Assistant Minister Lu Guozeng Addresses the Seminar on Diplomacy and Economy
---- Vigorously strengthen economic diplomacy to serve the building of a better-off society in an all-round manner
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to attend the Seminar on Diplomacy and Economy and discuss with elites from the economic, business and academic circles how to further strengthen economic diplomacy and support domestic businesses to go global so as to serve the building of a better-off society in an all-round manner.
The seminar is of great significance to implementing of the spirit of the 16th Party Congress, strengthening the capacity building of the government, carrying out the guideline of diplomacy serving the building of a better-off society in an all-round manner and enhancing the coordination between diplomacy and economy in the new period.
New developments in the international and domestic situations are imposing higher and higher requirements on our work in various fields. We have to further implement the concept of scientific development, coordinate domestic development and opening up to the outside world, firmly grasp the opportunities for development and strive to build a better-off society. The fundamental task for diplomacy is to serve the national interest. With the development and change in the situation, the implications and functions of diplomacy are also changing. It is gradually expanding from political and security areas to economic and cultural fields. While ensuring national sovereignty and security, diplomacy has to shoulder heavier and heavier task in safeguarding national economic interests and promoting domestic development.
After more than 20 years of development, China is now enjoying closer and closer relations with other countries. There were very few Chinese-funded businesses overseas at the beginning of reform and opening up. In contrast, by the end of 2003, China has had an accumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD 33.4 with 3439 companies covering 139 countries and regions. The statistics released by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently show that China is expected to surpass Japan to become the 5th largest source country of FDI. Therefore, China's overseas interests are on the rise.
China's reform has entered into a critical stage and we need to promote the level of opening up to the outside world in an all-round manner. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has worked out the strategies of "going global" and "interactive regional development between the eastern, central and western areas" on the basis of the experience accumulated over the past two decades or more. The vital and strategic decision is aimed to enable China to take the initiative to boost development in the increasingly fierce competition of comprehensive national power and it will help China make full use of both domestic and international markets and resources to promote sustainable economic development with more open and strategic thinking.
The constant development in China's reform and opening up and the modernization drive requires us to further enhance economic diplomacy. We need to foster closer relationship between diplomacy and economy so as to enable them to promote each other and implement the opening up strategy combining the attraction of foreign investments and encouragement of domestic businesses to invest overseas.
Meaningful exploration has been conducted in the area of diplomacy. We have accumulated successful experience in supporting and pushing forward large state-owned enterprises to go global and have made delighting achievements in tapping overseas energy, resources and the international market. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also initiated the establishment of the mechanism of joint ministerial meeting on the protection of Chinese citizens and institutions overseas to enhance state protection of the legitimate rights of Chinese companies and citizens in foreign countries. Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has further strengthened the interaction between diplomacy and the public. We are trying to enhance the understanding and participation of the public in diplomatic work through a number of forms, such as opening the Ministry to the public on certain occasions, online dialogue between senior diplomats and the public and online diplomatic forum.
Many of the participants present here today come from private businesses as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We are pleased to see with the definition of enterprises as market players and the continuous growth of the private sector, private businesses and SMEs' efforts in going global have also been accelerated. It is an important part of diplomacy serving the interest of reform and opening up as well as the modernization drive to support private businesses and SMEs to develop overseas and participate in international competition. I hope you can take the golden opportunity of the forum to create an interactive platform so as to learn and benefit from each other.
Fellow comrades, initial achievements and experience have been achieved in the area of diplomacy supporting the strategy of "going global". Nevertheless, they are not enough. There are still plenty of potentials to be tapped in the field of making full use of the diplomatic resources to support businesses to go global. Greater coordination and support between the diplomatic and business circles is necessary. We need to further unfold the mysterious veil of diplomacy and listen to the precious ideas of the public in a bid to better serve the national economic development. Meanwhile, I hope the businesses community can make more efforts in supporting the overall diplomacy of the country and help boost the development of friendly and reciprocal cooperation between China and other countries through closer economic and trade relations. Let's work together to make even more contributions to safeguarding national sovereignty and security and promoting national development so as to realize the objective of building a better-off society.