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Chinese Consul General Dr Huang Qinguo Addresses the Belt and Road Initiative Seminar

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon. On behalf of Chinese Consulate General in Perth, I am pleased to attend today's seminar hosted by King & Wood Mallesons. Today's theme is the Belt and Road Initiative, so I would like to share with you my views about the Belt and Road Initiative as well as its positive influence to China-Australia cooperation.

Chinese Consul General Dr Huang Qinguo addresses the Belt and Road Initiative Seminar

Guests attending the semiar

It is well known that over 2000 years ago, people all over the world conducted trade via the silk road on the land and sea. The Silk Road is actually the collective name given to a number of ancient trade routes linking China , Africa and Europe, and later becomes the major channel for economic and trade and cultural exchanges between the east and the west. When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Central and Southeast Asia in September and October of 2013, he raised the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st -Century Maritime Silk Road, hereafter referred to as the Belt and Road. The Silk Road Economic Belt focuses on integrating the economies of South East Asia and North East Asia into a cohesive economy and achieve economic integration of Eurasia in Europe, whereas the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road is designed to link European, Asian and African continents with Silk Road Economic Belt from the seas, forming in the end a network of land and sea. There are a total population of 4.4 billion people along the Belt and Road, and the economic aggregate is around USD21 trillion, accounting for 63% and 29% of the world's total respectively.

Once the Belt and Road was initiated, many countries have showed much interests and high expectations. Especially in March of this year, Chinese government released the Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which clarified the principles, framework, cooperation priorities, cooperation mechanisms. The Belt and Road will be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all with the principles of being open for cooperation, harmonious and inclusive, market operation, mutual benefit. The cooperation priorities of The Belt and Road covered policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, people-to –people bonds. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently pointed out on APEC CEO Summit that The Belt and Road has obtained active response and participation from more than 60 countries and international organizations since 2013. It has already had a good momentum.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In October, China has published the proposal for the 13th Five-Year plan, which highlights 5 development ideas of innovation, coordination, green development, opening-up and sharing. In terms of the opening-up policy, the new Five-Year plan proposal emphasized on enhancing the level of opening up, adding new vitality into the development and achieving win-win cooperation. The proposal explicitly stated that China's ongoing opening-up will create a new pattern, including promoting The Belt and Road Initiative, improving bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms, implementing the market-oriented operation, promoting pragmatic cooperation in various fields of mutual benefit with relevant countries and regions, building facilities connectivity at home and abroad and so on.

Today China has entered deep integration with the world. Both Australia and China are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region. There is huge cooperation space for China's development and Australia's prosperity. Currently the world economic growth is sluggish and major economies are slowing down, both Australia and China are facing the economic restructuring. Being an important country along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Australia has huge potential of mutual beneficial cooperation with China.

In order to promote The Belt and Road, Chinese contributed $40 billion to set up the Silk Road Fund. Moreover, the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which comprises 56 other countries including Australia, will also boost the Belt and Road Initiative. This year, China Australia Free Trade Agreement was officially singed after 10 years of negotiations. Under the framework of the agreement, Australia can actively participate in building the Belt and Road by taking advantage of its strength in resource, agriculture, environmental protection, science and technology. Australia's Strategy for Developing the North is similar with the 21st -Century Maritime Silk Road in many aspects. Implementation of this Strategy and Initiative will bring boundless opportunities to bilateral cooperation in various fields. Chinese government is willing to actively discuss the connection and cooperation between the Belt and Road and development strategy for Northern Australia. We are confident that with the concerted efforts of the two governments and peoples, the practical cooperation between China and Australia will bear even more fruitful results.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Belt and Road Initiative should not be a solo for China, but a real chorus played by all parties. Today there are two Australian experts who will share their views about the Belt and Road. I am very looking forward to it. All friends here are from Australia and China's business community. Today it is a good opportunity to meet here and I hope everyone can actively exchange, enhance communication and understanding between each other.

Thank you!

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