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Premier Li calls for better cooperation in third-party market

Updated: Oct 27,2018 5:56 PM

Premier Li Keqiang called for China and Japan to bring in more cooperation, not cutthroat competition, when tapping the third-party market, during an address at the first forum on China-Japan third-party cooperation in Beijing on Oct 26.

The forum was attended by Premier Li and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

At the forum, more than 50 cooperation agreements were reached between entrepreneurs from China and Japan, with the total amount exceeding $18 billion. They also planned to work together to further tap the third-party market.

During Premier Li’s visit to Japan in May, he and Abe reached consensus on cooperation in third-party markets. Six months later, the first forum on China-Japan third-party cooperation was held in Beijing, with the participation of more than 1,000 Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs.

Premier Li said in his speech that the forum’s organization shows an intention that China and Japan will not engage in vicious competition in the third-party market, but give greater play to their complementary advantages and expand cooperation for a win-win situation.

Abe said China-Japan relations have opened a new phase from competition to coordination.

Hundreds of boards displayed at the forum showed the fruitful results of cooperation between Chinese and Japanese companies in the third-party market. For example, in Kazakhstan, Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co and Japan Marubeni Co cooperated with local companies and signed a general contract for an equipment construction project with a total price of $1.68 billion. And in Germany, China CITIC Pacific Co and Japan’s Itochu jointly participated in an offshore wind power project, and delivered electricity to 370,000 German families.

Each board shows the foundation and potential, as well as the prospect for China-Japan cooperation in the third-party market, Premier Li said.

He said enterprises from both countries have carried out such cooperation in various models, with closer economic and trade cooperative relations coming into shape.

Pragmatic cooperation between China and Japan acts as the foundation and propeller for their relations. Their cooperation in third-party market will bring more room for bilateral cooperation in general, which will in turn give greater potential for third-party market cooperation, Premier Li said.

Abe said the China-Japan cooperation with the third-party involved can be traced back to the 19th century, when Japan used Chinese characters translating Western ideas, creating a large number of new vocabularies spreading to Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam.

He said Japan is willing to follow the principles of openness, transparency and marketization, and work with China to develop cooperation projects in third-party markets, to achieve win-win results and make contributions to regional and world development.

China and Japan are highly complementary in their economies. Efforts should be made not only to carry out third-party cooperation but also further explore cooperation potential, said Premier Li.

“China will further expand a new round of opening-up, promote fairer supervision, and strictly protect intellectual property rights to build a market-oriented, law-based, and international business environment,” Premier Li said.

Premier Li extended his welcome to invite Japanese enterprises to invest in China. “We also are willing to strengthen financial cooperation with Japan through currency swaps, to provide support to enterprises from both sides,” he said.

Under the increasing uncertainties of the world economy, Sino-Japanese cooperation will show the world that free trade is the premise of fair trade, which in return will promote the continuous development of free trade, the Premier said, adding that trade development and prosperity bring benefits to the world’s people and also is beneficial to maintaining world peace and stability.

Abe said China and Japan are neighbors and cooperation partners for each other without threats.

In the 1980s, the Japanese government and enterprises first made investments in China, propelling the development of China’s modernization, he added. Today, Japan, with a growing China, are entering an era where they can make contributions to the world, Abe said.

In the past 40 years, Japan’s business sectors have participated in China’s reform and opening-up and made positive contributions to China’s development while sharing opportunities and dividends of China’s development, Premier Li said.

He expressed hopes that entrepreneurs from both countries could continue cooperation and create more space for cooperation with more fruitful results.