“There are many converging visions and interests between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from Brussels

Ambassador Yang China-Europe Investment Forum

HE Ambassador Yang Yanyi at the rostrum of China-Europe Investment and Connectivity Forum that took place on 09 November 2015 at the Committee of the Regions.

Remarks of HE Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU at the Forum on China-Europe Investment and Connectivity Cooperation which took place at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels on 09 November 2015. The Forum took place in presence of Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness and Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions.

 

Your Excellency Mr. Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Union, Distinguished Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
 On behalf of the Chinese Mission to the EU, I have great pleasure to welcome everyone to today’s forum focusing on China-Europe Investment and Connectivity Cooperation.

This is the first ever collaboration between the Chinese Mission to the EU and the Committee of Regions to organize such a significant event. And I wish to thank all those involved for their hard work and excellent preparation.

China and Europe have seen one of the most comprehensive and productive relationships in the world, one that has undergone remarkable transformation since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU back in 1975 and one that has implications far beyond their bilateral ties. 

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the EU in March 2014, both China and the EU agreed to forge comprehensive strategic partnership featuring peace, growth, reform and civilization and strengthen the global dimension of their cooperation.

As follow-ups to this historical visit, the 17th China-EU Summit held last June identified five priority areas of cooperation, namely exploring synergies between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan, connectivity, digital economy, legal affairs dialogue and facilitation of people-to-people exchanges. And the 5th China-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue held last September, discussed in depth implementation of the consensus reached at the 17th China-EU Summit, focusing on strengthening cooperation on investment.

Obviously, today’s forum is conducted at the right juncture and the right place for us to explore the significance and impact of China-EU cooperation on our respective and the global economy, and particularlycollaboration, coordination and cooperation between China and the EU.

To say it is the right juncture is because the international community has been yearning for visions and initiatives that are powerful enough to create the necessary momentum to bring us out of the sluggish global economic recovery.  

Now the world economic outlook is still clouded by considerable uncertainties and volatilities.  Demand in the advanced economies remains lackluster and growth potential anemic.  The key markets are expected to encounter varying degrees of economic slowdown.  

That said, “Every cloud has a silver lining”. On the not so distant horizon we do see a glimmer of hope.Judging from the overwhelming participation by nations from different continents in the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the AIIB, and positive responses to exploration of building synergy between the Belt-Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan, it is apparent that the regional and global market regard these visions and efforts as driving forces that can provide the world economy with fresh and much-needed impetus to the otherwise mundane global growth outlook. 

Further more, the combined forces of the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan will contribute to advancing our respective restructuring and development agenda and building a community of shared interest.

Obviously, there are many converging vision and interest between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan. They are all geared at continuously promoting reform, structural adjustment, improving the well-being of the people, and integratingdevelopment into global prosperity and growth by further opening market, expanding foreign trade and investment, orderly advancing financial reform, actively participatingin the process of global economic governance and contributing to building an open world economy system. 

The advancement of our shared vision and agenda, including the proposed China-EU joint investment cooperation, the launching of China -EU connectivity platform and AIIB,as well as China-EU cooperation in the digital economy including 5G will facilitate China’s medium-high-speed growthand medium-high-level development and the EU’s investment in resources of jobs and growth, and notably in its Single Digital Market, deepening its Economic and Monetary Union and consolidating the Euro area as well as achieving more fundamental reform. 

To say this is the right place is because Brussels boasts to be the Heart of Europe and one of the world-leading hubs for commerce, finance, culture, logistics, and top-quality universities, academics, institutions and think-tanks. Being extensively-connected with markets inside and outside Europe, Brussels offers an ideal venue for West meeting East and Europe meeting China.

Over the years, like elsewhere in the world, China and its relationship and cooperation with other major global players and economies have become the focus of attention within and without the EU institution. And the One Belt One Road initiative and its synergy with the EU development strategy, particularly coordination and cooperation in such fields as investment, connectivity, climate change, innovation, digital economy, cyber security, smart-cities, low-carbon cities, sustainable development, circular economy and green growth haveattracted lively discussions and heated debates.

It’s even more encouraging that there has been growing views if not consensus that China and the EU should take a farsighted and strategic approach with regard to their partnership. 

They should remain open and inclusive, take each other’s development as opportunities, manage “irritants”in a prudent manner and make sure that ideological differences or specific disagreements would not come in the way of long-term and steady growth of their relations.

They should achieve long-term, sustainable benefitsby increasing strategic communication and political mutual trust, advancing bilateral cooperation and CEEC cooperation in a flexible and pragmatic way, synergizingtheir respective development strategies, and deepeningcooperation in business, investment, finance and infrastructure and translating the potential of theirstrategy and initiative into tangible benefits.

They should be bold and pioneering in updating theircooperation by tapping new potential, generating new impetus and learning from each other’s governance experience and leading the global trend of development and reform.

Ladies and Gentlemen, events like today’s forum are imperative in taking forward the Belt-Road initiative and the EU development agenda. I have every confidence that, blessed with the unique advantages of shared aspiration and collective wisdom of the business sector, local communities, academia and governmental organizations, this Forum will contribute to implementing and delivering in full the enormous possibilities and opportunities presented by the Belt-Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan, and fulfilling our shared aspiration for peace, prosperity and progress.

We look forward to hearing about your insights on the topics and concrete proposals in front of us and I am sure that you will find today’s program rewarding and interesting.  

Thank you very much.”

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