Chen Min'er (R), governor of Guizhou Province, and Hannes Germann (L), president of the Council of States 2013/14, Swiss Parliament attend the dialogue. [Photo / China.org.cn]
“Guizhou has the potential for developing itself into the 'Switzerland of the East',” said Chen Min'er, governor of southwestern China's Guizhou Province, at the closing ceremony of the Sino-Swiss Dialogue 2014 yesterday afternoon.
A Swiss delegation led by Hannes Germann, President of the Council of States 2013/14, Swiss Parliament, attended the dialogue. Zhang Xinsheng, secretary-general of the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang 2014, chaired the dialogue.
Dialogue between mountains
There is special bond between Guizhou and Switzerland despite the huge development gap and long distance between the two. Due to their geographical and natural similarities, Switzerland is regarded as the development model for Guizhou. Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out last July that the two sides are expected to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the development of ecological civilization and the mountain economy so as to achieve better and faster development for Guizhou.
This year's dialogue, with the theme of “Mountain economy and green development”, not only provides a rare opportunity for Guizhou to learn from Switzerland's experiences, but stands as a new starting point for the two sides to deepen exchanges and cooperation.
Governor Chen expressed a warm welcome to President Germann's first mission to Guizhou. “To meet you here face to face is like a reunion of old friends and we feel more than happy,” Chen said.
Guizhou to develop into the “Switzerland of the East”
Since Guizhou has abundant energy and mineral resources, a God-given ecological environment and unique culture, green development is in its DNA. Development and ecology have been two bottom lines in Guizhou's development for years.
“Switzerland's development clearly shows that there must be a balance between economic growth and ecology. Now Guizhou is on a path of responsibility. I am convinced that sustainable development is the only way toward success.” President Germann said in his keynote speech.
Governor Chen cited the Chinese saying to stress the importance of learning from Switzerland that “Stones from other hills can be used to polish jade.”“If Switzerland can say 'no' to the argument that geography determines destiny, then it is also possible for Guizhou to develop itself into the 'Switzerland of the East',” Chen said confidently.
Chen further proposed that Guizhou should transform its development philosophy, learn about and apply more Swiss eco-friendly technology, and draw on the Swiss experience in promoting tourism, culture and education.