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Make Further Progress to Compose New Chapter of China-Australia Cooperation -Consul General Dr.Huang Qinguo's speech at Asia Business Center Event
2015/03/19

Respected professor Deborah Terry,Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University,

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentleman,

Good Morning,

It gives me great pleasure to attend the Asia Business Center Event hosted by Curtin University.

Consul General Dr.Huang Qinguo delivers a speech at Asia Business Center Event

As we all know , the just concluded annual two sessions in China attract worldwide attention, they are important meetings to plan China's economic and social development in 2015, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my views on China's economy and China-Australia cooperation.

First, China's economy has been operating smoothly during the past year.

In face of the complicated and challenging international and domestic environments, China has, overall, achieved a stable performance while at the same time securing progress in its economic and social development.

The main indication of this stable performance is that the economy operates within an appropriate range.China's GDP reached more than US $10 trillion, an increase of 7.4% over the previous year,making China one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world. 13.22 million new urban jobs were created, which is higher than the figure for the previous year. The CPI rose by 2%, which is within the reasonable range.

The underlying feature demonstrating progress is that our development is becoming better coordinated and more sustainable.The contribution of consumption toward economic growth rose by three percentage points to 51.2%, the value added of the service sector increased from 46.9% to 48.2% of the GDP; people's lives were improved, per capita disposable personal income increased by 8%, the number of outbound trips made by Chinese tourists exceed 100 million.

The year 2015 will be crucial for comprehensively deepening reform, the first year for fully advancing the law-based governance of the country, and a critical year for ensuring steady growth and making structural adjustment. Recently,Premier Li Keqiang pointed out at the Government Work Report that,we must focus on achieving the dual objectives of maintaining a medium- to -high growth rate and moving toward a medium- to- high level of development.

We need to maintain policy continuity and keep expectations stable while moving forward with reform and structural adjustment, and we need to develop two engines to drive development, popular entrepreneurship and innovation, paired with increased supplies of public goods and services. This will ensure that our growth rate is adjusted without weakening momentum and that growth in quantity is underpinned by greater quality, thereby achieving a better-quality, more efficient, upgraded economy.The GDP is expected to grow 7 % this year,over 10 million jobs will be created in urban areas, and the imports and exports will increase by around 6 %.

The target growth rate is keeping with the laws of development as well as objective conditions in China. A 7% growth rate will ensure ample employment, and it is appropriate in terms of the need to grow and upgrade our economy, and it is aligned with the goal of finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by the year 2020.

Second, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement has great significance

Although China and Australia are separated by vast oceans, friendly exchanged between the two countries date back to ancient times. since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia 43 years ago, the bilateral trade has grow over 1500 times, China has become Australia's biggest trading partner and major source of investment.Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Australia successfully last year,the bilateral relations have been uplifted to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, marking the relations between China and Australia have entered a new historic era.

In April 2005, China and Australia launched the Free Trade Agreement (FTA)negotiations. After a decade and 21 rounds of negotiations, in November 2014, the two leaders announced the substantial conclusion of Sino- Australia FTA negotiations.The Sino-Australia FTA is another comprehensive, high level free trade deal China has finalized with a major economy in the Asia- Pacific region after the conclusion of Sino-South Korea FTA, showcasing China's confidence and determination to forge ahead into the future ,expand opening up, and deepen reform in the new historic period.

Sino-Australia FTA will cover more than 10 areas, including trade in goods and services, investment and trade and trade rules, as well as such subjects as e-commerce and government procurement. In terms of trade in goods, Australia will reduce the tariffs on all Chinese products to zero eventually and China will reduce the tariffs on most of Australian products to zero. With regard to the Service field, both sides agreed to make a high-quality opening up promise to each other covering many sectors.In the investment field, both sides agreed to grant each other the most favored nation status once the FTA takes effect.They also agreed to greatly lower the review thresholds for corporate investment,which will make the market more accessible and transparent to investors.

Sino-Australia FTA negotiations have realized the goal of comprehensiveness, high quality and balance of interest. The agreement is expected to be signed in 2015. The signing of the agreement will allow the two countries to boost bilateral economic and trade relations, utilize their respective economic advantages to boost win win cooperation, bring mutual benefits, and create important opportunities and make greater contributions to promoting the well being of the two peoples.

Third, the Prospect of Bilateral Cooperation between China and Australia is Promising

Reform and opening up is crucial for driving development. Deepening reform comprehensively and carrying out a new round of high-quality opening up will inject new vigor and vitality to China's economic development. In the years to come, China will provide easier market access for foreign investment,further open the financial, education, cultural, medical care, pension and other service sections in an orderly way, and explore the possibility of management based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative-list approach.

China will explore new approaches to investment cooperation with other countries.China's high speed railway, telecommunications and other competitive industries are gradually being introduced to other countries.China will advance the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to form an all-directional opening up pattern. Over the next five years , China's imports will amount to more than $US 10 trillion , foreign investment will exceed $US 500 billion,and more than 500 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas.

As long as we stick to the path of reform and opening up despite difficulties ,China has the conditions and the capacity as well to develop at medium-to-high speed for another ten to twenty years and will bring more business opportunities to the countries including Australia in the Asia Pacific Region and others across the world.

Today, both China and Australia are gaining in popularity with investors and travelers.

We should seize the opportunity, take on the momentum, spare no effort to implement the consensus reached between the two leaders, deepen cooperation, complement each other's advantages, open new areas of bilateral cooperation in energy and mining resources and other traditional areas, seek new growth in finance, infrastructure, agriculture and animal husbandry , science and education and other fields in an effort to push forward bilateral cooperation on a larger scale, in broader areas and at a higher level.

Thank you.

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