Respected, Mr. Stephen Town, CEO of Auckland Council,
Mr. Greg Lowe, CEO of Beca,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very delighted to be invited to this beautiful event in celebration of traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival together with the friends of Beca who are problem solvers, thinkers, planners, creators and practitioners. First of all, I would like to extend my sincere Festival greetings and best wishes to all of you present here tonight. I also want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the friends of Beca, for your interest in and support for China and the promotion of the cooperation between China and NZ.
According to Chinese culture, Mid-Autumn Festival is the time to celebrate harvest. For China, we have lots to celebrate this year. 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. This policy has brought great social and economic transformation to China and benefit to the world. China's door will open wider to the outside world because we believe it is the only way for China's future development. China's development, reform and opening up will bring more cooperative opportunities to other countries including NZ. A host of major steps to deepen reform and opening up have been introduced, including broadening market access, protecting IPR and increasing imports etc. We have shifted our economy from high-speed growth to high-quality growth, a stage of carrying out the new development concept featuring innovation, coordination, greenness, openness and shared development. We will open up further to enhance convergence with international economic rules and foster a world class business environment. After four decades of high speed growth, China's economy continues to enjoy a stable and steady growth with sound fundamentals and new drivers. In the first half of this year, China's GDP grew by 6.8% despite uncertainty in the global economy. China's service industry contributes 60.5% to the economic growth. New industries, new business formats and new operating models, from 3D printing to robotics, from big data to cloud computing, from shared bicycles to new energy vehicles, are growing rapidly, injecting new momentum into the Chinese economy. Over 18,000 new companies are set up daily and corporate profits of large industrial companies have maintained double-digit growth.
Mid-Autumn Festival is the time to meet friends. Friendship and cooperation are always the main theme in China-New Zealand relations. Tonight's celebration with New Zealand friends of Beca fully reflects the friendship and closeness of bilateral ties. China and New Zealand enjoy a number of "firsts" in developing our economic, trade and cultural ties. NZ is the first western country to sign Belt and Road cooperation agreement with China. The mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation between the two countries has continuously achieved positive results. For example, aviation connection between New Zealand and major cities in China is growing rapidly. During the peak season, there are 150 direct flights back and forth between Auckland and major cities of China per week, which greatly facilitates people to people exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in all other areas as well. In the building and construction sectors, we are very happy to see that many well-known Chinese companies, such as China Construction, Beijing Construction Engineering Group, Gezhouba Group, Fuhua Group, and Changda Construction Group have already invested in New Zealand. Having rich experiences and mature technology in the sector of infrastructure, they would like to cooperate with local partners and make contribution to the sustainable economic development of New Zealand.
Mid-Autumn Festival is also a moment to express blessings. As a famous Chinese verse goes, "May we all be blessed with long-standing friendship and enjoy the beauty of moonlight together." On this beautiful evening, I sincerely hope that under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, China and New Zealand will work together to give full play to their comparative advantages and continue to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
I would like to again wish all the overseas Chinese, friends in New Zealand and distinguished guests present here tonight a beautiful and happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Just like the slogan of Beca, I wish you continue to make every day better!
Thank you all!