Wu Bangguo Attends China-Chile Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and Delivers Keynote Speech
On September 6, 2006, Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), who was on an official goodwill visit to Chile, attended the opening ceremony of China-Chile Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Santiago and delivered a keynote speech entitled Raising China-Chile Economic and Trade Cooperation to a New Level.
On the morning of September 6, the China-Chile Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum was held in Marriott Santiago Hotel in the capital of Chile Santiago. Wu and Chile's Senate President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle attended the opening ceremony. In the warm applause, Wu delivered a keynote speech. He first expressed congratulations for the convening of the forum and extended sincere greetings to friends from all walks of life at the forum.
In his speech, Wu, with full and accurate data and abundant facts, introduced China's obvious enhancement of national strength, steady improvement of people's livelihood and deepening of reform and opening up since the country started implementing the policy of reform and opening up. He pointed out the key is three adherences, namely, adherence to economic construction, adherence to the political development road with Chinese characteristics and adherence to reform and opening up.
Wu made positive comments on China-Chile ties. He said the two countries are reliable friends, as well as cooperative partners with mutual benefit. Recent years have witnessed frequent high-level visits, growing political trust, sound momentum of economic and trade cooperation, expanded exchanges in the areas of science, technology, health, sports and tourism and dynamic people-to-people and personnel contacts. China-Chile relations have entered a new stage of rapid development.
Wu said to deepen economic and trade cooperation is an important part of developing China-Chile comprehensive cooperative partnership. The two sides should view and develop economic and trade cooperation from a strategic perspective to push such relations to a new level. To this end, Wu put forward a four-point proposal. First, implement the free trade agreement (FTA) and expand the scale of bilateral trade. The two sides should make full use of the favorable conditions created by the FTA, actively diversify traded commodities, improve trade mix and enhance the standards of trade cooperation. Second, deepen copper cooperation for mutual benefit. The two sides should actively explore new ways and approaches of copper cooperation from a perspective of building cooperative partnership of long-term stability, develop new areas and projects for investment cooperation and push for sound and rapid development of copper cooperation. Third, expand infrastructure cooperation and cultivate new growth points for economic and trade cooperation. The two sides should give play to their features and advantages, build up mutual understanding, tap cooperation potential, innovate cooperation modes and promote substantive progress of infrastructure cooperation. Fourth, promote cooperation between enterprises and enable them to become major players of economic and trade cooperation. Both sides should take strengthening business cooperation as the priority of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, promote the cooperation on a number of large projects, expand direct two-way investment and extend the bilateral economic and trade cooperation from trade in goods to investment, industrial and technological cooperation. The Chinese government encourages the competitive and reputable big companies to do business in Chile and also welcomes the Chilean companies to invest in China.
In his speech, Frei said China is an important part of Chile's Asian policy and developing bilateral ties is a consensus among the Chilean government, parliament and people from all walks of life. He stressed Chile has always attached great importance to developing relations with China and is ready to push pragmatic cooperation in economy, trade and other areas to a higher level.
This forum is co-sponsored by China's Ministry of Commerce and Chile's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Wu's wife Zhang Ruizhen and other Chinese accompanying officials, as well as top officials from Chile's government agencies concerned attended the opening ceremony. More than 500 people from the business circles of the two countries attended the forum.
Prior to the opening ceremony, Wu and Frei held a short meeting and signed their names on the visitors' book.
Following the opening ceremony, Wu and Frei attended the signing ceremony of bilateral documents on economic and trade cooperation including the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Mining of the Republic of Chile.