Ambassador He Yafei spoke on the achievements and challenges of China's development and highlights of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan of National Economic and Social Development, at the third Forum de la Haute Horlogerie on 5 May.
Ambassador He gives an overview of China's rapid development, citing GDP growth from 364.5 billion yuan in 1978 to 39,798 billion yuan in 2010 and the success of lifting over 200 million people out of poverty. But he points out that China is still a developing country requiring long-term hard work to secure better life for its people whose per capita GNI in 2009 is ＄US 3650 only, one eighteenth of that of Switzerland.
Ambassador He emphasizes that China is an open and innovative country. Confronted with population, resources and environmental constraints, China has embarked on a road of people-centered, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, balancing urban and rural development and development among regions, balancing economic and social development, promoting harmony between man and nature and synergy between domestic development and opening up, accelerating the transformation of economic growth pattern.
On China's international role, Ambassador He says that China is a country seeking peaceful development and a strong advocate for peace, development and cooperation, pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace.
Ambassador He concludes with an update on the ongoing bilateral free trade agreement negotiations between China and Switzerland, offering more optimism over bilateral trade fies.
The Forum de la Haute Horlogerie was established in 2008, by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, a watch-making industry organization. This year's forum is well attended by government officials, industry leaders, academics and media representatives.