HAMBURG — China’s development is an opportunity for Europe and the world, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong said in Hamburg on Nov 24.
“China’s Belt and Road Initiative is to turn China’s opportunities into opportunities for the world and to achieve common development through win-win cooperation,” Liu said when addressing the closing ceremony of the seventh “Hamburg Summit: China Meets Europe” that opened here on Nov 23.
The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative proposed by China in 2013. The initiative aims to bring together countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa via overland and maritime networks.
BIG CONTRIBUTOR TO WORLD ECONOMY
China’s economic growth in 2015 contributed to a quarter of the global economic growth and is equivalent to the sum of a medium-sized economy, Liu said.
In the next five years, China’s total imports will hit $8 trillion, foreign investment in China and Chinese investment abroad will reach $600 billion and $750 billion respectively, Liu said, adding that the number of outbound Chinese tourists will be 700 million.
The Chinese market, products made in China, China’s proposals and services, as well as the spending power of Chinese tourists, will become a long-lasting driving force for the global economic development, Liu said.
By promoting reform, making structural adjustment and improving people’s well-being, the Chinese government has led the Chinese economy into a new normal of growth at a medium-high speed, the vice-premier said.
The Chinese economy has great resilience, great space for development and great potential for growth, Liu said, adding that 900 million laboring people, 170 million talents with higher education and professional skills, and hundreds of millions of middle-income citizens will support China’s economic growth.
She also said that China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which upholds the five principles of innovation, coordination, green development, opening-up and sharing, charts the course for the country’s future development.
INTEGRATION OF DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
The integration of Chinese and European development strategies opens up a broader “waterway” for the “massive ship” of bilateral cooperation and provides new opportunities for enterprises of both sides, Liu said.
China and Europe are located at the two ends of the Eurasian continent, she said, adding that Europe plays a role not only as the main destination of the Belt and Road, but also as an important component of the initiative.
By promoting the integration between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Investment Plan for Europe, China and the European Union (EU) have made tangible progress in setting up investment funds, developing platforms for interconnectivity, deepening digitalization cooperation, conducting dialogues on legal affairs and facilitating personnel exchanges, Liu said.
The vice-premier said 18 European countries have joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as founding members and seven European countries have signed memorandums of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative with China.
Meanwhile, China has joined the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and a coordination mechanism for the integration between China’s “Made in China 2025” plan and Germany’s “Industry 4.0” initiative has been established, Liu said.
By the end of 2015, 16 rail lines connecting China and Europe across the Eurasian continent have started operating, with the total number of runs reaching 1,260 and annual freight worth nearly $5 billion, she added.
DEEPENING CHINA-EU COOPERATION
At present, both China and the EU are at an important stage of deepening reform, while the China-EU cooperation is also at a critical period for an upgrade, Liu said.
China firmly supports the process of European integration, the vice-premier said, urging the two sides to strengthen mutual trust and communication while seeking complementarity and mutual benefit.
She also called on China and Europe to further innovate cooperation with a more open attitude, properly handle the differences in economic and trade cooperation, and build a closer network for people-to-people exchanges.
According to Liu, China is looking forward to working closely with Germany and the EU to actively implement the outcomes of the Hangzhou G20 summit, provide new ideas for spurring the sluggish world economy, and create new opportunities for the development of China and the EU.
Initiated by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 2004, the biennial summit serves as an important platform for discussing the China-EU economic cooperation.
This year’s summit focused on such topics as the fallout of Brexit, China’s economic transition, the Belt and Road Initiative and boosting the efficiency in industrial manufacturing. About 550 participants from China and Europe attended the meeting.