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Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy Mr. YIN Haigang delivered a keynote presentation at the 2018 Trade Seminar of the Bahamas

On May 30th, Mr. YIN Haigang, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in the Bahamas, participated in the 2018 Trade Seminar organized by the Bhamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) and delivered a keynote presentation.

The full text of the presentation is as follows.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s a great honor and privilege for me to be invited to the BCCEC Trade Seminar today. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in The Bahamas, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to today’s host—the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), for its long time efforts in promoting economic and commercial cooperation between China and The Bahamas. I sincerely hope today’s event could help us further explore the cooperation potential between The Bahamas and its partner countries, including China, so as to better serve the people of all countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Over the past four decades, China’s focused endeavor in national development and unwavering commitment to reform and opening-up have brought enormous changes to the country. Over the past 40 years, China’s GDP has registered an annual growth of around 9.5%, reaching over 12 trillion USD in 2017; China’s foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5%, reaching 4.8 trillion USD in 2017; more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the same period.

Over the last four decades, China has made opening-up a fundamental national policy, pursued development with an open door, and lived up to its responsibility as a major country. From “bringing in” to “going global”, from WTO accession to the Belt and Road Initiative, China has made significant contribution to mitigating the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. Contributing over 30% of global growth in recent years, China has become a key stabilizer and powerhouse for global economic growth.

In the past five years, despite the weak recovery of global economy, the Chinese economy has maintained a steady and relatively rapid growth, registering average annual GDP growth of 7.1%, and China’s share in global economy has grown to roughly 15%, up from 11.4% five years before. During the past five years, more than 66 million urban jobs have been created. Coming into 2018, China's economic growth has maintained strong momentum, the employment has been stable and ever increasing, consumption has been growing stably, investment structures have been further optimized, and foreign trade has continued its rapid growth. Today, China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping stated last April at the Opening of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 , we are living at a time with an overwhelming trend toward peace and cooperation, openness and connectivity, reform and innovation, economic globalization is an irreversible trend of our times. China’s experience has proved that opening-up was pivotal to China’s economic growth over the past 40 years, and high-quality development of China’s economy in the future can only be achieved with greater openness. Opening-up is a strategic decision made by China based on its need for development, and its also a concrete action taken by China to push forward economic globalization in a way that benefits people across the world. China will continue to adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up and pursue development with its door wide open. China’s door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider!

As President Xi announced at the Boao Forum, China will adopt the following four major measures to pursue further opening-up: First, China will significantly broaden its market access. Second, China will create a more attractive investment environment for foreign investors. Third, China will strengthen protection of intellectual property rights. Fourth, China will take the initiative to expand imports from other countries. The Chinese Government has every intention to translate these commitments into reality, sooner rather than later. We want the outcomes of our opening-up efforts to deliver benefits as soon as possible to all enterprises and people in China and around the world. I believe that in the coming future, China will enter a new phase of opening-up, and new opportunities will be created for economic and trade cooperation between China and all other countries, including The Bahamas.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2018 also marks the fifth anniversary of the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). As a responsible major country, China hopes to share the fruits of our development with all countries in the world, so as to achieve common development. To this end, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, which has received great attention and positive response from the international community. The Belt and Road Initiative follows the “golden rules” of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, which could ensure that the Belt and Road cooperation is equal-footed, inclusive and beneficial to all. In May 2017, the representatives from more than 140 countries and international organizations participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. The turnout of this Forum is a clear vote of confidence on the Belt and Road Initiative from the international community. To date, more than 80 countries and international organizations have signed bilateral cooperation agreements with China for jointly building the Belt and Road.

China and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries are all developing countries. We are both facing the task of developing economy and promoting the livelihood of our peoples. Thanks to the joint efforts of past years, our economic cooperation has been greatly expanded, and China has become the second largest trading partner and the third largest export market of Latin American and Caribbean countries. The trade between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries reached 260 billion USD in 2017, increased about 19% than a year before. China’s investment to Latin American and Caribbean countries has exceeded 200 billion USD, and Latin American and Caribbean region has become the second largest overseas investment destination of China. According to the International Labor Organization, between 1995 and 2016, Chinese enterprises had created 1.8 million jobs in Latin American and Caribbean region. We are happy to see that the cooperation between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries has brought tangible benefits to both peoples.

In China’s view, the Latin American and Caribbean region is a natural extension of the 21st century maritime Silk Road and thus an indispensable partner in building the Belt and Road Initiative. In fact, the Initiative has gained wide attention and positive response among Latin American and Caribbean countries. In January this year, the Second Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum adopted a Special Statement on the Belt and Road Initiative, which reflected the broad consensus on jointly building the BRI and the clear wills of the two sides to deepen cooperation under the framework of the BRI.

On May 15th of this year, Trinidad and Tobago became the first country in the Caribbean to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with China on jointly building the BRI. China is willing to enhance its cooperation under the BRI with all Latin American and Caribbean countries, take advantage of the policy consultation and financing mechanisms of the BRI, such as the Silk Road Fund, and jointly upgrade our cooperation in infrastructure, trade, investment, and cultural exchanges to a new level.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2018 also marks the 21st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and The Bahamas. Although our two countries are separated by vast oceans, the Chinese government has always attached great importance to the relations with The Bahamas and has taken The Bahamas as an important partner in the Caribbean region. Over the past 20 years, China-Bahamas friendship and cooperation have made considerable progress, with bilateral mutual political trust strengthened, economic and trade cooperation deepened and cultural exchanges enhanced.

