China-CELAC Private Sector Forum held in Guangdong
On May 24, the China-CELAC Private Sector Forum was held in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Xu Lejiang, executive vice chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), Lv Yuyin, vice governor of Guangdong Province, Carlos Larrea, Ambassador of Ecuador to China, and Xu Wei, Minister Counselor of the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, attended the forum and delivered speeches. Teresa Mera, deputy minister of foreign trade of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) of Peru, addressed the forum via video link. The forum was presided over by Chen Liwen, executive vice chairman of Guangdong Federation of Industry and Commerce.
Xu Lejiang said that Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed the concept of building a community with a shared future between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 2014, pointing out the direction for further developing China-LAC comprehensive and cooperative partnership. Latin America is the natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and an important participant in the Belt and Road Initiative. In recent years, more and more LAC countries have worked with China to promote a high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative, support and participate in the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and build a China-LAC community with a shared future.
Xu stressed that China is now promoting high-quality development and high-standard opening up, and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, which will surely unlock new opportunities for LAC countries and other countries around the world. Under new circumstances, China-LAC private economic cooperation should deepen practical cooperation and unleash cooperation potential, providing a strong impetus for upgrading and deepening China-LAC economic and trade cooperation at the present stage. We need to follow the trend of global development, take innovation cooperation as the important direction, deepen the sharing of innovation outputs, and continue to consolidate the foundation for high-quality development of China-LAC cooperation. In the economic, trade and investment cooperation between China and LAC countries, private enterprises should always uphold justice while pursing shared interests and the concept of China-LAC community with a shared future. They should earnestly implement the principles of extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits, actively shoulder social responsibilities, and contribute to the steady and long-term development of China-LAC cooperation. The ACFIC is ready to work with relevant parties to write a new chapter in China-LAC private economic cooperation and promote the building of a China-LAC community with a share future.
Lv Yuyin said that as a pacesetter of China’s reform and opening up, Guangdong, with the active participation of private enterprises, has continuously strengthened its friendly exchanges, economic and trade cooperation with LAC countries in recent years, which become deepened and developed in various fields. Guangdong will take this forum as an opportunity to vigorously carry forward the spirit of Cantonese merchants in the new era, continue to deepen cooperation and exchanges with LAC countries, and unswervingly promote high-level opening up and high-quality development. It will treat all types of market entities as equals, vigorously protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, build a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized first-class business environment, and strive to promote the China-LAC and Guangdong-LAC private economic cooperation to a new level.
Teresa Mera said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, Peru and China have continuously strengthened their relations on the basis of mutual benefit which have been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership. In the field of foreign trade, the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries has laid a solid foundation for deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and played an important role in facilitating market access for a wide range of products and services, establishing a transparent and predictable legal framework and promoting trade and investment. The Mincetur will do its utmost to promote the development of commercial exchanges, economic cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
Carlos Larrea said that this forum will play an important role in promoting the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean, which will help strengthen multilateralism and free trade, promote economic cooperation and make positive contributions to the sustainable development of global economy. In fact, economic and trade cooperation has become the driving force of bilateral relations between China and Ecuador. The China-Ecuador investment blueprint is a new mode of business operation to raise the added value of products and technologies and promote the development of green industries and e-commerce platforms. In the meanwhile, China and LAC counties will also establish a new level of business cooperation in the area of ecosystem, making a strong contribution to advancing bilateral relations.
Xu Wei mentioned that after 60 years of development, China-LAC relations have entered a new era featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and tangible benefits for the people. China and LAC countries respect and treat each other as equals, and their political mutual trust has been continuously consolidated. They have achieved mutual benefit and common development and upgraded practical cooperation. Open and inclusive, China and LAC countries seek common ground while shelving differences, so that the people-to-people exchanges are flourishing. China and LAC countries embrace foreign progressive culture and unite each other while improving themselves, which promotes the boom of China-LAC cooperation in various fields. Under new circumstances, both China and LAC countries have a strong desire to strengthen economic and trade exchanges, expand investment cooperation and deepen people-to-people exchanges. This forum will help tap the potential of China-LAC private economy and promote the steady and long-term development of China-LAC economic and trade cooperation.
Ms. Pansy Ho, vice chairman of ACFIC and Managing Director of Shun Tak, Efraín Guadarrama, director general of the Regional American Organizations and Mechanisms at Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations and Mexico’s national coordinator at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Lei Wentao, CEO of China-LAC Cooperation Fund, Martin Charles, Resident Ambassador of Dominica to China, and Analisa Low, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to China, made keynote speeches respectively.
During the dialogue session of the forum, diplomatic envoys from LAC countries to China and representatives of Chinese private enterprises had in-depth exchanges on the themes of “New Opportunities and Challenges for China-Latin America of Green Energy Cooperation” and “The New Situation and Trend of China-Latin America Tourism Cooperation”. Zhang Zhenjiang, dean of the School of International Studies of Jinan University and director of the Center for Latin America Studies, released the article “Opportunities and Challenges of Private Enterprises’ Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean under New Circumstances” at the forum.
With the theme of “Making Progress Together and Creating a Better Future: Opportunities and Challenges of China-LAC Private Economic Cooperation under New Circumstances”, the forum was hosted by ACFIC and Guangdong Provincial People’s Government, and organized by Guangdong Federation of Industry and Commerce, Dongguan Municipal People’s Government, China New Energy Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Tourism.
A total of 200 people attended this forum, including diplomatic envoys from LAC countries to China, heads of government agencies, federations of industry and commerce and chambers of commerce, representatives of financial institutions and think tanks, and representatives of China-LAC private enterprises.