and build a world-class business environment. It is estimated that in the next 15 years, China will import USD 24 trillion worth of goods and invest more than USD 2 trillion overseas. By deepening reform and pursuing opening up at a higher level, we are expecting to achieve quality growth which will present greater market opportunities to Australia and other countries in the world.

In closing, I wish our business friends from Victoria every success at the CIIE Shanghai this November!

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