Opening Remarks by Ambassador Li Chao at the Delivery Ceremony of Nuctech Railway Cargo Inspection Equipment

ETCB Director General Laid,

Customs Director Suurraid, Deputy Director Kutti,

General Manager Bian Xiaohao,

Dear friends,

Today, it gives me great pleasure to join you for the Delivery Ceremony of Nuctech Warsaw Railway Cargo Inspection Equipment. Nuctech Warsaw has completed its contract to provide 5 sets of large container inspection equipment to Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB). I wish to extend warm congratulations on the success of the deal and pay high tribute to the sincere cooperation between Estonian Tax and Customs Board and Nuctech Warsaw.

With its superior geographical location, Estonia serves as a natural channel that connects north and south Europe. It plays a very important role in Europe and Asia transit transportation. In recent years, Estonia’s international trade has developed rapidly. In 2017, its import and export trade volume reached 27.5 billion euros, with exports of goods increased by 8% and imports by 9%, and it is still showing a rising trend. Thus, demands in cargo inspection equipment with improved efficiency and accuration in Estonia are going up.

I believe Nuctech Warsaw’s 5 sets of inspection equipment can meet the needs of Estonian Tax and Customs Board, assist to crack down on smuggling, maintain national security, as well as facilitate customs clearance, provide convenience for Estonia import and export trade. I am also very happy to see that the high-tech equipment with complete intellectual property developed by Nuctech Warsaw has been fully affirmed by Estonian Tax and Customs Board. These devices are crystallization of the wisdom of Chinese scientists and technicians, and they are the business cards of China's high-end manufacturing in the international market.

Standing on the Narva borderline today, I feel a lot. We always say that we shall promote trades. Now trucks and trains that passing along the border are the very entities of trade to behold. Some people said, Estonia and China are not really far away, there is only on country, Russia, between us. Surely, if I look east from here, I do see the growing economic ties between Estonia and China:

First, our two countries have deepened policy coordination. Estonia is China’s important partner in the European Union and the Baltic region. It is also our partner in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 Cooperation. Last year, Estonia officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative, increasing synergy between our two countries’ development strategies. Chinese President Xi Jinping said, the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative is not meant to reinvent the wheel; rather, it aims to complement the development strategies of countries involved by leveraging their comparative strengths. Chinese and Estonian economies have our individual strength and are complementary. Our two governments have signed two MOUs on e-commerce and digital cooperation. In the future, cooperation in agriculture, logistics and other fields are expected to be further explored.

Second, our two countries have increased bilateral trade and investment. In recent years, our cooperation has developed quickly. Today’s event marks a major achievement of china-Estonia cooperation in high-end manufacturing. Besides, those cooperation between Omniva of Estonia and China’s SF Express in field of e-commerce and logistics, cooperation between Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing and Taxify in field of intelligent sharing economy, and cooperation between Guangzhou Hangxin Technology and Magnetic MRO in aviation industry are all progressing smoothly. Moreover, Estonian electrical bicycle, sound box, wooden houses, dairy products and fishery products have found their way to Chinese market.

Third, our two countries have enhanced infrastructure connectivity. Estonia is restoring its strategic core position in Europe and Asia transportation network. It is foreseen that the ongoing construction of Rail Baltica and the planning of Helsinki-Tallinn railway tunnel project could be connected with China’s Ice Silk Road initiative, creating a multi-modal transport corridor between Europe and Asia. Furthermore, China and Estonia are proactively seeking to open China-EU line trains to realize the full land transportation of our two countries' trade logistics. Also as I know, efforts are paid by some logistics companies to promote more direct cargo flights to achieve unimpeded logistics express.

Facing the future, our two countries have broad prospects for cooperation. The sound development prospects of China's economy will inject strong impetus into our cooperation. After 40 years of reform and opening up, China has become the world’s second largest economy, the second largest trader, the second largest outbound investor and second largest recipient of foreign investment. Chinese economy registered an average annual growth of over 7.1% over the past five years, contributing 30% to global growth. Currently, Chinese economy is shifting more focus and resources to innovation. We welcome companies such as Nuctech which has independent intellectual property rights grow rapidly. I am proud to say that now China’s high speed railways, e-commerce, mobile payments and sharing economy are leading the world. Digital economy is shaping the economic landscape in China as we speak. With the robust development of digital economy, new industries, new businesses and new model are growing, which has brought numerous opportunities for businesses from home and abroad.

Meanwhile, China is a country of over 1.3 billion people. With its personal income rising 7.4% every year, and consumption demands increasingly diversified, China has become the most promising growth market in the world. It is also estimated that, in the next 5 years, China will import 10 trillion US dollars worth of goods and services, and attract 600 billion USD foreign investments.

We are ready to share opportunities of our own development, join hands with everyone to forge a global community for a share future, and make open world economy bring more benefits to our people and businesses.

We shall remain committed to the basic national policy of reform and opening-up. China’s door of opening-up will open wider to the world. In the coming years, we will significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and take the initiative to expand imports. China encourage our enterprises to go abroad and integrate into the global market. We also welcome enterprises including Estonian enterprises to enter the Chinese market.

We shall continue to promote Belt and Road Initiative, with our joint commitment to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and does not do business by force. We would like to work together with Estonian government to progressing pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, to achieve greater benefit of all our businesses and peoples.

Dear friends,

The Estonian proverb says that "He who seeks shall find (kes otsib, see leiab)." I have seen such wisdom from Nuctech colleagues who are constantly pursuing global market. I have seen this wisdom from Estonia’s independent history and remarkable development achievements. I also have seen it from China and Estonia’s joint effort in seeking common grounds for cooperation. Taking today’s opportunity, I wish Nectech could carry out more cooperation in Estonia in the future, and wish you a prosperous global business. It is also hoped that China and Estonia will join hands together to push forward our collaboration to another new level!

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