Ambassador Li Chao published a signed article entitled Sharing the opportunities from China's fast recovering economy on Estonian Newspaper Äripäev 
2020/12/03

On December 3, the Chinese ambassador to Estonia H.E. Mr. Li Chao published a signed article entitled Sharing the opportunities from China’s fast recovering economy on Estonian newspaper Äripäev. It points out that in spite of the negative impact of COVID-19, the Chinese economy has demonstrated a great resilience and vitality, and elaborates China’s commitment to promoting further openness, cooperation and win-win results. China will create a first-class business environment and bring more opportunities of development and cooperation for the international community. The article stresses that China is willing to work hand in hand with Estonia to explore the road of economic recovery, share the opportunity of development and create a brand-new future.

Here is the English text:

Sharing the opportunities from China’s fast recovering economy

In a few weeks' time, the challenging year of 2020 is coming to an end. During this year, people around the world have worked together to fight COVID-19 and explore ways to achieve economic recovery. In face of the double crisis, we are more aware that the interests of all countries are closely interwoven and that humankind shares a common stake. Indeed, our world is an indivisible community with a shared future. Therefore, it is the best and the only option for all countries to jointly tackle risks and challenges and strengthen cooperation and communication.

This year, facing the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese government has adopted extensive, stringent, and thorough control measures to successfully cut off the transmission channels for the virus, and has achieved strategic results with this regard. In spite of the negative impact of COVID-19, the Chinese economy has stayed strong and demonstrated a great resilience and vitality. Positive growth has been achieved in the first 3 quarters, injecting strong impetus into world economic recovery. From January to October, China's total imports and exports grew by 1.1 % year on year, industrial added value by 1.8%, fixed asset investment by 1.8%. A total of 10.09 million jobs have been created. Market sales continued to recover, with online retail sales of US$1.4 trillion, up 10.9% year on year.

According to the World Bank's Doing Business report, China ranks 31st in 2020. China remains one of the top three investment destinations for European companies, and the Chinese market remains a shared platform for the world's companies to explore business opportunities. The China International Fair for Trade in Services held in Beijing in September brought together 22,000 companies from 148 countries and regions to its online and off line events. Not long ago, the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) was concluded in Shanghai, which was participated by companies from 124 countries and regions. The exhibition area was nearly 360,000㎡, an increase of 30,000㎡ compared with last year while the contact deals increased 2.1%, reaching 72.62 billion US dollars.

China is making good on its commitment to openness, cooperation and unity for win-win results. We are steadfastly expanding all-round opening up, creating a first-class business environment and sharing development opportunities with the international community. China’s Foreign Investment Law and its supporting rules and regulations came into effect from Jan. 1,2020, and the negative list on foreign investment was cut still shorter. Access to the financial market has been steadily eased. More pilot programs have been conducted for creative promotion of trade in services. In the coming year, China will continue efforts to make its legal framework more open and transparent, strengthen its intellectual property protection, better protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors. China will open up the service sector in a well-planned way, and foster a market-oriented, world-class business environment underpinned by a sound legal framework.

Answering to the new economic requirements after the COVID-19, China has set out to foster a new development paradigm of “dual circulation” with domestic as the mainstay while the domestic and international circulations reinforce each other. What we expect is to explore more efficient ways to connect domestic and foreign markets, share factors of production and resources, and create more demands. China has a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-class group exceeding 400 million. The vastly huge China market is the most dynamic and fastest growing in the world. China keeps expanding its imports of goods and services at a faster growing rate than the global average over the past year. It is expected that the total import into China will exceed 22 trillion US dollars in the coming decade, providing huge business opportunities for high-quality products, technologies and services in countries including Estonia.

Furthermore, China will pursue deeper bilateral, multilateral and regional cooperation. A few days ago, China, with 14 other member states, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which established the world's largest free trade area. This means that about one third of the global economy has become an integrated market, which has strongly supported free trade and the multilateral trading system, and boosted the recovery of the global economy after the epidemic. Going forward, China will continue to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, negotiate and sign high-standard free trade agreements with more countries, and work for a community with a Shared future for mankind in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Looking ahead, the economies of both China and Estonia enjoy strong complementary and broad prospects for bilateral cooperation. Estonia is an important partner of China in Baltic and European. China attaches great importance to China-Estonia relations. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Estonia have maintained close communication and provided each other with valuable supports. Regarding to the practical cooperation, in recent years, China and Estonia have signed multiple protocols related to the export of herring, whey powder, poultry and salmon from Estonia to China, increasing the trade and investment volumes between our two countries. Even during the COVID-19, in the first half of this year, the export volume from Estonia to China has increased by 14.43% year-on-year. In addition, Estonian wind technology developer Eleon concluded an agreement on long-term strategic cooperation with the Chinese Haizhuang windpower in the framework of a joint venture for the development of turbines. In November, Five Estonian enterprises overcame the difficulties of the epidemic and participated in the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, showcased Estonian specialty food, alcohol and household products to Chinese consumers. Among them, honey enterprises signed commercial contracts with Chinese partners.

There is more potential for cooperation between Estonia and China. Estonia takes the lead in digital industry, while China's digital economy is booming. 5G connections in China are expected to reach 200 million by the end of 2020, contributing to more than 85% of the global total, according to a recent analysis by GSMA, an international association of mobile operators. China has stepped into the era of 5G. By the end of this year, there will be more than 600,000 5G base stations in China. Going forward, 5G will drive the "smart" trend in transport, agriculture, medical care, education and urban management, and bring a complete transformation to industrial production and daily life. China and Estonia could explore the vast market in the digital economy era together and make joint efforts to build a cyberspace featuring peace, security, openness, cooperation and order. To this end, China has issued Global Initiative on Data Security and been ready to discuss and develop global digital governance rules with all parties.

China will firmly implement its commitment to the Paris Agreement. We will work together with all parties, including Estonia, to deal with the climate change challenges. As it was announced earlier by the Chinese government that the carbon dioxide emission in China will reach its peak level in 2030 and realize the neutrality by 2060. China has built up the biggest clean energy supply system to enhance the efficient utilization of clean and low emission energy and the development of renewable and green energy so that the transfer to green economy and society could reached as soon as possible. Estonia has made great efforts and success in developing the renewable energy and set the development goal. China and Estonia are complementary to each other. We can cooperate and build a more favorable living environment.

With a huge population, China is in great need of high-quality agricultural products, making Estonian qualified agricultural products popular in China. From 2012 to 2019, Estonian agricultural products exported to China increased 131%.We would be happy to see more and more Estonian qualified agricultural products served on Chinese people’s table in the future. Moreover, we value highly the convenience of transportation and is willing to join Estonia to promote the start-up of China-Europe Block Train, speeding up the process of connectivity.

The globe is now suffering from COVID-19. China actively supports and participates in the international cooperation of COVID-19 vaccine. China has joined the WHO COVAX and is ready to strengthen cooperation with other countries on vaccine research, production and distribution. We will keep our promise to support and help the developing countries so as to make the vaccine an available and affordable public goods for the people. China would like to cooperate with Estonia in this respect and make our joint efforts to improve the health of our citizens.

Difficulties are temporary. Victory will come eventually. China is willing to work hand in hand with Estonia to explore the road of economic recovery, share the opportunity of development and create a brand-new future.

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