Ambassador Li Chao published signed article on Estonian News Paper Maa Elu
2019/02/14

On November 5-10, 2018, the first China International Import Expo was successfully held in Shanghai. After the Expo, the Chinese ambassador to Estonia H.E. Mr. Li Chao published a signed article entitled “China-Estonia Economic and Trade Cooperation Set Sail” on the weekly newspaper Maa Elu which belonged to Postimees. The article introduced the Expo and the outcome of Estonia’s participation, indicated that the door of China’s opening up would be opened wider rather than closed and expressed the confidence in the development of friendly relations and economic and trade cooperation between China and Estonia.

Here is the English text:

On Nov. 5-10, the first China International Import Expo (CIIE, hereinafter referred to as the Expo) was successfully held in Shanghai. The Expo became a "golden platform" for foreign manufacturers to show their products, technologies and services to Chinese consumers. It was also a "golden channel" for foreign products to enter the Chinese market. Minister Tarmo Tamm of Estonia’s Ministry of Rural Affairs headed the delegation of exhibitors, government and business sectors to join the Expo, and their visit yielded substantial results. The great potential of cooperation between our two countries shown during the Expo will bring us more new opportunities of economic and trade cooperation in the future.

This is the world’s first import-themed national-level expo. It is also a trail-blazing move in the history of international trade development and another major measure for China to take the initiative to open its market to the world. The Expo, with a total exhibition area of 300,000 ㎡, had attracted more than 3600 companies from 172 countries, regions and international organizations as well as over 400,000 local and international purchasers. 800,000 visitors had explored the Expo. The transaction of the Expo had produced fruitful results. The value of intended deals topped over US$57.8 billion, among which US$12.7 billion for food and agricultural products, US$16.5 billion for high-end intelligent equipment. Over 570 new products, technologies or services items were first released in the Chinese mainland or in the world.

Estonia also had achieved tangible outcomes through this “Golden platform”. The governments of our two countries signed a poultry protocol, which authorized Estonia exporting poultry to China. Both sides also agreed to further implement the signed Agriculture Cooperation Action Plan 2018-2022 and explore broader cooperation in areas of horticulture, bio-tech and food safety, etc. Four Estonian enterprises-- Saku Brewery, BALSNACK, Heimtal Spirits, EBM GRUPP exhibited their products in the Expo and more than 20 Estonian companies joined the fair. Estonian exhibitors were well received by Chinese purchasers. One Estonian Snack company signed a US$55,000 purchase contract with a Chinese buyer from Shenzhen. Another Estonian meat producer hit it off with a Chinese food company in Wenzhou and signed an order of more than US$14 million worth of chicken poultry products. In the future, Estonia will continue to seek to export China other products such as Atlantic salmon, beef, cod and organic rolled oats.

The first Expo is a new measure adopted by Chinese government to broaden its opening-up to the world. It has become the highlight and the new starting point of China-Estonia economic and trade cooperation. In Chinese president Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Expo, he solemnly promised that China would unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of opening-up, adopt high-quality policies to advance trade and investment, liberalization and facilitation. China will stimulate the potential for increased imports, continue to broaden market access, foster a world-class business environment, explore new horizons of opening up and promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels. China’s door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider. China will continue to work together with other economies to usher in an even better tomorrow.

Estonia is one of China’s important partners in the European Union and the Baltic region as well as a key partner in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and China--Central and Eastern European Countries’ Cooperation(China-CEEC Cooperation). Since earlier this year, China-Estonia bilateral relation has further developed with more frequent high-level exchanges. Honorable Madame President Kersti Kaljulaid attended the Summer Davos forum in Tianjin and paid a work visit to China in September. During the 7th leaders’ meeting of China-CEEC Cooperation in Sofia, Honorable Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and had an in-depth exchanges of views on enhancing the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, China-CEEC Cooperation and pragmatic cooperation between our two countries. Our cooperation in the fields of trade, energy, agriculture and e-commerce has yielded heartening fruits and the enterprises of two countries have increasingly closer ties.

It is our sincere commitment to open the Chinese market in the future. China and Estonia have their own strengths and enjoy strong complementarity in economic development. The prospect for bilateral cooperation is bright. In the coming 15 years, it is estimated that China will import more than US$30 trillion of goods and US$10 trillion of services respectively. China has a big market of over 1.3 billion people while many high quality products, technologies and services of Estonia have not been known by Chinese consumers. I hope that Estonian products can directly “communicate” with Chinese consumers through such kind of platform as the Expo, and the achievements gained by the Estonian enterprises in the Expo can continue and expand.

In his opening address, President Xi Jinping advocated that the Expo, an event to be held on an annual basis, will feature good performance, fruitful results and continued success in the years to come. It demonstrates China’s consistent position of supporting the multilateral trading system and promoting free trade, against trade protectionism and unilateralism. It is a concrete action by China to advance an open world economy and support economic globalization.

I am full of confidence in Chinese People’s ability to get things done and well. I have faith in the stability and prosperity of China’s economy. I am also convinced that the friendly relations of our two countries will further develop and the cooperation between us will sail the ocean!

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