Speech by H.E. CHEN Yuming, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden at the China-Swedish Entrepreneurs’ Round-table Meeting
Mr. MA Weihua,
Good afternoon. It’s a great pleasure to have all of you here with us today. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Swedish government, Business Sweden, Sweden-China Trade Council and Geely-Volvo Company for inviting entrepreneurs from China Green Companies Alliance to visit Sweden, and making possible this face to face exchange between entrepreneurs of both countries.
The recently-concluded G20 Hangzhou Summit sets up a new “global benchmark” to the international community and lives up to the world’s expectation. During the Summit, President Xi Jinping proposed that all parties should strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, break new path for growth, improve global economic governance and build an open global economy. When briefing the media on the results achieved in the G20 Hangzhou Summit, state Councilor Yang Jiechi pointed out that the Summit demonstrated the partnership spirit of facing challenges together, charted the course for world economic growth, mapped out a series of practical action plans and showcased the determination of pursuing common development. As a major engine of growth, the prospect of China’s economy has drawn more international attention. Many people wonder whether China can maintain sustainable and steady growth, and whether China can continue its reform and opening-up. Facts speak louder than words. China has answered these questions with actions. Early this year, China drew up the outlines of the 13th five-year plan for economic and social development. These outlines call for implementing the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, highlighting such issues as even, coordinated and sustainable development, and ultimately achieving a moderately prosperous society in all respects. In the first half of the year, with the implementation of a series of reforms, progress has been achieved and stability ensured in China’s economic development. Among other things, China’s GDP increased by 6.7 per cent, the added value of the tertiary industry accounted for 54.1 per cent of GDP, 7.17 million jobs were created and personal income increased by 6.5 per cent with CPI increase kept at around 1.9 per cent. The overall economic goals of China have been fulfilled. Driven by reforms and innovation, there is no denying the fact that China has become the most potential emerging market in the world.
With regards to the investment environment both in China and Sweden, in the World Bank’s report of Doing Business 2016, Sweden ranked the 8th in the Ease of Doing Business Index in all the 189 economies in terms of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. That is why more and more Chinese enterprises are attaching increasing importance to Swedish market in recent years. Thanks to many years’ of hard work, China’s investment environment has been further improved. Facts and figures are the most revealing: the first seven months of this year have witnessed a year-on-year increase of 9.7% for foreign-invested companies in China, and 31.3% growth for the actual amount of foreign investment in China by 28 EU countries. No company or businessman will make a rash investment decision without the prospect of gaining returns or profits. These figures also demonstrate that China is still the ideal destination of investment for all countries including the EU. In the future, China will continue to expand access for foreign investment, better facilitate trade and investment, strengthen efforts to protect the intellectual property rights for enterprises, in particular, the small and medium-sized enterprises, promote fair and open competition and create a sound business environment.
President Xi Jinping emphasized in Hangzhou that China will unwaveringly pursue a strategy of sustainable development and stay committed to green, low-carbon and circular development and China’s fundamental policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment. In the next five years, China’s water and energy consumption as well as CO2 emission per unit of GDP will be cut down by 23%, 15% and 18% respectively. We will make China a beautiful country with blue sky, green vegetation and clear rivers. I believed that under the concerted efforts of both sides, China and Sweden will see broad prospects for cooperation in the fields of green and circular economy.
China and Sweden enjoy a long history of business and trade cooperation, and Sweden is the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with new China. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 66 years ago, under the joint efforts of the governments and enterprises of both sides, China and Sweden have made fresh progress in business and trade cooperation. Bilateral trade volume has increased by more than 110 times that of the early years of China’s reform and opening up, with more than 500 Swedish enterprises investing and starting up businesses in China, and Chinese investment in Sweden reaching 3.4 billion US dollars. The Geely-Volvo project has become a successful example of China’s overseas investment by private enterprises as well as China-Sweden economic cooperation. The economic and industrial complementarity between the two countries creates favorable conditions for mutually beneficial cooperation. I totally agree that the Chinese Entrepreneurs Delegation puts the emphasis of this visit on learning Sweden’s successful experience in the field of sustainable development, which will be conducive to bringing the advantages of the two countries into full play and expanding business cooperation to meet the demands of developments. I hope that through this visit, entrepreneurs from China Green Companies Alliance will discover business opportunities and new growth points for business and trade cooperation between China and Sweden.
I wish you a successful visit.