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Ambassador Fu Ying Delivered Keynote Speech at Birmingham-China Business Forum

On June 26, 2007, H.E. Mme. Ambassador Fu Ying attended the opening ceremony of Birmingham-China Business Forum and delivered a keynote speech. Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council and more than 100 people from the business community of Birmingham were present at the ceremony.

In her speech, Fu Ying introduced the tremendous achievements made in China's economic and social development. She said that, after 29 years of reform and opening up, China has established a market economy with complete industrial categories and large amounts of export surplus, the people's living standards have been greatly improved, and an obvious increase has been witnessed in the purchasing power. Last year, the world ranking of China's GDP rose to the fourth place, and its foreign trade volume ranked the third in the world.

Fu Ying noted that, provided with a vast domestic market and rich labor resources of constantly improving qualities, China will continue with its momentum of fast economic growth. However, China is still a developing country which is facing the imbalanced development between urban and rural areas as well as the challenges brought along by resource and environmental issues. It is a major task for the Chinese Government to maintain development while fulfilling its international obligations. The Chinese Government will continue to deepen reforms in economic and political systems and administrative management, maintain scientific development, build a resources-conserving and environment-friendly society, promote the construction of a harmonious society, develop education, health, medical care and other public utilities and promote fair and justice.

Fu Ying pointed out that a more prosperous and open China will bring huge development opportunities for the UK. Having established a comprehensive strategic partnership, China and the UK have become important partners in both political and international affairs, and the broadness and depth of cooperation and exchanges in various fields have been unprecedented in the history of the relations between the two countries. However, we should note that the trade, investment and technical cooperation between the two countries are still not in accord with their economic strengths and their positions as world powers and that there are huge potentials.

Fu Ying emphasized that a significant change is taking place in China's foreign economic and trade strategy, and expansion in import and external investment will become the keynote of China's foreign trade in the near future. First, efforts will be made to encourage the import of advanced and key technical equipments, energy saving and environmental protection technologies and products and important resource products, continue to adjust policies on export rebates or processing trade, and, through price mechanisms, regulate the export of a certain high energy consumption, high pollution and low added-value products. Second, China will further increase external investment, extend the quotas of the Chinese investors' investment abroad and loosen the control over the residents' external investment channels. Third, we will also establish a number of areas for economic and trade cooperation abroad, promote Chinese enterprises to invest and establish plants abroad, assist local communities in increase incomes and employment opportunities, and sell the relevant products back to China.

Fu Ying mentioned that the economic and trade cooperation between China and the UK is facing a new opportunity for development. She expressed the hope that the people of all circles of both countries may grasp the opportunity, deepen cooperation and further promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Fu Ying also introduced China Now and wished that the various circles of Birmingham may take active part in the event and, while using it as a platform, expand the scopes for publicity and promotion and discuss opportunities for cooperation.

Together with Mike Whitby, Fu Ying was interviewed by a reporter from Birmingham Post after the opening ceremony.

Birmingham-China Business Forum is sponsored by Birmingham City Council. The aim of this forum is to promote business contacts between Birmingham and China and encourage Chinese companies to invest in Birmingham.