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Ambassador Zhang Ming of Chinese Mission to the EU Delivers a Video Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 16th EU-China Fair

From September 17 to 19, 2021, the 16th China-EU Fair was held at the China-Europe Centre in Chengdu. Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, delivered a video speech at the opening ceremony. The full text is as follows:

Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Mission to the EU, I would like to extend warm congratulations to the opening of the China-EU Fair and express sincere greetings to all of you present.

"Plant a millet in spring and harvest ten thousand seeds in autumn." After years of development, the China-EU Fair has become one of the largest cooperation platforms between China and the EU in investment, trade and technological innovation, with the most participating EU member states and the most extensive participation of EU businesses. It is also a window for Chengdu and western China to open to and cooperate with the EU, and plays an increasingly important role in promoting global expansion of companies in western China and advancing China's economic and technological exchanges and cooperation with other countries and regions. Autumn is a season of harvest, and this year's Fair will inject more vitality into China-EU economic and trade relations and bring our bilateral cooperation to a new level.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed severe challenges to the global economy and economic and trade ties. However, China-EU trade and investment have shown great resilience and maintained stable and strong development. Last year, bilateral trade bucked the trend and grew in both directions, reaching USD 649.53 billion, up by 4.9% year-on-year, and China became the EU's largest trading partner for the first time. In the first seven months of this year, bilateral trade reached USD 457.42 billion, up by 33.9% year-on-year, and China remained the EU's largest trading partner. During the same period, the EU's actual investment in China was USD 3.01 billion, up by 10.9% year-on-year, bringing the total over USD 120 billion; China's direct investment in the EU was USD 3.75 billion, up by 86.1% year-on-year. The China-Europe freight trains running through the Eurasian continent are attracting more and more attention from Chinese and European businesses and consumers, with a total of 10,030 trains and 964,000 shipping containers dispatched from January to August this year, up by 32% and 40% year-on-year respectively. According to the recent 2021 Business Confidence Survey released by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Chinese market has become the most important shelter for EU companies, and most of them are willing to continue to do business in China and are full of confidence about their future development.

These figures and examples show that China and the EU, as the world's two major forces, two major markets and two major civilizations, should uphold the principles of equality and mutual benefit, openness and cooperation, multilateralism, and dialogue and consultation. By so doing, the two sides will expand common interests through cooperation, solve difficulties through development, embrace a brighter future in bilateral relations and practical economic and trade cooperation, and contribute more to global economic recovery. There is no reason why the two sides should not keep to the right path and do good for themselves and for the world.

China cannot develop by isolating itself from the world, neither can the world prosper without China. This year, China starts to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan for economic and social development and embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects. The EU's large-scale recovery plan is also under way. In this new stage, China is introducing new measures for reform and opening up, and we hope that the EU will stick to the right direction and adopt policies that help expand mutually beneficial cooperation. Working together is not only good for the well-being of both Chinese and Europeans and social development on both sides, but also good for global peace, development and prosperity.

In just a few days, we will celebrate the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, an occasion associated with harvest and reunion. I hope to take this opportunity to wish the China-EU Fair a full success. The western region is becoming a new area of China's opening-up and a new pace-setter for China-EU economic and technological exchange and cooperation. I look forward to seeing more EU companies participate in the fast economic development in western China, create more opportunities and reap more benefits. The Chinese Mission to the EU will continue to do our part for the opening up of the western region and for the economic and cultural prosperity of all ethnic groups in the western region.

Thank you!

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