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Chinese Consul General Dr Huang Qinguo's Speech at North West Economic Summit
2015/08/26

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It’s my pleasure to visit Port Hedland, one of the most important port cities in Australia, to attend the North West Economic Summit. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Perth, I’d like to extend my thanks to Port Hedland for its invitation. I wish the Economic Summit a great success.

Consul General Dr Huang Qinguo adresses the North West Economic Summit

Paticipants at North West Economic Summit

Speaking of Port Hedland, people would quickly associate it with busy ports, huge freighters and full-loaded iron ore. As a matter of fact, being one of the biggest tonnage and highest export ports in the world, Port of Port Hedland has exported billions of tons of resource products to overseas through the past half century, and has made tremendous contributions to the economic development of not only Australia, but also Asia-Pacific and the world. China, being the biggest consumer of Australia’s iron ore, has most of its iron ore imported from Port Hedland. Therefore, Port Hedland is a city of great significance to China, and through all these years of cooperation, both sides have formed a strong relationship with mutual dependence and mutual benefit.

Maybe some people would argue that: now things have changed, the mineral boom is going down and the good days are gone. As a matter of fact, in recent years, the global economy has undergone complicated evolutions; the developed countries are struggling for recovery, Chinese growth is slowing down, and the demand for bulk commodities is decreasing. All of these have brought serious challenges to both China and Australia. With the relationships between our two countries being increasingly close, China’s economic development is becoming more and more related to Australia’s mineral industry. Every day we could see a lot of reports from the media about China’s economy. Many people are concerned if China’s economy would face a hard landing or even collapse, which would cause the Australia’s economy to be endangered. Hereby I’d like to clarify that these concerns are groundless and unnecessary.

At present, the slowdown of Chinese economic growth is the result of our government’s own adjustment, because our aim is to increase the quality and efficiency, and to ensure a steady, healthy and sustainable development. Confronting the pressure of economic downturn, we didn’t choose radical stimulation; instead, we make active reforms and adjust our structure, and as a result, we have obtained a steady and smooth development.

For the past half year, the economy of China has maintained a proper momentum with a steady growth rate of 7%. The quality and efficiency of economy is being enhanced with key indexes improved, showing a stable and steady development is being formed. Specifically speaking, the proportion of the 3rd industry reached 49.5% of GDP, and the consumption contributed 60% of the economic growth. The GDP energy consumption per unit has decreased by 5.9%. The PMI has maintained above the break-even line for 4 months in a row. The high-tech industry remains 2 digits growth rate, with many more new industries, modalities and products growing rapidly. Therefore it is fair to say that the Chinese economy, though under certain level of temporary pressure, still keeps a long term positive momentum. Our economy is being transformed from investment oriented to consumption oriented, and we are striving for better quality and efficiency. All in all, what I can assure you is: the Chinese economy may be confronted with many challenges, however in the future, opportunities will always outweigh challenges. Our economy will still keep a steady medium-high speed growth for a long period of time.

The China-Australia relationships have enjoyed very good momentum in recent years. Our cooperation and communication continues to deepen, and this is especially highlighted by our economic and trade cooperation. China has become Australia’s No. 1 trading partner, export market and import source country for 6 years in a row, and our bilateral investment is also increasing significantly, according to Australian statistics, China has become Australia’s largest investment source in 2014, our economic relationships has never been so close.

In addition, the China-Australia relationships will be further promoted by the following three positive factors. First is the successful signing of Free Trade Agreement. It marks our trade and investment liberalization reaching a new high in history. Second is the Australia’s official joining in the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. Through AIIB, China, Australia and other countries are looking forward to making greater contribution to our regional infrastructure construction and economic development. Third is our joint implementation of the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative. China and Australia could bring each other’s complementary advantages such as capital, technology in to full play, and make strategic linkage through the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, injecting new energy to our developments. All in all, these will create more opportunities for the uplifting of our bilateral economic and trade relationships, the complementarity of economic advantages, the promotion of win-win development and the improvement of both peoples’ livelihood.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Port Hedland enjoys superb geographic position and rich reserve of natural resources. Besides iron ore, the agriculture business is also very strong. With the improvement of Chinese peoples’ living standard, our need for premium beef, lamb and dairy products is also increasing. The signing of FTA will provide more convenient environment for our cooperation in agriculture and many other areas. Therefore, pursuing diversified development, cultivating more growing areas, and broadening our cooperation scope would be a megatrend of our economic and trade relationships.

The theme of today’s summit is “next tide”. Tide represents continuous energy and the direction of historic progress. Time and tide wait for no man. Today we have government officials, businessmen and academics attending the summit, it’s my sincere hope that all of us could take this opportunity to share our thoughts, exchange our ideas and contribute our wisdom, and make joint efforts in creating a new round of tide, the tide of cooperation, of innovation, and of friendship, and through the tide, we would be able to push forward a sustainable development of Port Hedland’s economic growth, and to push forward a great sailing of the giant vessel of our bilateral cooperation.

Thank you all.

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