Maltese Business Should Catch up the Oriental Express of China's Economy
（From Chinese Embassy in Malta）
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Keyuan said above when he invited the members of the Executive Board of the Maltese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) for a luncheon in Corinthia Palace Hotel on July 29, 2011. Mr. Maurice Mizzi, Chairman of the Mizzi Group and President of MCCC and Mr. Reno Callejja, the General Secretary, and five other board members of the newly founded organization attended the occasion.
Zhang congratulated the MCCC board members and made some remarks on the current trade relations of the two countries as follows,
I would like to start by extending my warmest welcome and congratulations to you all, members of the first Executive Board of the Maltese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The establishment of the Chamber is a positive result as Sino-Maltese trade relations develop. It goes in line with the interests and needs of the business circles from both sides and reflects the common wish of us all.
Thanks to the joint efforts of the two peoples and governments, our long-existing good bilateral relations have produced substantial economic and trade cooperation. According to the Statistics, trade volume between China and Malta has reached 179 million Euros in 2010, with an increase of 24.3% over the previous year. China's import from Malta in 2010 has increased 130% over year 2009. In the first 5 months this year, The trade volume has reached 98.6 million, an increase of 70% to the same period last year. The export from Malta to China is 30.4 million, almost doubled over last year. In the context of a global economic recession, when Malta's trade with her major partners decreased, the remarkable growth between our two countries indicates the strong motivation for cooperation as well as the genuine efforts and contribution by the Maltese business circle.
What I want to stress here today is that, China is not only selling, but is buying as well. There is a vast market to explore as the theory "one pair of shoes for every Chinese" works well. I talked a lot about the successive story of Cisk beer in China and I'll give you another example, a few weeks ago, a Chinese group from a small town (in Chinese standard, with a population of a few million) came to visit Malta and they were introduced to a bottle of Maltese wine, happened to be Nexus. They liked it so much that they asked for two containers of the product. Of course the Vineyard Meridiana couldn't supply with that large volume, but it showed how big the market is in China.
As for the imports from China, the recent introduction of 175 King Long buses with EU-V emission standard into Malta public transport system shows that there are many potential opportunities for us to explore in trade, such as clean and renewable energy, electrical cars, logistics and financial services, etc.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China is the 2nd largest economy and 2nd largest trading country in the world. The Chinese government has just released China's 12th Five-Year Plan which opens aspects and opportunities for European business. Yet the Sino-Malta trade volume remains a miserable small proportion in both China and Malta's total foreign trade. The outlook is promising, but it requires collaborate efforts from us all.
Next year will mark the 40th anniversary on the establishment of our bilateral diplomatic relations. The Maltese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is a compliment right on time. I believe, under the leadership of Mr. Mizzi and Mr. Calleja and with the insights and efforts of members of the Executive Board, the Chamber will put together enterprises, whether carrying out business or interested in starting business in China, by providing practical services, such as, sharing information, organizing participation in trade events, promoting personnel exchanges, and assisting in dispute settlement. This will help more Maltese enterprises catch up with "the Oriental Express" of the Chinese economy and build a future with mutual benefits, joint development and economic prosperity both in Malta and China, which will further contribute to the friendly relations of our two countries. I can assure you that the Chinese Embassy in Malta will assist you wherever necessary to work to this end. "
Chinese Commercial Counsellor Mr. Liu Meikun organized the luncheon.