Home > Previous Events > The 12th CSABF > Speech by He Yafei Former Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Vice Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council on the Opening Ceremony of the 12th China-South Asia Business Forum

Speech by He Yafei Former Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Vice Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council on the Opening Ceremony of the 12th China-South Asia Business Forum

      It is a great pleasure to speak to such a distinguished group, but today, I will speak in Chinese, in view of so many Chinese presents here.
      The forum is organized under the theme“Challenging Opportunities: Job
Creation and Investment Innovation”. As the interests commonly shared by China and South Asia are in close connection today, our discussion about the cooperation between the two parties under the background of the Belt and Road initiative is very timely. The initiative embodies the new thought and concept pertaining to the economic development of China and the world as well as global governance of China’s Party Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as the core. Based on the successful domestic governance experience of China, the initiative serves as a new solution to the complex problems existing in the new era ofglobalization.
      Togetherlocated in Asia, South Asia and China are sharing a common fate in
such fields as politics, economy, culture and religion. South Asia is an important part of the Belt and Road initiative, whose fate and interests are closelylinked with China through the six economic corridors and the cooperation in the five fields (policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond). Yunnan Province, where we stand today, is an important border province and strategic node connecting China and those countries. At international level, as globalization has developed to the extent of today, both China and South Asia have formed a highly interdependent community of common destiny,where China, as the second largest economy in economic aggregate, is the important strategic support. With the bankruptcy of neoliberalism in western economy, the development road, patterns and philosophy of China have drawn attention from its surrounding countries. The mutual openness and strengthening cooperation between China and South Asia should be considered from numerous viewpoints of domestic, regional and international and from the perspectives of promoting globalization, building up global partnership and a community of common destiny for all mankind.
      The economic developments are different in each South Asia country along the “Belt and Road” routes, those countries are enjoying abundant social diversities,whose economic and trade cooperation with China is graduallyfrequent. The direct non-financial investment amount of China’s enterprises to 53 countries along the “Belt and Road” routes has reached USD l4.53 billion. The number of newly-signed foreign contracting engineering projects with6l countries on the route is over 8,000, among which South Asia takes a large share. Yunnan Province, ranking the No.l0 among China’s ten largest provinces investing abroad, enjoys a favorable regional advantage and good development trend. Another evaluation indicates that among all the regions China has invested in, South Asia ranks No.4 with a score of 6.9 in the full score of l2.
      I will now focus on the bright prospects of the regional cooperation between China and South Asia. Considering regional cooperation, we should firstly focus on the developing philosophy and direction. At the Fifth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth CPC Central Committee, China has introduced the principles of “innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development”. 0n the 20l6 G20 Hangzhou Summit, the World Economic ForumAnnual Meeting in January 20l7 and the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 20l7, President Xi Jinping has clarified the regional cooperation driven by the Belt and Road initiative,pointed out the direction and stressed that in the period of driving force shifting, we should depend on innovation_driven development. Then, what is innovation? It means grasping opportunities, creating jobs, increasing investment and taking innovation as the major driving force. Currently, as China is in economy transition process, and the regional cooperation between China and South Asia is stepping into a new developing phase, we need new concept to put innovation-driven development at the first position in our cooperation, cultivate and strengthen the capacity of huddling together for warmth between China and South Asia countries and gain the new power and impetus to keep advancing in new starting point.
      In the New Normal when the world economy has undergonelong_periodic slow developing, the traditional power stimulating supply and demand is waning and there is no new technical revolution taking shape. The challenge in the“Challenging Opportunities” signifies that the core to over-turning economy needs impetus, and we ought to consider how to find it during our regional cooperation.
      While China and South Asia are in cooperation on the platform of the Belt and Road initiative, we should seek to all-round opening in the fields of trade, investment, employment, culture and tourism, and take innovation as the main driving force, which means we need to innovate in useful technique, cooperation model, business model, investment method and production mode. Because the existing investment and production ways have been regionalized and globalized.
      Both China and South Asia should seek to coordinated and interactive development, carry out supportive finance development, and depend on the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing industry
      Different national conditions as China and South Asia may have, their development direction is the same, which means the old separated and extensive patterns can never hold water. In terms of economy, both China and South Asia have gathered numerous innovation elements, covering S&T talents, entrepreneurs, young labors, small and medium sized enterprises and R&D organizations.
      The resources superiorities and development potentials between China and South Asia countries may different, but we have all the necessary conditions to make the regional development to be the new global economic growth point through innovation as well as coordinated, interactive and complementary development.
      China and South Asia should deepen the cooperation within the Belt and Road frame, highlight green andlow-carbon development, realize sustainable development in economy and follow our people’s demands of clear water and green mountains. Meanwhile, we need to stress on the importance of mutual opening, which means we should not develop in our own scope without thought of others, because what the Belt and Road initiative, the gift of China to South Asia and the rest of the world, has actually proposed is that we need to follow a new path of mutual development and openness and collective prosperity and explore new international cooperation model. 0n the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping has clarified the Silk Road Spirit一“peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness,mutual learning and mutual benefit” and analyzed the regional cooperation between China and South Asia. For China’s enterprises to go global and their counterparts in South Asia to come in, the mutual advantages and complementarities are undoubtedly strong, which means the two parties, each has its own superiorities, are enjoying big economic complementary Problems may certainly happen, for example, what should we do when the host country lacks a sound law system or its policy unstable, or how to deal with the demands forlocalization or taxation? Facing with such specific problems, I believe that our industrial and commercial enterprises, associations of entrepreneurs and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade could serve as a good regulator.
      At last, I want to remind you that currently, anti-globalization and populist ideological are emerging, and such anti-globalization forces of protectionism, anti- immigrant and backlash against free trade in Europe and America countries are spreading, which have set of fan alarm bell for all of us and provide new impetus for developing countries to strengthen cooperation.
      The regional and integrated cooperation between Yunnan and South Asia countries are an important part of China’s foreign economic relations, where the Belt and Road initiative has provided an effective andlong-term platform of the cooperation between the two parties.
      Wish the forum a great success. Thank you.

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