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Speech of H.E. Ambassador Mrs. MA KEqing at the seminar on "Belt and Road" Initiative: Challenges, Opportunities and Priorities for China,Europe and the Czech Republic

2016/09/14

September 7, 2016

Respected Mr. Hamáček,Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies,

Respected Minister Mládek, rector Zima, director Balabán,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On the occasion of the opening of this seminar, let me welcome all guests from the Czech Republic and from China! This seminar provides China and the Czech Republic a good platform for in-depth communications about the “Belt and Road” Initiative. The theme of the seminar reflects the expectations of our two countries on the initiative, and also some certain concerns about the risks and challenges connected with the process of advancing the initiative. I look forward to good ideas and valuable suggestions from each and every speaker and panelist at the seminar.

The ancient Silk Road is a common heritage of mankind. The “Belt and Road” Initiative first proposed by President Xi Jinping three years ago is aimed at sharing development opportunities with relevant countries and achieving common prosperity. Based on the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, it promotes policy communication, interlinked facilities, flow of trade, and capital and communication among the people and it has been widely recognized by relevant countries. During three years, more than 100 countries and international organizations have got involved, China has signed cooperation agreements in connection with the “Belt and Road” Initiative with more than 30 countries. International cooperation in production capacities has been carried out between China and 20 plus countries. With the deepening financial cooperation represented by the Asian Infrustructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund, a number of influential landmark projects have taken shape. Last three years have witnessed the growth of China’s bilateral trade with 49 countries along the “Belt and Road” exceeded $ 1 trillion and China's direct investment close to $ 15 billion. In advancing the development of the “Belt and Road” projects, relevant countries stand up to face challenges and risks binging results from scratch, beyond expectations, and creating new opportunities of development for both China and other countries.

The early harvest of the “Belt and Road” achieved has demonstrated the initiative’s strong vigour and vitality. We will adhere to equality, pursue mutual benefit and focus on key areas, key countries and key projects to promote the development of the “Belt and Road” so as to achieve even greater success. China welcomes all parties including Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and the Czech Republic to board the “express train” of China's development and to participate in the cooperation.

The Czech Republic, located in the centre of Europe, is an important country of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. In recent years, its political situation has been stable, the economy has shown a good momentum of development. It is becoming one of the most important countries in the Central and Eastern Europe for investment by Chinese companies and an important partner for China. During the historical visit of President Xi Jinping in the Czech Republic in March this year, a strategic partnership was established between our countries, bringing bilateral relations to a new record high. Currently, the bilateral relations find themselves in the best period in history and an all-round cooperation is unfolded in various fields and at different levels.

Czech leaders have repeatedly exposed the readiness of the Czech Republic to become China’s "gateway" into the EU market. Recently, minister Mládek also mentioned in China that Czechia can play the role of a “super contact person” and coordinate China’s cooperation with the EU countries. Under the framework of the strategic partnership between China and Czech Republic and the “16+1” Cooperation, we are ready to take hands with the Czech Republic, to earnestly implement the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting the “Belt and Road” Initiative and the On line Silk Road signed between the two countries and its outline as well as the list of projects attached, to promote the docking of major development strategies such as "Made in China 2025" plan and the Czech “Industry 4.0” plan, we should focus on strengthening cooperation in the automotive industry, aviation industry, machinery and other manufacturing industries; strengthen cooperation in the high-tech fields of nanotechnology, lasers, medicine and biotechnology, and continue to expand two-way trade and conduct financial cooperation. We hope to strengthen cooperation in tourism, promote cultural exchanges, and to deepen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of health care, education or between regions. Cooperation between our two sides should be creative serving as a hot showcase by the “Belt and Road” cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The G20 Summit hosted for the first time by China ended two days ago in Hangzhou. The theme of the summit was “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy". During the summit, China president Xi Jinping delivered an important speeches and, together with other countries’ leaders, put forward a series of response options to solve the urgent problems in the global economy. This summit has become the most fruitful one in its history; it has injected a new momentum into the world’s economic growth and has raised the world’s confidence to jointly promote sustainable growth of the global economy. With the help of the world's economic growth blueprint depicted by the Hangzhou G20 Summit, we look forward to achieving common development with the Czech Republic.

Finally, I wish this seminar success!

Thank you.



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