Exhibition “Shenzhen: Pioneering China’s Future” Wednesday 1 July 2015 (Opening speech by Victor Boştinaru – MEP)
Opening of the Exhibition “Shenzhen: Pioneering China’s Future” – Wednesday 1 July 2015
Victor Boştinaru – MEP
It is an honour for me to welcome all of you today at this exhibition on the city of Shenzhen, and I am pleased to see such a large participation.
The first question you may pose is “Why this exhibition?”. The first reason is a matter of time. This exhibition comes at a very important time for EU-China relations due to multiple factors. The second reason is that Shenzhen is a typical example of China wanting to get closer to the EU, of a city which wants to grow and develop by finding new partners and new ways of cooperation.
I talked about the important timing of this exhibition.
1. I said so because as you all know this year we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of EU-China diplomatic relations;
2. The second important event to be mentioned is the EU-China summit, which was held here in Brussels this same week, with important topics discussed by EU leaders and Chinese Premier Li Kequiang, and with a substantial set of agreements reached by the two sides.
3. And then I could mention the negotiations, already started, for a Bilateral Investment Agreement that would allow to boost European investments in China, and vice versa Chinese investments in Europe. Such an agreement, once it will become a reality, will allow reciprocal investments to constitute a key factor of EU-China relations. In other words, we can expect to reach also from the point of view of investments a level comparable with the one of trade relations, where EU and China are key partners and trade for well over € 1 billion every day.
4. One more reason for the momentum of EU-China relations is represented by the two investment plans launched by the two sides, which offer a considerable space for synergies.
a. One is the European Fund for Strategic Investment, the so-called Juncker plan, in which China has already said it is ready to invest.
b. The other one is the “One Belt, One Road” initiative that China wants to implement and that will make China and Europe even closer from the point of view of relations, investments, but also from the one of infrastructure. And somehow linked to this initiative is also the creation of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, which puts together Asian and European countries (and not only) in a project that will certainly bring many benefits and I think should not be seen in contrast but rather side by side and complementary with the other international institutions.
Today it is a pleasure and an honour for me to host an exhibition on one of the most successful cities in China, Shenzhen.
Shenzhen represents one of the most evident examples of the level of development China has reached in recent years. In a relatively small number of years it has become the 4th largest city in China (14 million people). The city is leader in China in finance (seat of the NASDAQ equivalent) and ICT (Tencent, Xiamei, ZTE etc) but also in animation and digital enterprises.
It has not only a very open economy, but also several creative hubs and strong policies to encourage the development of culture and creative industries. And thanks to all these elements it is the first Chinese city to become a UNESCO City of Design.
Shenzhen is a very ambitious and proud city, a city full of dynamism that doesn’t want to have borders and that wants to meet and cooperate with new partners. It is for this reason that we have the pleasure and the honour of having today with us this exhibition and high representatives from the Shenzhen Municipal Government who will better illustrate the achievements and the ambitious cooperation goals of their city towards Europe. I will stop here, and I give the floor to Mr Mr GUO Zhiwen, Vice Mayor of the Lohu district of Shenzhen, where he is in charge of culture and education.