On February 2nd, 2010, Ambassador Zhang attended the Unveiling Ceremony of the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGN) for entering into the Australian market in Perth, at which he delivered a speech and encouraged further cooperation in broader areas such as clean energy and mutual investments.
Ambassador Zhang said he felt delighted to see that although the financial crisis is not completely over, more and more Chinese companies have established themselves in Australia. They have invested and expanded their businesses in Australia. This is another proof of the great potential of economic cooperation between our two countries and a strong confidence of our business communities.
He noted that when climate change is posing a pressing challenge on all of us, clean energy offers an important solution. China and Australia therefore have the responsibility to further develop clean energy and contribute to lower carbon emissions. China has announced at the Copenhagen Summit to cut carbon emissions per unit GDP by 40-45% from 2005 to 2020. To achieve this target, development of nuclear and other clean energies plays an important role. 18 nuclear power generation units are under construction in China, which is more than any other countries. They will have a total capacity of 18.9 gigawatts, 60% of which will be developed by CGN. China has one of the world’s largest nuclear power markets. Australia is blessed with the richest endowment of uranium. Our two countries can become close partners in development of clean energy. Through investment cooperation on uranium exploration, they will forge a solid long term partnership. Local employment and economy will benefit, and the market for their products is secured. We hope that the partnership of the development of new energy will grow into a new source and a new bright point of energy and resources cooperation between us.
Ambassador Zhang highlighted the significant role of mutual investment in our overall economic relations. It started from a low level and is now a new driving force of bilateral economic cooperation. Australian statistics show that by the end of 2008, China is Australia’s 13th largest investor and 14th largest investment destination. Particularly in last year, the rising Chinese investments in Australia have played a positive role for Australia to fend off the financial crisis and sustain employment and tax revenue. From the perspective of China’s reform process, this also reflects China’s state policy of opening up the economy in greater width and depth. It demonstrates that China’s development cannot be achieved in isolation of the rest of the world and the context of economic globalization. China will encourage foreign investments in areas like structural adjustment, coordinated regional development and technological innovation. Protection of IPR and foreign investors’ legitimate rights and interests will be further strengthened. China appreciates Australia’s position of welcoming foreign investments, including from China. Chinese companies, private or state owned, operate independently and follow market rules in their overseas investments. They will abide by Australian laws, relevant policies and business principles. While pursuing rightful economic returns, they will also fulfill their social responsibilities.
There were over 100 participants at the event including Mr. Zhang Weiqing, Vice President of CGN, and Mr. Norman Moore, Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Electoral Affairs.