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Remarks by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sweden
(9 February 2018, Stockholm)

Distinguished State Secretary Mr. Stenström,

Dear guests, friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning! It's a great pleasure to see so many good friends and distinguished guests here. Today, representatives of Chinese enterprises and communities in Sweden and Swedish government agencies as well as business leaders gather here for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sweden (CCCS), to discuss cooperation and share their vision of the future. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, let me extend my warm congratulations on the convening of this event.

2017 is a joyful and rewarding year for China-Sweden economic and trade cooperation. First of all, the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries have continued to gather pace and bilateral trade volume reached a record high, which was 14.9 billion US dollars according to Chinese statistics, an increase of nearly 20% over the previous year. China's imports from Sweden amounted to 7.88 billion US dollars, up by 28%, while China's exports to Sweden was 7.03 billion US dollars. For the first time in 25 years, Sweden has shifted from deficit to surplus in trade with China, which has fully reflected Chinese people's growing demand for and increasing interest in premium Swedish products. In the meantime, two-way investment between enterprises of the two countries has maintained a positive momentum. By the end of 2017, Swedish enterprises invested nearly 5 billion US dollars in 1,455 projects in China. Investment from Chinese enterprises to Sweden have rapidly increased in recent years, and the cumulative volume climbed to nearly 3.7 billion US dollars with the investment quality, coverage and scale being constantly promoted. Thirdly, the successful convening of the 20th meeting of the Sino-Swedish Trade and Economic Joint Committee has laid a solid foundation and painted a beautiful blueprint for bilateral practical cooperation. Here I would like to thank Mr. Stenström for his efforts and contributions to these outcomes.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As the backbone of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, China-funded enterprises have been conducting business in the Swedish market for 30 years, and their businesses have extended from general trade in early days to today's communications, telecommunications, automobiles, biomedicine, forestry & paper, chemical industry, apparel design, legal consultancy and so on. Since its establishment on 8 December 2016, CCCS has grown to a membership of nearly 30 companies. The past year was filled with memorable moments. CCCS has worked with the Chinese Embassy and organized visits by member companies to Gotland, Östergötlands län and Västmanlands län, in an effort to help member companies establish cooperative relations and business contacts with local governments and enterprises. In addition, CCCS held various events such as workshops and corporate promotions. These events have effectively enhanced exchanges between China-funded enterprises and Swedish government and businesses, promoted interactions among member companies, and supported the growth and development of China-funded enterprises in Sweden. In mid-2017, at the request of member companies, CCCS has enrolled a number of new members, which has built a more solid platform for the development of the chamber itself and the growth of the enterprises.

In the new year, I hope CCCS would make efforts in the following two aspects. First, take China's macroeconomic situation with its new normal, new ideas and new measures as a guide, and closely follow the general trend of market economy and social innovation, so as to do a good job in all respects. Second, work hard to play an active role and become the bridge and platform for communication between enterprises of the two countries and between enterprises and the government, as well as a vehicle for investment promotion, and a window for cultural exchange. I hope CCCS would continuously inject new vitality into China-Sweden cooperation and promote China-Sweden economic and trade relations to a new level.

Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission. As the Chinese Lunar New Year is approaching, I wish more prosperity for CCCS, and closer trade and economic relations between China and Sweden. I wish you all a Happy New Year, good health and good luck!

Thank you.

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