Remarks by Wang Xining, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Australia at the opening session of the Third Sino-Australian Entrepreneurs Summit
2019/11/12

The Honourable former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr John Howard,

The Honourable former Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr. Andrew Robb,

The Honourable Executive Director of SIEF, Mr. Dong Bin,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you at this Sino-Australian Entrepreneurs Summit. I would like to extend greetings and congratulations on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Australia.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, China strode forward on the road of building socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. We focused our energy and effort on social-economic development on one hand, and toiled over modernizing our national governance system and capability on the other. We tried very hard to work out solutions to global challenges over social development and economic growth, by exhausting experiments that test our wisdom, determination, sense of responsibility, and yearning for innovation. We have to ensure that the country is moving in the right direction and in conformity with the trend of times, such as the unstoppable globalization. Out of many nation-growing traces, there are three I’d like to emphasize.

First, China cherishes people-centric governance. Since its founding, the Communist Party of China has all along upheld the belief that the Party is born from the people and therefore should always connect and serve the people. Most of China’s leadership have rich experiences at grassroots level. They understand what our people need, what they hope for, and they know very well what our enterprises need and want. Our government at all levels would spare no effort to provide a fair, just and rule-based business environment and other effective safeguards for innovative growth of our enterprises and prosperous life of our people.

Second, China advocates reform and innovation. Over 40 years of reform and opening up, the epitome of China’s development is the massive infrastructure building, now represented by high-speed railway and highway networks, West-to-East natural gas transmission, South-to-North water diversion, new energy utilities, and digital ecosystem of internet. Today China is embracing a new round of technological revolution. We have witnessed incessant breakthroughs in high-tech fields, including aeronautics and aviation, deep-sea exploration, quantum communication, etc. And we have fixed our leading edge in artificial intelligence and 5G communication. The broader application of 5G technology will enhance global information sharing, cross-culture interaction, economic integration and social coherence, which will surely improve the productivity and capability for the well-equipped enterprises and as a result, start off a new round of worldwide industrial restructuring. Technology has made the world smaller, faster and flatter, now it’s time to make it smarter.

Third, China adheres to openness and cooperation. As the world's largest developing economy, China has been consistent in advocating multilateralism, free trade, open economy and win-win partnership. We play a constructive role in building “Belt and Road”, promoting RCEP and FTAAP, expediting Asia-Pacific economic integration, and facilitating WTO reforms. We oppose the revival of unilateralism and trade protectionism. We oppose undermining international rules and instigating anti-globalization by certain country out of selfish motives, which have posed a major source for today’s global instability and world disorder. Exceptionalism is anachronistic. It will hurt everyone including those who adopt it.

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping made important policy enunciation at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai, where hundreds of Australian business representatives and Minister Birmingham were at the site. Guess what was the president’s catchphrase? Openness and cooperation. I strongly recommend you to read the speech.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Economic cooperation and trade serves as both ballast and propeller of China-Australia relationship. Our economies are highly complementary by nature, and our economic and trade ties have been close and strong. For many years, China has been Australia's largest trading partner, export destination and source of import. According to Australian statistics, our merchandise trade in the first half of this year reached 108 billion AUD, a year-on-year increase of 22%. Australia’s export to China was 71 billion dollars, an increase of 29%. Import from China was AUD 37 billion, an increase of 10%. And there are still vast potentials waiting to be tapped.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement continues to bring dividends as more than 5,400 Australian products exported became tariff free following the fifth round of tariff cuts from January 1 this year. Thanks to CHAFTA, finally, Australians beats the French in exporting wine to China. The abattoirs will be busy sending beef to China. Such intense and extensive collaborations in business and trade bring us enormous benefits, including but not limited to tax revenue, employment, fiscal capacity and social investment, which will ultimately trickle down to the quality of our people’s life.

In today’s world, countries are locked together in pursuit of interest and the humanity will share the same future. Peaceful development and win-win cooperation are the only choice in time of unstoppable globalization. China and Australia are both major countries in Asia-Pacific region. There is no historical grievance or conflict of fundamental interest between us. Instead, we share many common interests. We both advocate multilateralism, free trade and open world economy. We both cherish our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and wish it to grow. This is the consensus reached between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during their recent meeting in Bangkok. A healthy and stable bilateral relationship not only serves our interests but also contributes to Asia-Pacific prosperity and stability. We will be able to make this partnership work better if we could view each other’s development path and social system with rational thinking and respect, if we could perceive each other’s growth as an opportunity rather than a threat, if we could view our cross-board collaborations with confidence and trust instead of bias and suspicion.

Dear friends from business,

Enterprises play a major role in promoting economic growth and technological advancement, providing job opportunities and improving people’s living standard. You are an indispensable force for economic and social progress. A qualified entrepreneur would have the most sensitive touch of the pulse in the market, understand the weal and woe of the workforce, share home country’s interests and concerns, and snatch most accurately business opportunities and partners. A qualified government, responsible and forward-looking it must be, would be most proactive in removing obstacles or barriers to business growth and collaboration, reducing government interference and hypothetical limitations, safeguarding the legal rights and interests of the enterprises, and creating outstanding business environment that is fair, just, transparent and non-discriminatory.

Thanks to the active support of the Honourable Mr John Howard and Chairman Mr Long Yongtu, the Sino-Australian Entrepreneurs Summit has been held with much success on two previous occasions. I believe this Summit will be another success in creating business opportunities, innovating collaboration formats, expanding spheres of cooperation, and deepening Chinese and Australian business partnerships. I thank the organizer and everyone for your contribution and participation.

I hope that the business representatives will enjoy meetings and dialogues, enhance understanding and trust, and engage in more joint ventures and collaboration projects. I hope that the entrepreneurs will continue to be the leaders in industrial upgrading, technical innovation and social development, and make contributions to strengthening China-Australia relationship and promoting regional and global prosperity.

Again, I wish the Summit great success.

Thank you!

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Tel: 0061-2-62283999, Fax: 0061-2-62283836
E-mail: chinaemb_au@mfa.gov.cn
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