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Speech by Lu Pengqi Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of international Trade on the Opening Ceremony of the 12th China-South Asia Business Forum

Distinguished Mr. Zong Guoying, Member of Standing Committee of Yunnan Provincial Committee of CPC,Executive Vice Governor of Yunnan Province of PRC
Honorable Mr. Suraj Vaidya,President of SAARC CCI
Leaders and Guests,
      Good afternoon!
      In thel2th China-SouthAsia Business Forum,jointly held by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade(CCPIT), the People’s Government of Yunnan Province and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry(SCCI),on behalf of CCPIT, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all the guests present.
      China and South Asia countries are linked by mountains and rivers with the land and sea connected.We are good neighbors enjoying geographical proximity and cultural affinity, good friends willing to help each other and good partners pursuing common development through close collaboration.
      The recent years have witnessed the increasingly frequent high-level exchanges,enhancing political mutual trust,deepening bilateral ties and substantial developments of economic and trade cooperation between China and South Asia countries.Last year,leaders ofNepal,Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and India successively visited China,and President Xi Jinping also paid a visit to Bangladesh and met leaders from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka during the8th BRICS Summit in India.The close interactions between the senior leaders have laid a solid foundation and brought new impetus to the economic and trade cooperation between China and South Asia.Under the background that the growth rate of the global trade is declining,the total volume of trade between China and South Asia in 20l6 reached USD lll.5 billion,basically the same as last year.Meanwhile, the project cooperation between China and South Asia has resulted in fruitful achievements,and the projects like high speed railway, port, bridge and power station have been advanced in order,which largely facilitate the bilateral economic and trade cooperation and bring tangible benefits to people of related countries.
      Friends,Ladies and Gentlemen,
      China and South Asia countries are enjoying strong economic and trade complementarities,highly conformed development strategies and broad prospect for cooperation. In the past40 years after China’s reform and opening up,economy, social and other fields have gained huge achievements. Currently,China is implementing thel3th Five_Year Plan,where it is striving to deeply advance economic structure reform,accelerate changes in the mode of economic growth, pursue an innovation-driven development strategy, promote the development of industries toward the medium_high end,build an open economy based on new systems, follow the principle of extensive consultation,joint contribution and shared benefits,and push forward the construction of the Belt and Road initiative.0n another hand,South Asia countries are the strategy support and important direction of the Belt and Road initiative,enjoying rich resources,big market scale and development potential.These countries have become one of the fastest-growing
economic regions in the world by vigorously promoting economic structural reform, improving investment environment,encouraging innovation,cultivating emerging industries and pushing forward industrialization. Enterprises of the two parties should seize the favorable opportunities to enhance mutual communication and expand mutual-benefit cooperation,thus jointly promoting the bilateral economic and trade relations to a broader and deeperlevel.
      As the largest and earliest trade and investment promotion organization in china,CCPIT is willing to contribute its share to the economic and trade cooperation between China and South Asia with other trade and investment promotion organizations and business associations in South Asia countries. First, we should thoroughly exploit trade developing potentialities.As bilateral trade is the traditional field of the friendly cooperation between China and South Asia countries,we will cooperate with our counterparts in South Asia in organizing various trade promotion activities,expanding market information exchanges, encouraging enterprises to utilize trade exhibitions and cross-border e-commerce platforms and promoting enterprises in China to import more high-quality agricultural products, minerals and industrial products, thus accelerating the balanced trade growth in China and South Asia countries.
      Second,we should encourage more enterprises to invest in South Asia. Currently,the investment interests of China’s enterprises to South Asia is very high, and we will guide and encourage more Chinese people to invest in South Asia through holding project pairing meetings,promotion conferences and jointly building industrial parks.We will also develop cooperation in the fields of equipment manufacturing, infrastructure construction and service industry and pair China’s favorable capacity,abundant capital and advanced technique to the development strategies of South Asia countries,thus creating more growth points for cooperation and promoting thelocal economy and social developments.
      Third,we should promote the construction of big projects,which is an important base of the sustainable development in economy and society.We will build up cooperation platform, provide high-quality service, and help the two parties to enhance the cooperation in such infrastructures as port,road, railway, airport and electric power,facilitate a series of project cooperation enjoying big influence and strong driving force, promote connectivity and offer support to the sustainable development of South Asia countries.
      Fourth,we should cooperate in building favorable business environment, which is an important condition for enterprises to engage in business cooperation. Considering the increasingly deepening economic and trade exchanges between China and South Asia countries and enterprises’ demands to liberalization and accessibility of trade and investment,we will actively respond to the needs, offer reasonable suggestions and enable related countries and governments to strengthen developing plan pairing and economic policy coordination,thus creating more favorable conditions for enterprises to carry out trade and investment activities.
      Friends,Ladies and Gentlemen,
      China-South Asia Business Forum has become the annual event for industrial and commercial circles in both China and South Asia countries to exchange and cooperate, having been held for twelve years. I hope that you could share your insights freely,make thorough communication, seek common development and thus gain fmitful achievements in this forum.
      At last, I wish the forum a great success. Thank you

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