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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Opening Ceremony of the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention: Leverage the Strengths of Chinese Entrepreneurs and Create New Opportunities
ExCeL London, 22 October 2019

Your Royal Highness The Duke of York,

Vice Chairman Gao Yunlong,

Director Xu Yousheng,

Vice Chairman Li Zhuobin,

Chinese and British Entrepreneurs,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning!

It is a real delight to join you at the opening ceremony of the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC).

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, let me begin by extending my warm congratulations on the first WCEC ever held in Europe and in the UK! I would also like extend a warm welcome to Chinese entrepreneurs from across the world.

The theme of this year's WCEC is "New World, New Opportunities". I believe that amid profound changes unseen in a century in the world, Chinese entrepreneurs should not only seize the new opportunities but also break new ground.

First, Chinese entrepreneurs should seize the new opportunities brought by their extensive network and break new ground in the world economy.

As protectionism and unilateralism unfurl and increase the risks and uncertainties for the world economy, economic globalisation needs new driving forces and new vitality.

Overseas Chinese is a huge community. Among them, the entrepreneurs are in possession of a total asset of close to two trillion dollars, almost equaling the GDP of some big countries. They have invested in 80% of the countries and regions in the world and in a wide range of areas, including critical fields such as science, technology and innovation, trade and investment, culture and education. Their businesses are showing great vitality.

In addition to that, their close bond, common culture and extensive connections have contributed to the world's largest entrepreneurs' network, covering every corner of the globe. They have also established an extraordinary platform -- the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention. WCEC brings together business leaders from across the world to explore opportunities for growth and prosperity.

This network and platform go beyond national borders. They are aimed at creating not an exclusive coterie but a big family. They are not an exclusive show of Chinese entrepreneurs but a chorus of global partners. They could help leverage the resources and complementary strengths of different countries to shore up confidence and hope in the world economy. They are a network of opportunities and a platform for prosperity.

Second, Chinese entrepreneurs should seize the new opportunities of China's reform and opening up, and break new ground in achieving common development.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. After decades of high-speed growth since the reform and opening up, the Chinese economy has grown tremendously. Last year, it was close to 16% of the world's total. Right now, it is making steady progress, enjoying one of the highest growth rates among major economies. The economic structure also keeps improving as new technologies, new industries and new business models emerge.

At the same time, China remains firm in opening up its market. We have taken solid steps.

--Earlier this year, the 2019 edition of the negative list on foreign investment was issued,

--six pilot free trade zones were set up,

--a new area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was opened,

--and the exploration into the prospects of turning Hainan province into a free trade port was accelerated.

Next month, the second China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai. On January 1st next year, the new Foreign Investment Law will come into force.

Chinese entrepreneurs speak the Chinese language, understand China's policies and know the Chinese market. I hope you will fully leverage these advantages and bring global partners together to take part in China's domestic development and the Belt and Road Initiative. Together you could create new opportunities and share the benefits of China's growth.

Third, Chinese entrepreneurs should seize the new opportunities of the "Golden Era" and break new ground in China-UK cooperation.

This is the first time that WCEC is held in the UK. This reflects Chinese entrepreneurs' confidence in the British market and in China-UK business cooperation.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of China-UK diplomatic relationship at the chargé d'affaires level. Over the years, China-UK business cooperation has delivered fruitful results, and our interests are now deeply integrated.

--China-UK trade in goods exceeded $80 billion for the first time in 2018, and increased by 8.4% year-on-year in the first eight months of this year.

--Chinese investment in the UK and British investment in China have both exceeded $20 billion.

--London is now the world's largest RMB offshore trading centre and the second largest RMB offshore clearing centre outside China.

--The Shanghai-London Stock Connect for the first time connects the Chinese and a foreign capital market.

Despite Brexit, many Chinese companies are still making investment in the UK. They are casting their "vote of confidence" in the prospects of China-UK business cooperation.

This year's WCEC brings together Chinese entrepreneurs and the British business community. It has created a good opportunity for the two sides to enhance mutual understanding, dovetail their needs and tap their potential. Together, you will contribute new outcomes to China-UK business cooperation, and provide new driving force for building an open world economy!

In conclusion, I wish the 15th WCEC great success!

Thank you!


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