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Remarks by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the China-Sweden Entrepreneurship Forum---Haining Day
2018/08/28

Distinguished Member of the Swedish Parliament Mr. Krister Örnfjäder,

Vice Mayor of Haining City Ms. Shen Qinli,

Friends from the business community,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Afternoon,

Let me first extend, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, congratulations to the China-Sweden Entrepreneurship Forum---Haining Day, and my warm welcome to all the guests.

China-Sweden cooperation has a profound history. Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with China. Over the past 68 years, thanks to the joint efforts of the Chinese and Swedish governments and the business community, the two countries continued to make achievements in economic and trade cooperation. Sweden remains China’s largest trading partner and provider of capital and technology in the Nordic region. In 2017, bilateral trade increased to USD 15 billion, with Sweden standing on the surplus side for the first time in 25 years, which highlights the increasing popularity of high-quality Swedish products in the Chinese market. Two-way investment is on the rise, with Swedish companies investing up to USD 4.85 billion in over 1,400 projects in China. Chinese investment in Sweden started late, but grew very fast. The total volume stood at USD 3.69 billion by the end of 2017, and the investment is flowing to a growing number of industries. The Geely-Volvo project is a successful example of China-Sweden practical cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year, the Chinese economy maintained positive and steady growth. In the first half of the year, China’s GDP reached 41.9 trillion Yuan, growing at 6.8%. Industrial growth was steady. Trade grew by 7.9%, and the employment situation remained favorable. Market expectations are positive, as new growth drivers are being developed and the economy is being upgraded.

FDI into China grew steadily. There were 29,591 new foreign-invested companies established in the first half of the year, registering a 96.6% growth, and 446.3 billion Yuan was used, up 1.1%. Numbers and facts show that China remains a popular destination for global investment.

In July this year, the 20th China-EU Summit was held in Beijing. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to deepening partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization by comprehensively implementing the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. They are committed to developing open world economy, promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, opposing protectionism and unilateralism, supporting the multilateral trade system and complying with WTO rules.

The two sides are committed to ensuring a level playing field and mutually beneficial cooperation in bilateral trade and investment, and will work together to solve the market access issues facing businesses on both sides. The two sides underlined the importance for innovation and sustainable development of promoting and enforcing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and pledged to deepen dialogue on IPR, and strengthen collaboration in IPR protection. The two sides will continue to forge synergies between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the EU’s initiatives, commit themselves to strengthening the China-EU Industrial Dialogue and Consultation Mechanism, and further expand cooperation in the fields of automotive, industrial energy efficiency, shipbuilding, raw materials and small and medium enterprises policy. They also emphasized the importance of further cooperation on standardization and of the transition to a digital economy.

You may have noticed that China has recently reduced tariffs on vehicles, consumer goods and medicine, published a new negative list for foreign investors and significantly eased market access. China is working to provide a facilitating environment and level playing field for both Chinese and foreign companies. I hope the Swedish companies will seize the opportunity to expand trade and investment cooperation with China.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Sweden is strong in innovation and science and technology. China is pursuing innovation-driven development as a major strategy for the future. More opportunities will be created for the companies on both sides when we synergize the technology and quality products of Swedish companies with the capital and market of China.

Haining City is located at the south of the Yangtze River delta. As one of the first coastal cities that China opened to the outside world, it has convenient transport, prosperous economy and a booming market. Its GDP in 2017 stood at 86.6 billion Yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8%. On the basis of traditional competitive industries, such as leather, knitting and textiles, six emerging industries, including solar energy, packaging, equipment manufacturing, automobile parts, digital information and food, are flourishing. The fashion industry and new energy and material industry are also growing strongly, worth over two hundred billion Yuan. Haining Innovation Center is recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology as a national level incubator for tech companies. There are many areas where Haining and Sweden can draw strength from each other for win-win cooperation, such as clean technology, telecommunications, new material, the Internet of goods and fashion technology, just to mention a few.

You are all innovative entrepreneurs with a global and strategic vision. With an open, cooperative and win-win spirit, I hope you will have a great discussion on cooperation projects, injecting positive energy for greater China-Sweden cooperation and development of our two countries.

At last, I wish great success for the event. Thank you!

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