New Zealand Members of Parliament, Dr. Yang Jiang and Simeon Brown,
Majors and Councilors,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to join so many distinguished guests and friends both from China and NZ at this great event. At the outset, let me warmly welcome our distinguished guests and tourism delegation led by Director-General Mr. Na Suchen from Hebei, China. At this special occasion, I would like to extend my appreciation to New Zealand Hebei Compatriots Association, for your hard work to make this wonderful event possible, providing an important platform for tourism related exchanges between China and New Zealand. And I also wish to take this opportunity to express my special thanks to all the friends present here today for your support to the promotion of mutual understanding, co-operation and people to people exchanges between China and NZ.
Tourism exchanges and cooperation are essential to the overall bilateral relationship and very important content of the Belt and Road construction between China and New Zealand, serving as an important bridge for enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples. Now, China is NZ's second largest tourist resource country, and will surely become the first in the years to come. The rapid growth of tourism has become a strong driving force in promoting exchanges and cooperation in the areas of economy, trade, aviation connectivity, infrastructure, culture, education and others, bringing lots of job opportunities to the local market. Many Chinese entrepreneurs and companies are keen on investing in NZ's tourism related infrastructure and are looking forward to working together with NZ partners. I am confident that the upcoming China-NZ Tourism Year will further foster tourism cooperation and comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries.
Hebei is a very important and dynamic province situated in the northern part of China with two giant metropolitan cities, Beijing Capitol of China and Tianjin, as its neighbors. It is a province with a population of 75 million. Its beautiful scenery, numerous historical sites, profound cultural relics, rapid economic and social development, convenient location and many other rich tourism resources, are appealing to more and more tourists from both home and abroad.
The central government attaches great importance to the development of Hebei province and put forward special favorable policy which is guided by the integrated and coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, focused on strengthening the top-level design, promoting coordinated development of all regions, and building a high-standard Xiong'an new district .
More than one year ago, the central government mapped out a strategic decision to make Xiong'an into another show case of china 's reform and opening-up which will represent the future of China, leading the trend of the world and guiding the future direction of development for mankind. Taking the 2022 Winter Olympic Games as an important starting point, the blueprint of coordinated development of the city cluster is being fulfilled step by step, which unquestionably demonstrates the great achievements and new development concept featuring innovation, coordination, greenness, openness and shared development in the new era. In one word , Xionan will be a role model for China to implement high quality development which could be copied and expanded by other places of China
The tourism industry has become an important engine for Hebei's economic development and many other areas in China as well as one of key driving forces for NZ economic growth. We are faced with unprecedented opportunities in developing our cooperation in tourism. With the fast growing air connection between NZ and China as well as other Asia pacific countries, NZ will likely become a transportation gateway to South America,pacific countries and Australia. More and more tourists of China and other Asia countries would like to come to NZ, 100 % pure country, or stop over here for a while and then travel to south America,pacific countries and Australia. Therefore, NZ will turn from its disadvantageous location into a center of the world
Today's event is an important warm-up for 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism. Right now, China's first International Import Expo is going on in Shanghai. President Xi Jingping sent out a strong message of further and high-level reform and opening up when he delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the Expo, which will definitely provide more opportunities for our tourist co-operations. Next year, the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in China. I sincerely hope that New Zealand will grasp those valuable opportunities and provide more convenience to Chinese tourists and favorable policy to attract Chinese investors to partner with NZ tourist related industries and infrastructure. Our Consulate general always stands ready to work with New Zealand to deepen mutual beneficial cooperation, strengthen strategic partnership and create a better and brighter future for the two countries and two peoples.
Finally, I wish the event a full success, and the delegation have a great time in Auckland!