Honorable Shane Jones, Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development,
Chairman David Wang, members of the China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (CCCNZ)
Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s my great honour and pleasure to attend the China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (CCCNZ) Annual General Meeting 2018 and speak at this important gathering. First of all, I want to thank Chairman Wang for his kind invitation. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to his re-election and the newly elected Executive Committee members. I wish all of them every success in their future endeavour . At the same time, I want to pay tribute to those Executive Committee members who have just concluded their term. They have done a great job over the past year.
Since its founding in 2015, CCCNZ has been working hard in prompting integration and development of Chinese enterprises in New Zealand , as well as the economic and trade exchanges between China and New Zealand. CCCNZ also contributes to the local community by holding Charity events with the theme of ‘caring for the public welfare and paying back to society’. This is a reflection of the deep value the Chinese enterprises held to share their success with local community and to seek win-win outcome.
China attaches great importance to its relations with New Zealand. Over the years, China-New Zealand relationship has maintained a good momentum of development. We are proud of the long list of ‘Firsts’ in China-New Zealand relations. In 2014, we fostered Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to New Zealand. Last year, the two countries decided to launch the negotiation to upgrade the FTA, and signed Memorandum of Arrangement on Strengthening Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to New Zealand. The sound development of China-New Zealand relations creates a favourable environment for businesses exchanges between the two countries . Last year, our bilateral trade volume hit a record high of $26.1 billion, making China New Zealand’s largest partner in the trade of goods. Two way investment reached more than 10 billions New Zealand dollars in accumulative manner. People-to-people exchanges also flourished. There were more than 400,000 Chinese visitors to New Zealand last year. As a result, more airlines operate between China and New Zealand, with 80 direct flights every week in peak seasons.
This year marks 40 anniversary of China’s reform and opening- up. As President Xi Jinping emphasized time and again reform and opening-up will continue to be the key to China’s development and modernization. China will remain committed to the new development philosophy, that is, innovation-driven, coordinated, green and open development for all. We’ll pay more attention to the quality and sustainability of development rather than speed of GDP growth. In the first half of this year, the economy registered a slower but stable performance with good momentum for growth. The GDP expanded 6.8 percent year-on-year, well above the government’s annual growth target of around 6.5 percent. The tertiary industry expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year, outpacing the primary and secondary industries. We are confident that the economy will remain stable in the rest of the year.
At the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia held last April, President Xi Jinping stressed that China will continue to adhere to it fundamental national policy of opening-up and pursue development with its door wide open. He announced that China will significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, and take the initiative to expand imports. In the next 5 years, China is expected to import US$ 8 trillion worth of goods, attract US$600 billion worth of foreign investment and make a total of US$750 billion outbound investment.
At the same time, we fully recognize that China can’t achieve development in isolation from the world. China’s development need a stable, peaceful and prosperous world. A stronger and more confident China will be able to make even greater contribution to the international community, and together with other countries including New Zealand, make this world a much better place for all.
Therefore China stays determined as ever to build world peace, contribute to global prosperity and uphold the international order. China strongly promotes the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative, with a view of solving problems in the global and regional economy. The initiative is aimed to promote exchange of goods, technology, capital and personnel through mutual connectivity. Since the signing of the Memorandum of Arrangement on cooperation on BRI, China and New Zealand have been working on an Action Plan to implement the Memorandum. The success of the Belt and Road Initiative calls for increased partnership between public and private sector. In this regard, the business communities of both countries can make their due contributions.
Economic cooperation is the bedrock and propeller of China-New Zealand relations. It has been remarkable that tremendous achievements have been made in China-New Zealand economic cooperation. And it will be even more remarkable if the business community of both countries join hands to further tap the potential of the already successful cooperation. It depends on you people who are here today to work harder for an even brighter future of China-New Zealand Cooperation.
Finally I wish the Annual General Meeting a complete success. Thank you!