|Speech by Consul General Mr. Liu Yantao at Sichuan Commerce Promotion Presentation|
By Consul General of China in Durban Mr. Liu Yantao
At Sichuan Commerce Promotion Presentation with Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Distinguished Chief Executive of Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mrs. Gugu Mazibuko,
Distinguished Mr. Li Li, Vice-President of CCPIT Sichuan Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On this special occasion, I would like to make three main points, which I hope can provide useful information to our friends of Durban Chamber of Commerce.
First is some update information of China-South Africa economic and trade cooperation. The year of 2008 is the 10th Anniversary of China-South Africa diplomatic relations. In the past ten years, the bilateral economic and trade cooperation has witnessed a tremendous development. In the face of the current global financial crisis, cooperation between South Africa and China is gaining more and more importance. At the end of the first quarter of 2009, China became South Africa's No.1 trade partner, and the bilateral trade volume reached 3.2billion USD.
Speaking of the cooperation between KwaZulu-Natal and China, the former Honorable Premier Mr. Ndebele visited China at the end of last year, and reached consensus with the Chinese side on building agricultural ecology garden and construction of World Cup stadiums and facilities.
Secondly, I'd like to talk about Chinese government's measures to cope with the world financial crisis and business opportunities. China's Central government has carried out a serial of financial policies in time, with great determination, and the measures have gradually taken effects. China's GDP growth will remain 8% this year. In the first quarter, there were positive signals showing the economy is rebounding. There are four characteristics, which also are opportunities in the measures, first, the government will spend 4 trillion yuan (about 570 billion U.S. dollars) over the next two years as a stimulus package to boost domestic economy; second is to expand domestic demand, by cutting interest rate, encouraging consumption, lowering the price of household electrical appliances, changing used cars to new ones and so on; third is to restructure the industries, which includes upgrading industries with high energy consumption and pollution, adjusting the industry overall plan, moving several industries from the eastern part of China to the west, diversifying the industry structures, and promoting the development of rural industries and construction of new countryside; fourth is to optimize import and export, such as restoring export tax rebates on certain industries to stimulate exports, and encouraging imports of resources to meet the domestic needs.
Thirdly, I'd like to talk about my opinions on the economic development and chances of Sichuan province. Sichuan is at the cross line of the strategy of developing west China and the strategy of Central Part's Rising of China. After the disastrous earthquake, the central government has paid great efforts in post-disaster restoration and reconstruction. Sichuan has a good ecological environment with developed tourism and cultural industry. Sichuan is a densely populated province with large market demands. Sichuan is also a destination for industry transfers from the Eastern part of China, because of its high-quality and relatively low-price labor. All these are full of business opportunities, and I believe, later Mr. Li Li will give a much more thorough and detailed introduction.
I sincerely welcome all of you to visit Sichuan province, where you can definitely find new chances for investment and doing business with China. I also want to thank you all for your great interests in China's economic development and conducting economic and trade cooperation with China.
I thank you.