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Creativity guides our growth-Speech by Deputy Consul General of China in Perth Dr. Liu Yutong at the 2013 Mid West Economic Summit in Geraldton
2013/07/31
30th July, 2013
Hon. Liza Harvey MLA ,Minister for Police,Road Safety,Small Business & Women's Interests
Hon. Ian Blayney MLA,Member for Geraldton,
Mr. Ian Carpenter , Mayor of City of Greater Geraldton
Mr. Zhongbing Wang , Mayor of Zhanjiang in the Guangdong Province
Mr. John Collingwood, President of Shire of Chapman Valley
Hon. Shane Love MLA , Member for Moore
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
 
Good Morning, everyone!
 
It is a great honor for me to be attending this 2013 Mid West Economic Summit and to address you here today. This year's Mid West Economic Summit focuses on "creative communities, creating advantage". Coincidentally, I recently read a very good article, which is closely related to the theme of this summit and I would like to share with you right now.
 
The article states that half of all the Nobel Prize winners are Germans, however there are only 82 million people living in Germany, whereas the remaining 6 billion population in the rest world share the other half of the awards.
 
Why is this so? Is it because the German nation is smarter than other nations? Definitely not! This is a false assumption which was once promulgated by Hitler. The truth is in fact that education has created this miracle. Most of us probably will not be aware that pre-school education is actually prohibited in Germany. This was written into Clause 7 of the German Constitution. The purpose of this directive is to avoid the premature development of children's intelligence which turning kids' brains into a type of hard disc drive. Therefore this great idea help reserve abundant free space for children to develop their vivid imagination and creativity later on.
 
This article inspired me a lot and allowed me to realize just how important it is, to emphasize creativity again! A person without creativity might remain just an ordinary member of society without any outstanding deeds; and an enterprise without creativity would not be in a position to seize great business opportunities, and might even find it difficult to survive in a highly competitive market. Even a nation without creativity will stagnate and may develop signs of xenophobia. Thus, a country without creativity will not have a great future and will fall behind the times. Creativity is the basis for personal success and it is the powerhouse for the growth of a country and a whole nation. It is in fact an endless source for the development of human civilization.
 
Currently, the world's overall economic situation is still weak and recovery is quite slow. The United States, Europe, Japan and other major Western economies all have their own difficulties. The IMF have reduced its 2013 world economic growth forecast from 3.5% to 3.3%. The World Bank also adjusted its expectation for world economic growth from 2.4% down to 2.2%.
 
How can we deal with the current situation? I believe the crisis is not yet over and the world economy has entered a short term stagnation. All governments should therefore strengthen their macroeconomic policy coordination, and promote a new round of technological and industrial revolution, in order to achieve a full recovery of the world economy. The most important thing governments should do is to use innovative measures to stimulate the vitality and creativity of enterprises, and to pursue new economic growth points.
 
Creativity of enterprises is the guarantee for survival and will give them the strength to withstand the current crisis. Taking Germany as an example yet again, since the global financial crisis of 2008, it has demonstrated that the German economy continues to maintain a steady growth pattern while at the same time the U.S. economy took a severe blow.
 
U.S. economists conducted a thorough analysis of this phenomenon. Some experts argued that the German economy is constituted mainly by SMEs, accounting for 80% of German economy. And the majority of these SMEs form the basis of the real economy, with independent intellectual property rights and a strong capacity for independent innovation. When the financial crisis struck, the German government gave preferential subsidies to these enterprises, in order to help them adapt to market changes and to achieve industrial innovation. This greatly eased the crisis impact. Yet for the U.S, with the advent of the crisis, the Government focused more on saving the seemingly "too big to fail" virtual economy. In this context, it comes no surprise to see the America economy dumped into deeper crisis.
 
Recently, the Chinese government has taken some helpful measures in order to stimulate the creativity of SMEs. By way of preferential Microfinance, SMEs have become a source for new economic growth. 
 
Now, I want to tell you a little story about creativity. There was a young man in China, who got a 100,000 RMB concessionary loan from a bank (equivalent to 15,000 AUD). With this loan he opened a small grill restaurant in the suburb of Shanghai. He creatively uses his Wechat account to accept customer bookings majorly from the CBD area of Shanghai. (Wechat is Similar to Facebook and Twitter,very popular in China) This genius approach makes his business a great success. Now his business is so good that last year's profits topped 2 million RMB (300,000 AUD).
 
As I have touched the topic of China, I clearly understand that all our Australian friends are very concerned about the current situation of China's economy. Some of my friends have expressed their worry about the slowdown of China economy as well as their doubts about whether China can maintain a steady and healthy growth rate.  
 
I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on some recent figures. China's GDP growth in the first half of this year was 7.6%. This is higher than the 7.5% expecting rate at the beginning of this year. This figure is within a reasonable range. The Chinese Government also issued a forecast that by 2020, China's GDP is to be doubled, compared with that of 2010. To achieve this goal, the Chinese economy needs to maintain an annual growth rate at about 7%. For such a giant economy as China is, this is not an easy task. But we are confident that we have the ability to reach this goal.
 
There is, of course, no disputing the fact that China's economic development is also facing many difficulties and challenges. For example, how to maintain steady growth, as well as improve the quality and efficiency of economic development? How to break the bottleneck effect of energy, resources and environment, in order to achieve further growth? How to produce enough food and ensure food safety standards at the same time, and so on so forth.
 
I believe, that as long as we have reasonable macroeconomic policies and innovative measures in place, to stimulate business vitality and creativity, we can create new economic growth points and explore new areas of development. In the past ten years, China's average annual import was 750 billion USD, which help generate 14 million job opportunities for our trade partners. China's contribution to world economic growth has exceeded 20%. Therefore, if only Chinese economy maintains a stable and healthy momentum, the world's economy will surely recover and come back on the right track.
 
Western Australia is a strong bridgehead in Sino-Australian economic cooperation. WA's exports to China reached 51 billion Australian dollars in 2012, equivalent to the bilateral trade volume between China and France.
 
In a recent phone conversation with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on the 8th of July, the new Chinese president Xi Jinping said that China and Australia, taking advantage of their highly complementary economies and building on a cooperation in the fields of energy, natural resources and agriculture, should enhance their macroeconomic policy coordination, work for better investment environments for their enterprises and expand practical cooperation in infrastructure, energy saving, as well as environmental protection and finance.
 
Now returning  to the topic of my presentation: Creativity guides our growth". Surely creativity was not born with us or directly drop from the sky. The sparks for inspiration and wisdom come from the clash of our differing ideas. There is an old Chinese proverb that says "the wisdom of the masses exceeds that of the wisest individual". Gathered here today, we find many economists, government officials and entrepreneurs, all with far-sighted and innovative thinking. I am thus very confident that we will have an excellent brainstorming session. Reflecting on the economic crisis, we in China tend to say that "after a storm appears a rainbow". Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, although the economic crisis is not yet over, we may still have confidence in the future. I thus strongly believe that the prospect of Sino-Australian economic cooperation has yet a very wide scope. Let us use our innovative thinking, to stimulate creativity, and work together, so as to create an even brighter future for economic and trade cooperation between our two nations!  Thank you all ! (End)
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