Chairman Zhang Yi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Mission, I would like to congratulate the opening of the second Addhope Forum, hosted by the Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation. I would also like to thank Mr. Zhang Yi, Chairman of the Foundation, for inviting me to this event.
This year's Forum has taken the theme of "Catalyzing Drivers of Change". I believe the words "change" and "drivers" precisely capture the crux of global trend in our time.
Today, every country is facing multiple challenges in achieving sustainable development in a globalized world. To survive and prosper, every country has to be adaptive and anchor itself well in the globalized world and economy. On top of that, in pursuit for development, humanity has been confronted with increasing challenges including environmental pollution, climate change, energy shortage, and wealth gaps. As the world economy has yet to fully recover from the financial crisis, exploring new models of development is conducive to ridding of the impact of the crisis. It also helps to promote strong, balanced and sustainable economic growth.
Challenges can be both pressure and driver for change. Moving forward in fierce international competition is like sailing against the current. You either forge ahead, or fall behind. Change, which is usually first forced upon us by problems, goes deeper in addressing problems. Change has become the inevitable choice of all countries in responding to global challenges and achieving sustainable development, be it developed countries or developing ones．
There is no doubt that change is of vital importance. But the question is, where do the drivers come from. I think the discussions around the theme of this forum today may provide us some valuable answers.
First of all, people are the fundamental driver for all changes, with youth and women as a vital force. By fully tapping the potential of wisdom, enthusiasm and creativity of youth, it will provide inexhaustible impetus for change. There is a famous Chinese saying, "Women hold up half the sky". By continually eliminating gender-based discrimination against women and enabling their full and equal participation in social and economic development, new drivers for change will be unleashed.
Secondly, change draws inspirations from exchange and integration among different cultures. Cultures of different countries and peoples are distinctive. But they also have much in common. We should learn from and complement each other while fully respecting other cultures, so as to inject new inspirations for change.
Thirdly, embracing social responsibilities and pursuing inclusive development is an important driver for change. Development should not be measured by economic indicators only. It should also give prominence to improving people's livelihood, ensuring equity and social justice, pursuing economic, social, cultural and ecological development in a balanced manner, so as to promote all-inclusive social progress. What comes from the people should benefit the people. Businesses, in their pursuit for development, should fulfill their social responsibilities. Only by doing so, can businesses gain favorable environment and conditions for their long-term development.
Lastly, mutually-beneficial international cooperation will provide a favorable international setting for change. Neither the pyramids nor the Great Wall was built by one individual. Only cooperation and coordination can bring a win-win solution. During his visit to Africa last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a four-point commitment to developing relations with Africa with sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith. President Xi also used another four phrases to describe China's policy towards neighboring countries, namely, closeness, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. Only by advancing international cooperation based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, can a stable and enabling environment for change be secured.
Ladies and Gentlemen and friends,
Not long ago, I paid a visit to Addax. I learned that with concerted efforts of the management and entire staff, the company has successfully overcome initial post-acquisition challenges and achieved sustained and steady growth with a good momentum. To my knowledge, Addax has more than 1000 employees from over 30 countries, boasting a model of international cooperation and cultural exchange.
I still remember a motto of Addax which goes as "each step makes a difference and difference is our strength". Addax's success story shows the power of change, and presents a perfect combination of traditional Chinese philosophical wisdom and modern western management concept and technology.
I am pleased to note that Addax not only performs well in business, but also embraces social responsibilities. Over years, the Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation has been dedicated to helping poor people to improve their ability of self-sufficiency by focusing on health, education and environmental protection in underdeveloped areas of Africa and the Middle East. Last year, the Foundation was engaged in 19 projects for public good in 18 African and Middle Eastern countries, winning recognition and respect from governments, residents, the media and partners. Such sustained assistance to the people living in underdeveloped countries does not only add hope to their future, but will also change this world.
In conclusion, I hope Addax would continue to grow and become stronger, running faster and farther, with unleashed new energy and drives in this changing world.
I wish this forum a great success.