On February 22, 2012, local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, together with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, attended China-Turkey Economic & Trade Cooperation Forum in Istanbul and delivered a speech. There were over 500 participants attending the forum, including entrepreneurs and representatives from different sectors of the two countries.
Xi Jinping extended his cordial greetings and best wishes to the entrepreneurs and friends from different communities present at the forum. He said, "You have experienced and witnessed the traditional friendship and friendly cooperation between China and Turkey. You are the participants and promoters of the win-win and mutually-beneficial economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. The friendship between the people of our two countries has a long history. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 41 years ago, bilateral relations have made great progress. The two countries announced a strategic partnership in October 2010, which laid a good foundation for the deepening and development of bilateral relations. The goal of my visit to Turkey is to communicate and exchange views with the colleagues of the Turkish government and the friends from all walks of life, deepen the traditional friendship between the people of our two countries, consolidate and enhance China-Turkey strategic partnership and push forward bilateral economic and trade cooperation up to a new level for the benefit of the people."
Xi said with the continuous development of bilateral ties in recent years, the economic and trade cooperative relations between China and Turkey have entered the best period in history, which can be reflected in the fast-growing bilateral trade, accelerating growth of mutually beneficial economic cooperation, further optimization and improvement of institutional arrangements for economic and trade cooperation, and unfolding mutual investment potentials. The world today is undergoing great changes and major adjustments. The statuses and roles of emerging markets including China and Turkey continue to rise. The governments and business communities of the two countries should seize the opportunity, ride on such a good momentum, upgrade and push forward the win-win and mutually-beneficial economic and trade cooperation.
Xi put forward a four-point proposal on further deepening China-Turkey economic and trade cooperation:
First, to increase mutual political trust and promote strategic cooperation. The two countries must firmly grasp the general direction guiding the growth of bilateral relations and continuously enrich the connotations of strategic partnership. China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Turkey on global and international hotspot issues in the multilateral mechanisms and jointly promote world peace and development.
Second, to expand economic and trade cooperation and deepen pragmatic cooperation. The two sides need to further exploit the complementary advantages of the enterprises in both countries, continue to strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation in such areas as transportation and infrastructure development including communications infrastructure and strive to cultivate new growth points for bilateral pragmatic cooperation.
Third, to jointly oppose trade protectionism. China and Turkey should take concrete actions to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and contribute to the full recovery of the world economy. China does not deliberately pursue trade surplus with any country. With respect to the trade deficit in the trade between Turkey and China, China is willing to maintain communication and cooperation with Turkey and take comprehensive mitigation measures.
Fourth, to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges and deepen mutual understanding. China and Turkey both have long histories and ancient civilizations. In the long course of cultural exchanges, the two countries respected each other and learned from each other. The cultural and people-to-people exchange has become an important force driving the growth of bilateral relations. The two sides should continue to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges and further consolidate the social basis of the strategic partnership.
Babacan said in his speech that the day is a historic day in the economic and trade relations between Turkey and China. Vice President Xi made a special trip to attend and address the forum. The day before, Vice President Xi had a cordial, friendly and fruitful exchange of views with President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other Turkish leaders on strengthening bilateral relations. They reached important consensus on promoting mutually-beneficial cooperation. The two sides also signed a series of cooperation documents, which have laid a solid foundation for the future development of bilateral relations. It was also a great inspiration and has great significance to the friends from the business communities, who have long engaged in bilateral trade and economic cooperation. A prominent feature of world trade in recent years is the fast growth of trade between developing countries and the big increase of the proportion of exports from developing countries to developed countries. This differs materially from ten years ago. Entrepreneurs should be adapted to the new situation, seize the opportunity, ride on the tide, expand cooperation, and create a brighter future for bilateral relations.
The forum was moderated by China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng. Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Chaglayan also made a welcome speech at the forum.
Prior to the forum, Xi Jinping met with Ali Babacan at the hotel where Xi stayed.