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Opening Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Biwei at the China's One Belt One Road Initiative and the Nordic Opportunities Seminar

Dear State Secretary Wisborg, Dear Secretary General Høybråten, Dear Director Fisher, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to today’s Seminar. Four days ago, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation has been held in Beijing. 29 heads of foreign states and governments, 3 heads of international organizations including UN Secretary General, and nearly 1500 guests from more than 130 countries, including Special Representative of the Danish Prime Minister, Minister for Gender Equality and Nordic Cooperation Karen Ellemann Kloch, attended the event. On the theme of strengthening international cooperation and co-building the Belt and Road for win-win development, the participants have reached a consensus, putting together a list of major deliverables including 76 items comprising more than 270 concrete results. The Joint Communique of the Leaders Roundtable of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was issued to reaffirm our shared commitment to build an open economy, ensure free and inclusive trade, and oppose all forms of protectionism including in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, injecting strong impetus to the global economy.

In his speech at the opening of the Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, the Belt and Road Initiative is rooted in the ancient Silk Road, open to all countries. All countries from Asia, Europe, Africa or America, can be partners of the Belt and Road Initiative. I believe with today’s discussion, we can explore more channels to match the Nordic Corridor and the Belt and Road, which help to build new platform and expand the field for the cooperation between China and Nordic countries. I hope that everybody actively share your views to make the seminar a success.

The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping in the autumn of 2013. Four years on, over 100 countries and international organizations have supported and got involved in this initiative. Important resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and Security Council contain reference to it. China has signed cooperation agreements with over 40 countries and international organizations and carried out framework cooperation on production capacity with more than 30 countries. Total trade between China and other Belt and Road countries in the past 2 years has exceeded US$3 trillion, and China’s investment in these countries has surpassed US$50 billion. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has provided US$1.7 billion of loans for 9 projects in Belt and Road participating countries. The Silk Road Fund has made US$4 billion of investment. People-to-people cooperation under Belt and Road initiative have brought peoples all over the globe increasingly closer.

China has brought forward a series of cooperation proposals and supporting measures in pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, putting in place mechanisms such as liaison office for the Forum’s follow-up activities, the Research Center for the Belt and Road Financial and Economic Development, the Facilitating Center for Building the Belt and Road, etc. to boost Belt and Road cooperation. China will scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing an additional RMB 100 billion to the Silk Road Fund, and we encourage financial institutions to conduct overseas RMB fund business. We will also develop a network for cooperation among the NGOs in countries along the Belt and Road as well as new people-to-people exchange platforms.

Looking into the future, the Belt and Road would be built into a road for peace, a road of prosperity, a road of opening up, a road of innovation as well as a road connecting different civilizations.

Dear friends,

Separated by sea and mountains, China and Nordic Countries enjoy sound foundation and good prospect in jointly carrying out Belt and Road cooperation. The maritime Silk Road served as a significant conduit in early China-Nordic exchanges. All 5 Nordic countries are founding members of AIIB, establishing links with the Belt and Road. Currently, the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Denmark is entering into the year of harvest from the year of endeavor. China and Finland establishes future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership. Free-trade agreement between China and Iceland came into force, the first ever between China and a European Country. In the meantime, China-Nordic cooperation is gaining momentum. This year, President Xi Jinping paid a state-visit to Finland, Norwegian Prime Minister Solberg and Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen visited China recently, whereby the leaders have prominently dedicated the Belt and Road Cooperation as the key area of bilateral cooperation. China’s concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development could join force with the practice of Nordic green, circular and sustainable economic and social development mode, contributing to the Belt and Road initiative, boosting cooperation on a higher lever to facilitate balanced and inclusive growth in related areas.

We sincerely welcome our friends in Nordic countries to participate in the Belt and Road initiative, sharing your wisdom and experience and making your own contributions. It is highly hoped that all seated here actively offer your perspective and advice, enriching the essence of China-Nordic cooperation.

Wish the seminar success! Thanks!

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