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Ambassador Gui Congyou's Remarks at China Day
2020/10/29

Dear friends from the business community,

Good morning! I am very glad to attend China Day hosted by Swedish SMEs. Due to COVID-19, today’s China Day event is hosted both physically and virtually. We believe our friends from the business sector will definitely be able to overcome the pandemic and play a positive role in promoting business cooperation between China and Sweden in the post-COVID-19 era.

The world is experiencing changes unseen in a hundred years, which compounded with the pandemic, is bringing human kind to a new historical juncture. IMF estimates predicts the biggest negative growth since the Great Depression in 1930s. Some major economies, out of their self-interest, are now pursuing unilateralism and protectionism. It is our view, however, that in the face of new challenges, it is more important for countries to work even closer together, commit to open development, and overcome challenges in solidarity.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Since COVID-19 happened, the Communist Party and government of China has been determined to do whatever it takes to protect people and save lives. The most comprehensive, strict and thorough measures were taken to secure a victory in a battle where all Chinese people were united to take on the virus. Work and life in China is now back to normal. As a matter of fact, China is the only major economy that has a positive growth rate. In the golden week holiday of our national day and mid-autumn festival that just ended, up to 637 million Chinese tourists travelled domestically, which contributed to an all-round recovery of industries of transportation, restaurants, hotels, tourism and entertainment. The number of people travelling for business, tourism and family-visiting is increasing. The overall positive trend of China’s development is not changed, and a new economic model of dual-circulation that takes the domestic market as the mainstay while letting internal and external markets boost each other is being shaped.

Since COVID-19 struck, China has been actively fulfilling its responsibility as a major country through international cooperation. China provided material and financing support to over 150 countries and international organizations, to strengthen their response capability. After China recently joined COVAX, it has become the biggest economy that supports COVAX. China will use concrete actions to promote equitable distribution of vaccines, ensure developing countries’ access to vaccines, and encourage the participation of more capable countries, to secure a world-wide victory over the virus. This is what China is doing to translate the concept of a community with shared health into reality.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Open development is the only way forward. Unilateralism, protectionism and self-isolation will lead us nowhere. China will work to open up its door wider, and open a broader range of sectors. Despite being severely hit by the pandemic, China is as committed to open development as before the pandemic. In the first three quarters of the year, China’s actual use of foreign capital rose by 5.2%, and trade in goods and services increased by 0.7%. From January to August, Chinese companies’ non-financial investment in countries along the Belt and Road totaled USD 11.8 billion, up 31.5%, and goods transported by the China-Europe Freight Train increased by 30%. China plays a pivotal role in ensuring the stability of the global supply chain.

Affected by the pandemic, this year there is some drop in trade and investment between China and Sweden, but we talked closely with the business community in Sweden and learned that the vast majority of Swedish companies are doing very well in China and are committed to the Chinese market. We believe it is important to see opportunities amid a crisis, and build a new economic model under changing circumstances. It is through openness that China achieved rapid economic growth, so China will be committed to achieving better economic growth through opening its door wider. China is committed to delivering high quality economic growth and a better life to 1.4 billion Chinese people, which means China will be a bigger market with more opportunities for entrepreneurs from around the world. To cut cooperation with Chinese companies is to cut oneself from the biggest market with the most business opportunities. To choose practical cooperation between China and Sweden in the post-COVID-19 era as the topic shows your strategic and long-term vision. In your discussion today, you may focus on high quality economic development of China and the need of 1.4 billion people for a better life. You may also discuss expanding cooperation on green economy, especially environmental protection, smart city, bio-medicines, health, digital and Internet economy. I hope you will explore the Chinese market with greater determination and efforts, and the government of China will provide a more free, open, fair, impartial and facilitating business environment for you, and would like to hear your suggestions on expanding practical cooperation between China and Sweden in the post-COVID-19 era.

At last, let me wish the China Day event a full success. Thank you!

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