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The Address of Vice Minister Qian Keming at the Round Table of Business Cooperation of Silk Road

  

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am glad to jointly discuss business cooperation with you under the background of the Belt and Road construction at the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Xi’an Shanxi. First, on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, I would like to extend sincere greetings and heartfelt thanks to all the guests and my warm welcome especially goes to the commercial officials of embassies and consulates of countries along the line of the Silk Road.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to share three opinions with you

Firstly, the Belt and Road construction creates favorable opportunity for the cooperation and development between China and the relevant countries.

In 2013, When President Xi Jinping visited Central Asia and Southeast Asia, he put forward the cooperative initiatives of jointly building the economic belt of the Silk Road and the 21st century maritime silk road. In the past four years, the Belt and Road construction has transformed into action from concept as well as into reality from vision with rich achievements. Especially in terms of trade and economic cooperation, efforts have been made to constantly enter a new stage, not only driving economic growth of all countries and improving people’s livelihood, but also promoting industrial cooperation and technical transmission. It bring tangible benefits for countries and the peoples along the line. Between 2014 and 2016, the trade volume between China and the countries along the line has exceeded US$3 trillion, the accumulative investment from China to countries along the line has exceeded US$50 billion, the Chinese enterprises have established 56 trade and economic cooperation zones in more than 20 countries along the line, creating almost US$1.1billion tax revenue and 180,000 job positions in relevant countries. Products, service, technologies and capital of countries along the line have been “Made in China” and continuously introduced into China. “China Construction” and “China Service” have been welcomed by more and more countries along the line.

In January-April, China’s foreign trade has continued to maintain a stable and better momentum, realizing a rapid growth. The export to countries along the line of the Belt and Road such as Russia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia increased rapidly, up 29.4%, 32.5%, 16.7% and 15.1% respectively. In January-April, the investment from China to countries along the line of the Belt and Road accounted for 15.1% of total foreign investment at the same time, 6.9 percentage points higher than the same period of last year. Countries along the line of the Belt and Road have increasingly became the hot land for Chinese enterprises’ foreign investment. China has become the biggest foreign investment origin country of Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. In January-April, the contract value newly signed between the Chinese enterprises and 61 countries along the line of the Belt and Road accounted for 51.5% of the newly-singed contract value of China’s foreign contract projects in the same period, and the complete turnover accounted for 48.1% of the total amount in the same period. Countries along the line of the Belt and Road have become a significant market for the contract work of Chinese enterprises.

At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held not long ago, all governments, local regions and enterprises reached a series of cooperative consensuses, important measures and practical achievements, mainly covering the five categories of policy communication, equipment connection, trade connectivity, financing and popular feeling connection, 76 big items and more than 270 specific achievements. These have show that the Belt and Road construction provides great impetus for an open economic development of the world.

Secondly, the Belt and Road construction is a long-time process, needing all parties to join hands to cooperate with each other and make common efforts to transform the blueprint into action.

President Xi Jinping put forward the initiative at the forum that efforts should be made to build the Belt and Road into a peaceful, prosperous, open, innovative and civilized road, promote the Belt and Road construction to run smooth and achieve the great goal, and move toward a greater future. Trade connectivity is an important content of the Belt and Road construction. In order to promote trade connectivity and further deepen trade and economic cooperation, we will continue to expand market opening and positively expand import. We will hold China international import expo since 2018, which not only provides convenience for products of all countries to enter into China, but also provides an international platform for commodity transaction of different countries.

We will adhere to open and transparent principles and jointly discuss the construction of free trade area with willing countries and regions to promote the RCEP negotiation. Efforts will also be made to promote the upgrading negotiation of free trade area with relevant countries, increase new topics such as environmental protection and e-commerce and improve the construction level of free trade area.

We will strengthen the infrastructure cooperation of trade facilitation with countries along the line and improve the customs clearance facilities of border ports. Efforts will be made to maintain the multilateral trade system, accelerate implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the WTO, further simplify supervision procedure such as customs clearance, inspection and quarantine and tax revenue and carry out the exchange of supervision information.

We will work with countries along the line to innovate cooperation mode, jointly build cooperation area of trade and economic industry, develop industrial cluster which meets the upgrading requirements of local industries, forge a batch of cooperation zones with favorable benefits of scale, obvious influences and strong driving force for employment.

We will help countries along the line strengthen capacity building, provide talent intelligence support and policy consultation service for countries along the line, and promote to realize inclusive and sustainable development with countries along the line.

Thirdly, we are willing to regard the starting point of the ancient silk road as a new beginning and jointly discuss the cooperation plan with you to jointly build an open platform and share development dividend.

China’s western region is an important region of China’s development reform and a new round of opening up. Provinces and cities of West China should make full use of their advantages of their location, economy, science and education and culture to deepen trade and economic exchanges with neighboring countries while focusing on policy communication, equipment connection, trade connectivity, financing and popular feelings connection so as to make new important contributions to the construction of the Belt and Road.

MOFCOM will guide the construction of free trade pilot zone of West China, forge an inland-style highland of reform and opening up, explore new mode of economic cooperation and humanity exchanges between the inland and countries along the line of the Belt and Road. We will support East and West China profoundly carrying out cooperation and accelerating promoting the processing trade to transfer to Central and West China. We will also encourage West China to keep the advantages of equipment manufacturing and engineering construction to deeply promote the international capacity cooperation and common development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Accelerating the Belt and Road construction is conducive to promoting the economic prosperity of all countries, deepening regional economic cooperation, strengthening the communication and mutual learning of different civilization and promoting the world peace and development. It is a great course benefiting the peoples of all countries. It is hoped that all friends can speak out freely, communicate with each other profoundly and jointly usher a future for the trade and economic cooperation of the Belt and Road.

At last, I wish the conference a complete success. Thank you!

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