Speech by Li Jinzao, Vice Chairman of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionSeptember 14, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Now, I would like to brief you on progress of the preparations for the 4th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the 4th China-ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (CABIS).
Since 2004, three sessions of CAEXPO and CABIS have been held successfully, which has promoted the cooperation between China and ASEAN in trade, investment, and tourism sectors, advanced the progress of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and enhanced the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, thus has become an important platform for cooperation between China and ASEAN in various areas at all levels. At the beginning of this year, President Hu Jintao gave important instructions: The China-ASEAN Expo should be held on a long-term basis with unique features and substantial results. By focusing on sustainable development, more specialized theme, more fruitful results and better platform, the 4th Expo will be a more professional and market-oriented with international perspective.
The concept of co-sponsorship for win-win cooperation has been further enhanced.
Co-sponsored by 11 countries, the Expo serves as a tie for China-ASEAN friendly cooperation. All the previous three sessions of the Expo witnessed the attendance of state leaders, ministers and governors, presidents of business associations and chambers of commerce, as well as entrepreneurs of China and ASEAN countries.
To further promote mutual benefit and win-win results, from the 4th Expo on, one to two ASEAN countries will be invited as countries of honor for each expo. State leaders of these countries will lead a delegation to attend the expo and special promotional activities. Up till now, Brunei has agreed to be country of honor for this year. His Highness Crown Prince Billla will lead a delegation to the Expo.
Efforts will be made to encourage and attract more ASEAN businesses to participate. For this Expo, ASEAN enterprises have reserved more than 1000 exhibition booths, 1116 to be specific. Each of ASEAN countries will use more booths than the previous expos. Five countries, including Indonesia , Malaysia , Myanmar , Thailand and Vietnam , each will use a whole pavilion to exhibit their products. Malaysia and Vietnam also did so for the past two years.
Services will be more professional and pragmatic.
We have adopted a strategy of putting customer first so as to provide more professional services.
Effective results have been made in inviting trade visitors and exhibitors. 3300 exhibition booths will be set up during the 4th Expo, and all of them have been reserved. 1563 domestic enterprises have registered, applying 2800 booths. Most of the exhibitors of China are from engineering machinery, food processing, packaging machinery, electric equipment and building materials, which enjoy large market share in ASEAN markets. The quality of the participant enterprises is much better than before. Ministry of Science & Technology will continue to hold the Exhibition of Applicable of Agricultural Technology. Among the investment cooperation projects to be signed during the Expo, most of the projects involve Chinese enterprises' investment in other countries and regions.
More efforts will be given to the inviting of purchasers. In order to hold a comprehensive theme exhibition, six industries have been identified as priorities, namely food processing, packaging machinery, electric equipment, building materials, agricultural products, food, timber and furniture, light industrial techniques. Exhibitors will be invited to participate in relevant theme exhibitions. Better services for business networking will be provided to ensure the best results.
We have established and improved China-ASEAN Business Database with more than 2 million data on enterprises to facilitate business invitation work. More professional purchasers will be invited through more channels. This year, the expo will see the participation of more purchasers with more specific intentions than before. For example, hundreds of Chinese food and department chain enterprises including Shanghai Yuyuan Garden and Bright Food have been invited to the exhibition of agricultural products and foodstuff. It is expected that there will be 20,000 professional purchasers coming to source, and CEOs of Fortune Top 500 and leading enterprises in key industries showing their attendance. It will be much easier for participant enterprises to find competitive cooperative partners.
Cooperation in priority areas will focus on specific themes.
To put in place the cooperation in 10 priority areas identified by the 11 state leaders, from the 4th Expo on, one area will be selected as the theme for each expo to promote cooperation in a more pragmatic manner.
Port cooperation has been identified as the theme for the 4th Expo. China-ASEAN Port Development and Cooperation Forum (CAPF) will be held by Ministry of Communications of China . Ministers of Communications/Transportation of 10 ASEAN countries, Executive Officers of major port cities, presidents of port groups, investors and operators of international port terminals, shipping enterprises, logistics service providers and ship building and repairing businesses of China and ASEAN countries will be invited to attend to share opportunities for regional port cooperation. In response to this forum, cities of charm of this Expo are all port cities.
In the next years to come, we will focus more on cooperation in priority areas to make the expo more professional and provide more and better opportunities for businesses.
Exchanges and cooperation have been enhanced more extensively.
Over the past years, we have been devoted to deepening the exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN in various areas at all levels.
CABIS has been held for three years along with CAEXPO and has become a grand event of the highest level in business and investment sectors of China and ASEAN. The theme of the 4th CABIS is Creative Cooperation: Speeding up Regional Growth. Two theme forums, “Trade in Services: New Field and New Opportunities” and “Enhance Financial Cooperation & Facilitate Trade and Investment” in response to trade in services and financial cooperation. Then, the participant state leaders, ministers, leaders of industrial, business and financial communities and renowned experts and scholars will deliver speeches.
CAEXPO has further become a platform for cooperation among cities of China and ASEAN. Since the 2nd Expo, City of Charm mechanism has been introduced. So far, 2 cities of China and ASEAN have been promoted, thus bilateral cooperation has been extended from the national level to city level. This June, MOU on Cooperation was sign between Guangxi and Chongqing , the 5th CAEXPO partner after Shanghai , Zhejiang , Jiangsu and Xiamen .
During the expo, a series of forum will be held, which will play important role for China-ASEAN cooperation in various areas. During the 4th Expo, China-ASEAN Ministers' Meeting on Quality Control, China-ASEAN Women's Exchanges, China-ASEAN Forestry Cooperation Forum, China-ASEAN Social Development and Poverty Reduction Forum, China-ASEAN Electric Power Cooperation Forum, as well as SOM of Asia-Europe Summit. In addition, Nanning International Folk Song Festival and other international exchange activities will also be held concurrently. Expo will play a greater role in promoting the exchanges between China and ASEAN in various areas and at all level.
Services for Exhibition will be more considerate and to ensure maximum convenience.
During the 4th Expo, we will further improve our services, regulate service procedures in accordance with IS09000 Accreditation System to create better environment for business talk.
We will further lower the cost for the participation of enterprises. Rates for exhibition tools renting, exhibits transport will be lowered 10 percent or more. The overall service rates will be lower than those of similar exhibitions/fairs in China . Customs and inspection and quarantine authorities will continue to adopt facilitation measures for clearance, such as exemption of inspection and quarantine fees and down payments.
On-site exhibition procedures will be further improved by providing one-stop services. Pass-issuing will be more efficient by reducing pass categories by half. Exhibitor can obtain their pass on site. It will be more convenient to get access to exhibition pavilions.
Hotel services will be further improved. In Nanning , there are 169 hotels with more than 20,000 guest rooms to accommodate exhibitors during the expo. Chartered flights from Nanning to capital cities and major cities of ASEAN countries will also be opened.
The success of the previous CAEXPOs has advanced the progress of CAFTA. With the progress of CAFTA and PBG economic cooperation, Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone is embracing a bright future. Key projects have been put in place one after another and Guangxi is opening itself wider to the outside world. It is expected to be built into China-ASEAN regional logistics base, business and trade base, processing and manufacturing base and information exchange center. The success of CAEXPO and CABIS has greatly upgraded Guangxi's opening up and promoted its social and economic development, at the same time, provided platform for cooperation between other provinces and ASEAN countries.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to friends from the media for your interest in and support to CAEXPO, CABIS and Guangxi over the past years. I hope you can travel more places in Guangxi to feel in person the vitality of Guangxi's economic development and opening-up and release more coverage about CAEXPO and CABIS.
Thank you all.