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Remarks by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the Hubei Trade and Economic Cooperation Conference

Distinguished Vice Governor of Hubei Province Mr. Zhao Haishan,

Distinguished Director General at the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation Mrs. Lena Hägglöf,

Distinguished Chairman of Sweden-China Trade Council Mr. Thomas Lagerqvist,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good morning! On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, I’d like to extend warm welcome to the delegation led by Vice Governor Mr. Zhao Haishan, which is the host of the Hubei Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum. Also I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to friends from Sweden for coming to the event.

At the end of March, our Embassy hosted the first Nordic-China Smart City Conference. In the first half of April, the Annual Conference of China Chamber of Commerce in Sweden and the second China International Import Expo road show were held in Stockholm. Today, Hubei Province hosts the Hubei Trade and Economic Cooperation Conference, which once again shows that China-Sweden economic and trade cooperation, with efforts by governments and business communities in our two countries, is maintaining sound and rapid development, and demonstrates that such cooperation has significant potential. I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you our latest cooperation outcomes.

First, trade continued to grow. In 2018, bilateral trade reached USD 17.15 billion, increasing by 15% and hitting a new record. The Chinese side imported USD 8.95 billion from Sweden, and Sweden maintains a trade surplus. Second, there are new successful cooperation examples of Chinese investment in Sweden. Besides Geely-Volvo cooperation, which I’m sure you are familiar with, the investment projects of Shanying International of Zhejiang, Connel of Jilin, Snowkey of Fujian and Patac of Shanghai are all very successful, benefiting both Chinese and Swedish partners. As of the end of 2018, the Chinese side has invested USD 7.57 billion in Sweden, and the Swedish side USD 5.01 billion in China. We welcome Swedish companies to increase investment in China and hope that two-way investment continues to grow and expand .

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

In recent years, the Chinese Government proposed the Yangtze River Economic Belt Development Strategy, which represents a new regional opening-up and development strategy in a new round of reform, opening-up and economic upgrading. This strategy prioritizes ecological and green development, and aims to promote coordinated development between the upper, middle and lower stream areas of the Yangtze River, and bring about high quality development along the route. Such development philosophies are highly compatible with the strength of Sweden. Hubei Province has an important position in this development strategy as it is located in central Yangtze River area, boasts an excellent location, abundant natural resources, a sound industrial base and a complete urban and rural system. There are bright prospects for Hubei-Sweden economic and trade cooperation.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Next year, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of China-Sweden diplomatic ties. When we embrace the two joyous occasions, we hope that both sides will continue to deepen mutually beneficial economic cooperation. Sweden is highly advanced in green development, smart city, new energy, bio-medicine and high-end manufacturing, and has a large number of renowned innovative transnational companies and SMEs with their distinctive features. Hubei Province, with its strength in economic capacity and potential, its location, market, personnel and capital, is a solution for many Swedish SMEs troubled by the limit of market size and room for growth in their home country. They can well draw on each other’s strength and grow together. I hope the entrepreneurs from China and Sweden will seize today’s opportunity and open up a new chapter for Hubei-Sweden economic and trade cooperation.

At last, I’d like to wish the Hubei Trade and Economic Cooperation Conference a full success.

Thank you!

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