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Develop Efficient China-Poland Economic Diplomacy: Join Hands to Make Better Future

--Remarks by Ambassador Xu Jian at SEJM Conference of 'Poland-China Towards Efficient Model of Economic Diplomacy'

25 June 2014


Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good morning. Thank you for inviting me here, and thank you all for your contribution to growing China-Poland economic relations. I look forward to having a candid exchange of views with you about further developing our bilateral economic relationship.

Over two thousand years ago, a trade corridor called “the Silk Road” linked China and Europe together. Today, we see frequent interactions between China and Europe on many occasions. “Economic Diplomacy” is not a new topic but always has new things to talk about. And it is an area with a huge potential to tap.

In 2014 we will make new ground in conducting China's diplomacy, with economic diplomacy be one of the priorities. To improve connectivity, establish multilateral and bilateral Free Trade Zones, and promote inclusive cooperation among different regional and trans-regional trade agreements, will help China to carry forward a new round of opening-up to the outside world and serve the peaceful development of the world as well. China wants not only to upgrade Chinese economy, but also to upgrade our opening-up through economic diplomatic means.

I have been here as Chinese ambassador for nearly two years. I am deeply impressed by the vitality of Polish economy and greatly encouraged by the sound momentum of advancing our economic relations. For many years, our bilateral trade has been growing steadily. Poland remains our largest trading partner among CEE countries. Our trade volume exceeded 10 billion US dollars in 2008 and reached 14.8 billion US dollars last year, scoring a 3% year-on-year growth rate. Poland is exporting more to China, and China is investing more in Poland. Chinese businesses have growing interest in the privatization process of Poland enterprises. Now 33 Chinese companies in total are investing in Poland. Companies including TCL, Guangxi Liugong Machinery Corporation and Hubei Tri-Ring Group have finished their acquisition of Polish companies, Fujian Peixin International Group and Quanzhou Jianjiang Automobile Fittings Corporation got listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange.Two of the major commercial banks in China, ICBC and BOC, have set up their branches in Warsaw, bringing the financial ties between us closer. Since 2013, a number of delegations of various levels have visited Poland. Many Chinese companies are actively engaged in infrastructure projects such as electricity and energy. In the coming 5 years, China will invest over 500 billion US dollars overseas, import more than 10 trillion dollars worth of products, and Chinese people will make more than 500 million outbound visits. I am confident that China and Poland have the will and ability to seize the opportunity to promote our cooperation to a higher level.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

According to ancient Chinese wisdom, there are three decisive factors for gaining success, namely good timing, geographical convenience and harmonious human relations. In my view, China and Poland are well positioned to conduct “efficient” economic diplomacy, but we need to work together and make good use of the time of sound development, the convenience of connectivity and the harmonious relationship between our two peoples.

First, seize the time of smooth economic development. Chinese economy enjoys the highest growth rate in the world while Polish economy is growing at the fastest and steadiest pace in Europe. The two economies are similar yet complementary. It’s time for us to create highlights of growth in our cooperation. Last year, when meeting with heads of government of CEE countries, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed that we plan to double our trade volume with CEE countries in 5 years. This March, when President Xi Jinping was visiting Europe, he said we need to combine the two powers, two markets and two civilizations of China and the EU. Practice proves that the more successful China’s reform is, the wider China opens up to the world, the more the world benefits from China’s development. China encourages our businesses to import more from and invest more in Poland, and hope that Poland would be a “gateway” in China-CEE cooperation. Poland also values its cooperation with China, encourages the exploration of Chinese market, echoes China’s proposal of building a “Silk Road Economic Belt”. We appreciate Poland’s commitment of using its regional influence to promote and implement this initiative among its neighboring countries. I am convinced that our smooth economic development and opening-up are making a good time for our economic cooperation.

Second, utilize the convenient transportation connectivity. Poland is located in the heart of Europe while China connects Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region. To boost our economic cooperation, it is important to take Poland as a bridge between Eastern and Western markets and China as a door to the Asia Pacific market. Now there are five railway lines linking China and Poland, and direct flight between Warsaw and Beijing. The convenient transportation network facilitates the flow of goods and personnel between us. Gdańsk Port, as a major port in both Poland and Europe, has the potential of turning into a transhipment hub for Chinese goods to Europe. Railways extending to China can serve as a corridor for Poland to explore the western China market. If we keep up improving connectivity, let the “New Silk Road” play its role well, more substantial results will be delivered, and more “polish elements” will be added to China’s import list.

Third, enjoy the harmonious people-to-people relationship. Poland established diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China soon after its founding. Over the past several decades, although the international situation has undergone big changes, our relationship has always been growing well. In recent years, we have enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges and opened more channels for dialogue. Cooperation in various areas goes deeper, close people-to-people ties become a highlight in our relationship. More and more Chinese enterprises are attracted to the Polish market and show a stronger wish for deeper cooperation. An increasing number of Chinese tourists choose famous Polish cities like Warsaw and Kraków for visits. Our Polish friends are also paying more attention to China. More polish students are studying in Confucius Institutes each year, and the society shows bigger interest in starting cooperation with China. Mechanisms such as China-Poland Tourism Forum and China-Poland Forum on Local Cooperation are active. As a traditional Chinese saying goes, “Amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states”. Indeed, the amity between our peoples is creating a favorable environment for our economic cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Efficient economic diplomacy needs us to follow the principle of making our cooperation “mutually beneficial”, “open and practical”, “enterprising and innovative”. To have “mutually beneficial” cooperation, we should build more platforms, boost political mutual trust and increase policy support, look for more common interests, facilitate two-way investment of qualified enterprises. To have “open and practical” cooperation, we have to remove barriers of various kinds, improve market access and adopt practical measures to deal with problems and frictions, so as to promote a well-balanced trade relationship. To have “enterprising and innovative” cooperation, we need to put forward more initiatives, explore and broaden new areas for cooperation such as infrastructure, new energy and environmental protection. To this end, China and Poland need to make concerted efforts and better coordinate to pave the way for win-win cooperation.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Poland. The 65th anniversary makes a landmark. It means growth and development, witnessed history and expects future. Though thousands of miles apart, the common aspiration brings us close to each other. As long as we make joint efforts, share experiences of social economic development, pool strengths, we can surely make a brighter future for China-Poland economic relations.

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