Keynote Speech by Bulgarian Ambassador in Beijing at the Media Year and Local Cooperation Year
The Keynote Speech By Bulgarian Ambassador in Beijing at the Closing Ceremony of China-CEEC Media Year and the Opening Ceremony of China-CEEC Local Cooperation Year
Dear Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries Mr. Wang Chao,
Dear Vice Minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China Mr. Tong Gang,
Dear Vice Governor of the People’s Government of Hebei Province Mr. Wang Xiaodong,
Dear Fellow Ambassadors,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
The new year 2018 marks the 6th year of cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries. With the joint efforts of the 17 participants, we annually announce our guidelines for cooperation and we have platforms for exchanges in the fields of economy, trade, investment, culture, education, agriculture, transportation, tourism, science and technology, health, think tanks, local cooperation, and youth. The Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries is already quite a remarkable achievement and today we are here for the closing ceremony of the Year of China-CEEC Media Cooperation and the opening ceremony of the Year of Cooperation between Local Governments and Local Enterprises.
2017 was the Year of China-CEEC Media Cooperation that helped to connect directly Chinese and Central and Eastern European Media and to deepen communication and cooperation between them so that information can be equally spread through the 17 countries. By adhering to the principals of broad transmission, openness and transparency, we enhanced the general public’s understanding for the “16+1” cooperation. We have witnessed the successful realization of many media events such as the first China-CEE Countries’ Spokespersons Dialogue hosted by China, the regular annual visit to China of the CEE countries’ journalists, jointly hosted by the Secretariat for the Cooperation of “16+1” and China Radio International and many other events. I am happy to mention that during the year of media cooperation three Bulgarian news agencies have established direct contact with China Daily aiming at closer cooperation for building a joint web platform for publishing materials in English as well as exchanging visits between the Bulgarian Journalist Union and the All-China Journalist Association. Nowadays media is an extremely powerful tool that has been utilized very well by China and Central and Eastern European Countries to further strengthen our cooperation and understanding in every aspect of the partnership.
Meanwhile in October 2017 the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv hosted the 3rd working meeting of the China-CEEC Association of Provincial Governors. It reconfirmed our mutual wishes for active exchanges and development of “16+1” local cooperation, including in the economic sector. Seven Chinese provinces and municipalities and different local and national structures from eight CEE countries participated in the meeting where new opportunities for people-to-people exchanges were presented.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Local cooperation is an unique dimension of “16+1”. From Chinese perspective it is a way to make up the asymmetry of market size between China and CEE countries as the market size of some Chinese provinces and cities is close to that of some countries in Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, from the European side we consider the local cooperation in “16+1” as an opportunity for China to go further with the process of opening up its economy. I see a deep symbolism in the fact that the year 2018 is the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up and it is also the Year of Cooperation between Local Governments and Local Enterprises of “16+1”.
During the last four decades China has experienced unprecedented growth and big changes as a result of the reforms started in 1978. One year later, in 1979 Guangdong and Fujian Provinces took the lead in the opening up. After that many Special Economic Zones and Free Trade Zones were launched, including in 2015 FTZs in Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin provinces and in 2017 FTZs in Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Chongqing and Sichuan provinces. These Chinese provinces make nine out of fifteen Chinese members of the China-CEEC Association of Provincial Governors. Accordingly, we would like the local cooperation in “16+1” to facilitate the delivery of a wider range of European products to these Chinese provinces and other Chinese markets as well. That will be in compliance with the future trajectory of the process of Chinese opening up outlined by the 19th CPC Congress through adoption of policies to promote high-standard liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, significant ease of market access, further opening of the service sector and protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, as well as equal treatment of all businesses registered in China. The Fourth China-CEEC Local Leaders’ meeting that will be held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in 2018 will be instrumental for our local authorities’ win-win cooperation.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Currently in the first half of 2018 we are in the period of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union which motto “United We Stand Strong” summarizes clearly our vision for the EU. At the same time, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU has a specific focus on the European perspective and connectivity of the Western Balkans. We want reasonable, predictable, and developing Balkans. Bulgaria will work to promote peace, security and prosperity within the region; to strengthen cooperation and to further develop good neighbourly relations; to enhance links with the EU Single Market and to improve connectivity with the EU Digital Single Market. Topics that are beneficial for the local cooperation in “16+1” as well. In other words, in 2018 Bulgaria is the focal point for exchanges between the European Union, China and the Western Balkans and may it be the Year of successful and fruitful Cooperation between Local Governments and Local Enterprises of “16+1”.
Thank you for your attention!