Ambassador Liu Jianchao delivers a speech at the promotion conference of the 106th China Import and Export Fair
2009/09/03
 

Ambassador Liu Jianchao attended the promotion conference of the 106th China Import and Export Fair, which was hosted by the Embassy and China Foreign Trade Center, and co-hosted by FFCCCII. The Ambassador delivered a speech at the conference.

The full text of the Speech is as follows,

 

 

Chairman Mr. Zhang Zhigang,

Dr. Alfonso A. Uy,

Friends from the media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good morning!

 

When I was a small boy in elementary school and able to listen to the radio, one of the term I often heard in the news was, in mandarin, Guangjiaohui,or the Canton Fair. Though at that time I didn't know what it was exactly about, I knew it was something important. 

 

Three years ago, the Canton fair developed into the China Import and Export Fair. Since 1957 when it was launched, the Fair has had 105 sessions in the last 52 years, and has grown to be an integrated international trade pageant.

 

The Fair went through the years when China's economy was almost closed and isolated, and China's foreign trade hardly international. In 1957 China's foreign trade volume was only 3.1 billion USD, and in 1978 when China was about to start the policy of reform and opening up, the volume was no more than 20.6 billion USD.

 

The Fair has seen closer and integrated economic and trade relations between China and the rest of the world since the end of 1978. China's foreign trade rose from 20.6 billion USD in 1978 to 2561.6 billion USD in 2008, an increase of more than 100 times.

 

The Fair witnessed the tremendous and unremitting efforts of China and ASEAN countries in weathering the financial crisis in 1998 and the spirit of cooperation among us the East Asian countries.

 

Today, the world is working together to reverse the economic downturn, and so are we the Asians.  One of the lessons that we the Asians have learnt from this crisis, is that Asian economies have been depending too much on foreign markets. We know that we must strengthen the domestic market and undergo structural transformation. But that does not mean that we could afford to lose the international market. We must consolidate international cooperation, and fight against protectionism.

 

And to me, as far as the East Asia is concerned, sometimes the line between a domestic and a regional market is not so clear-cut. China and ASEAN are becoming one market.

 

In 2008, China imported from the rest of the world 1133 billion USD worth of goods, 117 billion USD of which were from the ASEAN countries. The China Import and Export Fair will see a growing China market of about well over 10 trillion USD in the next decade, over 10 % of which be for the ASEAN countries.

 

The signing of the Investment Agreement, together with already-signed China-ASEAN agreements of the trade in goods and services, completed the negotiation process of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. By 2010 when we are to enter the second decade of the new century, we'll see a China-ASEAN free trade area fully established. This area will boast a population of 1.9 billion and an aggregate GDP of nearly 6 trillion USD. More than 90% of the products between China and ASEAN countries will enjoy zero tariffs. It creates an unprecedented good climate for the development of bilateral trade and investment between China and ASEAN countries.

 

The China Import and Export Fair is now characterized by more than half a century history, next-to-none scale, vast variety of commodities, the largest attendance and turnover in China. The Fair thus will continue to gleam as a splendid chapter in the history of regional and international trade. That is why I suggest that you turn up at the fair and grasp the wonderful opportunities it may provide.

 

I'm very pleased today to attend the Promotion Conference of the 106th China Import and Export Fair. Please accept my warm congratulations on the successful conference and my sincere appreciation of FFCCCII's full support for the Fair.

 

Thank you and Mabuhay!

 

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