Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen At China Construction Bank New Zealand Branch Opening Ceremony
(Auckland, 2nd February 2018)

Hon. Mr. Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance of New Zealand,

Hon. Mr Phil Twyford, Minister of Housing and Urban Development of New Zealand,

Hon. Chairman Tian Guoli, Board Director of CCB,

The Right Hon. Sir John Key, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand,

The Right Hon. Dame Jenny Shipley, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand,

Respected Members of Parliament,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good afternoon!

It is my honor and pleasure to be part of this wonderful event in celebration of the opening of a branch in NZ by China Construction Bank (CCB). First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland our warmest congratulation to this grand opening. Also my warmest welcome to the Chinese delegation led by Chairman Tian Guoli to Auckland. Welcome! I also want to take this opportunity to express my warmest congratulation to Chairman Tian for being elected an alternate member of the Central Committee of the 19th National Congress of CPC. This milestone Congress outlined a very ambitious blueprint for China’s future development by the middle of this century and fully demonstrated China's commitment to working with other countries for a bright future. I am sure Chairman Tian will share with you his views on this later.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today is a historic day for CCB. 3 years ago when President Xi Jinping visited NZ, CCB launched its first subsidiary in NZ. Since then, It actively participated in some key projects like highways, power plants and power grids, as well as quite a few commercial projects, through financing and providing high quality services. At the same time, it never forgets its social responsibilities by serving local communities. Soon this subsidiary has gained its own market share and a good reputation. Now it has been granted the branch license and became the very first Chinese bank to open a branch in NZ.

Today is a significant day for China and NZ bilateral relationship. Opening a branch by CCB today reflects the depth and extensiveness of the close cooperation between our two countries. Our bilateral relationship has been enjoying good momentum of development. The leaders of our two countries have kept close contacts and communications and are committed to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries based on mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation. The cooperation has been growing quickly at all areas. According to the latest figure issued by NZ statistic office two days ago, China maintains to be NZ’s largest trading partner since 2013, accounting for 20% of NZ total export and import respectively. China also is NZ largest source of international students and the second largest of overseas tourists. Finance is the blood of economy. Along with the fast growing of our bilateral ties, financial cooperation has become more and more important. Today’s branch opening by CCB put another addiction to this endeavor and will generate more impetus on furthering the cooperation between our two countries.

Today is a significant day for One Belt One Road construction between our two countries. One Belt One Road has gained world-wide support and has become very important platform for us to have win-win international cooperations. Last year, we successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing and achieved more than 270 deliverables. Now more than 80 countries have signed cooperation agreements with China and more than 50 billion dollars were invested in the projects under the framework of One Belt One Road. NZ was the very first western country to sign One Belt One Road cooperation agreement with China, and has great opportunities to further our cooperations. One Belt One Road means a road of connectivity of policy, trade, financing, infrastructure and people to people. Today the branch opening by CCB in NZ will promote the finance connectivity between our two countries and make contribution to the 21st Maritime Silk Road between China and NZ .

Today is a special day for our Consulate General in Auckland. Because the very first branch by CCB is physically located in Auckland. As the biggest commercial and financial center of NZ, Auckland plays a very important role in developing cooperations with China. Over the past years we have witnessed massive upsurge of cooperation between Auckland Consulate district with China. Up till now, China’s top 5 airlines all have opened their nonstop flights between major cities of China to Auckland. Currently, more than 150 direct flights go back and forth between China and Auckland per week. There are many other opportunities in other areas such as tourism, primary industry , infrastructure, energy conservation, and of course finance. It is my believe as well as hope that Auckland will continue to play a leading role in the construction of 21st Maritime Silk Road between our two countries .

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The above-mentioned could not be accomplished without the great support of our friends present here today and the support of the government of NZ and Auckland. So I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to you all for your support to strengthening the ties and fostering our financial ties between our two countries. My Consulate will continue to provide good services to our Chinese business here in the Consulate district.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese New year is around the corner, at this joyful occasion, I world like to take this opportunity to extend our warm festival greetings and best wishes to all of you for a very happy and prosperous New year ! And best wishes to CCB New Zealand Branch for greater success!

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