Remarks on the Seminar ‘50 years and going forward’
co-hosted by CCCI & CCBA
Ambassador Liu Yantao
Dear Ms Georgalla, head of economic diplomacy department with Minstry of Foreign Affairs,
Mr Angastiniotis, President of the CCCI,
Mr Parperis, President of the CCBA,
Ms Liu Jianchun, Deputy General Manager of the CIECC,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to attend the seminar today.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and Cyprus. On this special occasion, CCCI and CCBA co-host this seminar, I’d like to extend heartfelt congratulations and wish it a complete success.
Over the past 50 years,China and Cyprus have made gratifying achievements in development and cooperation in many fields. Under the strategic guidance of the two presidents, China and Cyprus have set an example of equality and win-win cooperation among countries of different sizes in the international community.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) . Under the strong leadership of the CPC, President Xi Jinping solemnly announced that China has achieved the first centenary goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
China has applied the New Development Philosophy, which is based on an innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, while implementing a Domestic-International Dual-Circulation Strategy and to foster the New Development Paradigm.Meanwhile, the Chinese government has put in place law-based regulations in all industries including the internet industry to ensure social equality and justice and to achieve a strong, stable and sustainable economic recovery.
The Chinese economy was the first to recover in 2020, and the momentum of economic recovery has been more evident in 2021 actuated by internal driving force.According to China's statistics, the GDP in the first three quarters rose 9.8%, with an average two-year growth of 5.2%, far more than the forecasts by the IMF and the World Bank. In the first three quarters,the consumer price index (CPI) went up by 0.6%, the unemployment rate stood at 5.2%. The amount of absorbing and utilizing foreign direct investment (FDI) saw a sustainable growth, according to the latest figures by the OECD, China ranked the first for attracting FDI up to present this year. Innovation has been gaining momentum,according to the latest Global Innovation Index (GII), China moved up to the 12th place and stands as the only middle-income economy in the list of top 30.
China has made substantial progress in economy transformation and upgrading, and shows strong resilience and vitality in development. At present,China's per capita GDP has exceeded 10 thousand US dollars and has a middle-income group of more than 400 million people which will rise steadily in the future. It’s a predicted that more than 22 trillion US dollars of goods would be imported to China in the following 10 years. All this offers an enormous market. Going forward, China will lay more emphasis on expanding import, and pursue balanced development of trade. China approved the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) , completed negotiations on the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, and worked actively for joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).All the above measures send out a positive message that China will firmly share market opportunities with the rest of the world, and we sincerely hope more countries and peoples will benefit from China’s development opportunities.
Ladies and gentlemen,I’d like to share with you the achievements of our bilateral trade and economic cooperation which foresees a vibrant future as we are at this seminar. According to China's statistics, the figure of trade in goods surged 44.4% to 918 million US dollars last year against the backdrop of the pandemic. During the first three quarters of this year, the goods exported to China reached 22.36 million US dollars,recorded a 9.8% increase on a year-on-year basis. According to the Cypriot statistics, Cyprus exported more than 53 million Euros trade in services to China last year marked a rise of 23%. I also noticed that China became the biggest export destination last year with KEAN Soft Drinks Ltd, and the sales in China was 20 times more than that in the UK. The increase both in goods and services illustrate that the bilateral economic and trade exchanges are getting closer and at a higher level.
We are delighted to witness that Cyprus’ economy continues to recover and develop steadily driven by implementation of the Cyprus National Resilience and Recovery Plan and domestic consumption. Cyprus enjoys the privileged strategic position and EU membership along with business friendly environment, political stability, legal certainty, high skilled personnel and supreme quality of life, and has made outstanding achievements especially in the field of trade in services.
CCCI and CCBA have always been bridges of communication for the industrial and commercial circles from the two countries by spontaneously forming view-exchanging platforms like this one. On this occasion, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the two institutions for organizing such a professional event and to listen to brilliant advices and views on deepening our cooperation.
Taking this opportunity, I’d like to share some views on how to strengthen our bilateral economic cooperation.
First, working together to build a green and digital "Silk Road". At present, some environmental or digital fields in trade have been extended and discussion between the two sides such as importing China-made new energy vehicles has been ongoing. In the fields of the photovoltaic and wind power construction or the infrastructure construction, we already have seen fruitful results. New extensions to construction of smart ports are much expected.
Second, maintaining regular trade in goods.The Cypriot medicines and high-quality characteristic agricultural products like halloumi cheese,wines and fruit juice are all very popular in the Chinese market. We’d like to see the expansion of its market share in China. Recently, the two sides are carrying forward on exporting Cypriot pork, honey and fish to China, and positive progress at the government level have been made.
Third, promoting vigorously the development of the trade in services. In areas such as tourism and financial services where Cyprus has competitive advantages, the two sides need to synergize the strategies with each other to jointly promote the direct flights, and focus on the post-epidemic tourism market by developing more tailor-made tour packages and sport tourism products fit for Chinese tourists.
Fourth, making good use of and expanding more cooperation platforms. At the just-concluded 4th China International Import Expo(CIIE), Cyprus participated in the online country exhibition for the first time to showcase the charm of the country and received good results.In addition, to establish sister cities alliance and university cooperation alliance between China and Cyprus will also bring more opportunities for the two sides to deepen friendship and strengthen cooperation. It is hoped that the entrepreneurs present today will actively participate in the potential cooperation between our two countries.