The bilateral trade cooperation is becoming closer and closer, and the Bahamian delegation attends the Canton Fair of China every year. Remarkable achievement has been made in carrying out major joint projects. The Baha Mar Project has opened successfully and attracted a large number of tourists, created thousands of jobs and contributed greatly to the economy of The Bahamas. The Thomas Robinson National Stadium built by China has boosted Bahamas’ capability in hosting international sports events and other important activities. With China’s assistance, the Nassau Airport Expressway and North Abaco Port Project have upgraded the infrastructure of The Bahamas.

Nowadays, the Government of the Bahamas is introducing a series of policies and measures to promote the economic and social development of the country. In this background, the cooperation between China and the Bahamas is facing new space and opportunities. China is willing to work together with The Bahamas to strengthen China-Bahamas relations and deepen our pragmatic cooperation in various areas.

Firstly, maintain exchange at all levels and enhance mutual understanding. China is willing to exchange all-level visits between our governments, legislatures and political parties. China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with The Bahamas under existing frameworks like the China-CELAC Forum. China is willing to enhance its communication and coordination with The Bahamas on regional and international issues of common concern, such as the global economic governance and climate change, so as to jointly build a harmonious and mutually beneficial community of shared future.

Secondly, advance economic and trade cooperation and expand our cooperation to new fields. The economic structure of China and the Bahamas is complementary with each other and the space for future cooperation is enormous. On the basis of the outcome of the Second Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum and the platform of the BRI, China is willing to deepen its cooperation with The Bahamas in areas such as infrastructure, information technology, agriculture and new energy, and further expand bilateral trade and financial cooperation. In November 2018, the Chinese Government will host the first China International Import Expo. We are glad that the Government of The Bahamas and the BCCEC will participate in the Expo. This Expo will not only facilitate our economic and trade cooperation, but also provide an good opportunity for The Bahamas to showcase its national image and competitive advantages on this international platform.

Thirdly, deepen people to people exchanges and strengthen our cooperation in areas of culture, education, science and technology. The Chinese Government is willing to provide more scholarships and training opportunities to Bahamians, and support exchanges and cooperation in the above mentioned areas. This year, in responding to the demand of the Bahamian Government, the Chinese Government will hold training programs in The Bahamas for the first time on themes of SMEs management, Information Technology and Agriculture By-Products manufacturing. The two governments are now negotiating the civil aviation cooperation agreement and positive progress has been made already. I believe that the launching of direct flights between China and The Bahamas will greatly facilitate the exchange of our two peoples and the bilateral trade cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Here I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce some details of the 2018 China International Import Expo, which will be in Shanghai this November.

This event was officially announced by President Xi Jinping during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation last year. It is a major measure taken by the Chinese government to support trade liberalization and economic globalization and actively open up Chinese market to the world. It is conducive to the promotion of economic and trade cooperation among all countries, and is conducive to the promotion of global trade and world economic growth. The first China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10, 2018.

China welcomes countries all over the world to board the train of China’s development and welcomes products and services with competitiveness to enter China’s vast market with a population of 1.3 billion. In the next five years, China is expected to import products and services worth more than ten trillion dollars. Through hosting the China International Import Expo, it is our sincere hope to make concerted efforts to make the pie of global trade bigger, give play to the leading role of economic and trade cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, make good use of the driving role of international trade on the growth of world economy, and contribute to a more vigorous, inclusive and sustainable economic globalization.

During the Expo, the National Trade Investment Comprehensive Exhibition and the Corporate Business Exhibition will be held respectively. On the Country Pavilion for Trade And Investment, countries can demonstrate their achievements in trade and investment. On the Enterprise Business Exhibition, companies can demonstrate and sell their best products. Through this platform, countries can sell their goods to China and other countries. During the first China International Import Expo, we will also hold the Hongqiao International Trade Forum. The forum will invite leaders of participating countries, principals of international organizations, Chinese and foreign well-known companies and large multi-national companies to attend and exchange ideas on how to promote global trade, with an aim to contribute wisdom to countries all over the world, particularly developing countries, in involving in economic globalization and improving global economic governance.

I am very pleased to learn that the Government of The Bahamas will send a ministerial-level delegation to the first China International Import Expo and build the Bahamas National Pavilion at the expo . We also welcome the BCCEC to organize the participation as the only invitation service agency in The Bahamas.

In order to bring a better understanding of the first China International Import Expo, we have prepared some brochures for your reference and will play a short video later.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Although I have been in the Bahamas only for five months, I have deeply felt the unique charm of this beautiful country, the longing for better life of the friendly Bahamian people, and the economic vitality of The Bahamas. I am very pleased to see the relations between China and The Bahamas maintains a strong momentum, and the exchanges and cooperation in all areas are further deepening. More and more Chinese are traveling to The Bahamas, more and more young Bahamians hope to visit China. More and more Chinese companies are expanding their business in The Bahamas, and more and more Bahamian businessmen are seeking trade opportunities with China. Because of that, I am confident that the future of the China-Bahamas relations will be even brighter.

Finally, I would like to thank the Host—BCCEC again for the invitation and its efforts in promoting the first China International Import Expo. The Chinese Embassy in the Bahamas is willing to make joint efforts with the BCCEC and all friends present today to make new contributions to China-Bahamas friendly relationship and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Thank you!

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