Speech of Ambassador He Xiangdong at the 10th Sino-European Enterprises Summit
2019/06/14

June 14th, 2019

Distinguished Mr. Enda Kenny, former Prime Minister of Ireland,

Distinguished Mr. Long Yongtu, Co-Chairman of the Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning!

It gives me great pleasure to join friends old and new at the 10th Sino-European Enterprises Summit (SEES) in the beautiful summer of Ireland, where the Last Roses of Summer never wither and fall. First of all, congratulations to the successful summit in the UK. There is an old Chinese saying that "a decade's hard work forges a sword". It takes a decade for the SEES summit to be held here in Ireland since its founding in 2008. It's a testimony that the Sino-Irish relations has stepped into a new stage, and Ireland is playing a more important role in Sino-European relations than before.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and Ireland. In the past four decades, great progress has been made in China-Ireland relations, with both side committed to the principals of mutual respect and reciprocal benefit. China-Ireland relations has become a model of friendship and win-win corporation between countries regardless of their differences in terms of size of territory and population, historical and cultural background and political system. Particularly, since the establishment of China-Ireland Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation in 2012, our bilateral relations have been developing more rapidly, with frequent exchange of visits by our leaders, deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation and increasing people-to-people exchange. The vitality of our bilateral relations inspires us with hopes and visions. Just take our strong and expanding business ties as an example. With the concerted efforts from both sides, our trade and economic collaboration has made considerable achievements. In 2018, volume of our bilateral trade of commodities reached 14.5 billion USD, doubled than that of 2015. Ireland has enjoyed trade surplus with China for years in a row. The Irish beef has entered Chinese market and three direct air routes between our two countries have been opened. More and more Chinese companies have invested here, contributing to the economic and social development of Ireland.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The SEES chose Ireland as its venue shows that the collaboration between China and Ireland is not merely the matter of our two countries, but also indispensable in the relationship between China and Europe. China and Europe share a wide ranging of consensus in such major issues as the Belt and Road Initiative. As an important member of the EU, Ireland has expressed in many occasions its support to the BRI, its willingness to be a sincere partner of China in the EU as well as a bridge for the collaboration between China and Europe. China is engaged in the docking of the BRI with Ireland and other EU countries, in the spirit of mutual learning, peaceful cooperation, open and inclusivity, to achieve our common goal of peace, stability and prosperity. China hopes that Ireland will be a bridge between China and Europe. This is also good news and opportunity for the entrepreneurs of China, Ireland and Europe. The theme of SEES 2019 is 'A New Era for China-Europe Business Cooperation', highlighting innovation, recovery and win-win. I believe this will be conducive to our mutual understanding and trust, further cement the win-win concepts, and expand the potential of collaboration between China and European countries, including Ireland.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Sino-European mutually-beneficial cooperation and win-win development cannot be achieved without the backdrop of globalization, multilateralism and free trade mechanism, and it cannot be realized without an open and inclusive mindset. Regarding this, I reckon that we, the Chinese and Irish peoples, have first-hand experience. It is by virtue of adapting to the trend of globalization, merging into the multilateral free trade mechanism, and forging an open and inclusive economy, China has grown into the second largest economy in the world and Ireland has leaped into a 'tiger of Celtic'.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now we meet here at a very challenging time for the whole world. We are seeing that anti-globalism is surging, unilateralism, protectionism, trade hegemony and bullying is flaring up. Multilateralism and free trade system are confronting considerable challenges. The world once again is standing at a crossroad of its history. We all are aware that the frequent threatening to impose higher tariffs, deliberately setting up trade barriers, and intimidation to impose economic sanctions all imply the closure, declination and even conflicts. The nature of trade between nations should be based on the mutual benefits. The 'beggar-thy-neighbor' trade policy will not make any certain country great again, but could only take it into another Great Depression again. In the global village, our future is unprecedentedly interwoven and the interests of different countries are unprecedentedly integrated. Peace, development, cooperation and win-win spirit are the theme of today's world and is irresistible. China stands ready to make concerted efforts with all European countries including Ireland, to uphold globalization, sustainable development, multilateralism and free trade, to improve global governance, to promote long-lasting peace of the world and create a more prosperous world. There is much potential for China and Ireland in this regard and we must succeed. I am confident that SEES 2019 could make its due contribution toward this goal.

I wish the Summit a great success! Thank you all.

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