On 11 February Minister Counselor Zhang Lirong went to Bristol to attend Spring Festival dinner of Southwest England business community. Over 250 guests also attended.
Minister Zhang Lirong, Christopher Davies, Mayor of Bristol, Professor Steve West, Chancellor of University of Southwest England, Sir John Stuttard, former Lord Mayor of City of London and Vice Chairman of PWC Consulting Committee, Stephen Phillips, Chief Executive of CBBC delivered speech at the dinner.
Zhang introduced important results of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to UK not long ago and the proposals and measures that the Chinese Government took in addressing the world financial crisis. He pointed out the Chinese Government was ready to strengthen cooperation with the international community to oppose trade protectionism, deal with the world financial crisis and promote recovery of the world economy.
Zhang said that relevant departments of the two sides were implementing follow-up of the visit including sending a purchase delegation. He hoped that the business community in UK would make use of its strong points, seize the opportunity and further develop its cooperation with China to expand technology export to China and cooperation in its competitive areas like energy efficiency, environmental protection, low carbon economy, bio-tech, new materials and creative industry.
Mayor Davis and Chancellor West said that west England had long-term good cooperation with China. Bristol and England had competitive edge in R&D, hi-tech, communication and aviation. They hoped to work with China to draw upon each other's advantage and expand cooperation. They welcomed more Chinese enterprises to their region to invest or start business.
Sir John Stuttard said that China's development in the past 50 years was very successful. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games showed the great potentials and bright prospect of China. China was now recovering its due status in the world. It had become a responsible member of the international community. Though it was faced with serious challenges of the financial crisis itself, it had the capability to help others thanks to its successful development over the years. Both China and UK stood for free trade and were opposed to trade protectionism. There was need for cooperation and they were bound to be partners for cooperation.
Stephen Phillips said that though China was faced with challenges of the financial crisis it would continue the momentum of economic development because it had broad domestic market, and the Government was taking stimulus measures to expand domestic demand and adjust industrial structure. China's stimulus package brought good opportunity for trade and economic cooperation between China and UK. He hoped that the UK enterprises could seize the opportunity, expand cooperation with China and expand their business in the central and western part of China.
Guests at the dinner all said that under the current situation China had become more and more important to the world economy. British enterprises were keen to strengthen their cooperation with China. They hoped to continue to expand relations with their Chinese counterparts and gain more information for cooperation.
The Spring Festival dinner of Southwest England business community was co-hosted by UKTI, 48 Group Club, University of the West of England and UK enterprises. It was aimed at highlighting the importance of China market and strengthening England's cooperation with China.