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Vice President Xi Jinping's Speech at the China-Turkey Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum (Full Text)
2012/02/23

On February 22, 2012, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping attended the China-Turkey Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Istanbul and delivered a speech. The full text of the speech is as follows:

Speech at the China-Turkey Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum
(February 22, 2012, Istanbul)

- Xi Jinping, Vice President of the People's Republic of China

Distinguished Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Distinguished Minister Zafer Caglayan,
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends:

It gives me great pleasure to attend the China-Turkey Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum held in Istanbul. Located in both Asia and Europe, Turkey is a country with long history and splendid culture. Istanbul was the gateway to Europe for the ancient Silk Road and now plays an important bridging and linking role for China-Turkey friendship. Entrepreneurs and friends present here today have not only experienced and witnessed the traditional friendship between the Chinese and Turkish people and the friendly cooperation between China and Turkey, but also participated in and promoted the win-win and mutually-beneficial economic and trade cooperation between our two countries. I hereby wish to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to all of you.

The friendship between our two peoples goes back to ancient times. Since ancient times, the world-famous Silk Road has linked our two peoples together. The exquisite Chinese porcelains collected at Topkapi Palace are the witnesses of the history of friendly exchanges between us. During this visit, I'm deeply impressed by your long history, beautiful scenery and remarkable achievements in development. In recent years, Turkey initiated internal reform, opened up to the world, maintained political stability, and achieved rapid economic growth. People's living standards here have improved significantly. Turkey has become one of the most attractive and dynamic economies in the region and throughout the world. You are playing an increasingly important role in the international and regional affairs. The Chinese people are sincerely happy for the achievements of the Turkish people.

With the concerted efforts of the two governments and peoples since the establishment of diplomatic ties 41 years ago, bilateral relations have made considerable progress. In recent years, we have maintained close high-level exchanges, our mutual political trust has been growing and our cooperation and exchanges in economic, technological, cultural and other arenas have been expanding. The two countries announced a strategic partnership in October 2010, which in particular 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 our two peoples, consolidate and enhance China-Turkey strategic cooperative partnership, and lift bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a new level for the benefit of the two peoples."

Ladies and gentlemen,

China is located in the eastern end of Asia while Turkey is located in the western end of Asia. Our two countries have different gifts of the nature. We enjoy strong economic complementarities and have great potentials and broad prospects for trade and economic cooperation. We have a lot to accomplish together. With the continuous development of bilateral relations in recent years, the economic and trade cooperation between us has entered the best period in history and has shown the following four outstanding characteristics:

First, rapid growth of bilateral trade. According to the statistics from our side, our bilateral trade volume increased from less than $10 billion in 2001 to $18.7 billion in 2011, an increase of nearly 18 times. According to the statistics from your side, our bilateral trade volume is as high as $24.1 billion. At present, China has become the third largest trading partner of Turkey. Chinese mechanical, electrical and electronic products, clothing, and daily necessities are well received by the Turkish consumers while Turkish mineral products, textile and chemical raw materials, and agricultural products such as hazelnuts are very popular in China.

Second, accelerating growth of mutually-beneficial economic cooperation. Since 2001, the total value of various types of project contracts signed by Chinese enterprises in Turkey has exceeded $10 billion, with the completed turnover exceeding $4 billion. Among the projects, Phase-II Ankara-Istanbul High-Speed Railway, the largest cooperative project between China and Turkey, has been progressing smoothly since the start of the project.

Third, further improvement in institutional arrangements for economic and trade cooperation. We have established multi-layered, multi-area dialogue and consultation mechanisms centering on the subjects of mutual interest such as plans for the development of long-term economic and trade cooperation, project financing, cooperation in a third country, interconnectivity, and trade remedy and reached a series of cooperation agreements, which have further consolidated the basis for bilateral economic and trade cooperation and have effectively advanced the related work.

Fourth, unfolding potentials for mutual investment. In recent years, there was a steady increase of Turkish investment in China. The investment of Chinese enterprises in Turkey has also made breakthroughs. In light of the economic strength of the two countries, the potentials for mutual investment cooperation are still far from being fully exploited. The Chinese government will continue to guide and encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Turkey and is willing to cooperate with the Turkish government in amending the bilateral investment protection accord and other relevant laws and regulations so as to create a better investment environment for the cooperation between our enterprises.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The world today is undergoing great changes and major adjustments. The statuses and roles of emerging markets including China and Turkey continue to rise. China and Turkey enjoy significant complementary advantages in such areas as capital, technology, and market. China promulgated and implemented the Outline for the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2011-2015). Turkey has also put forward a goal of being one of the world's top 10 economies by 2023. This provides a good opportunity for our two countries to further promote the bilateral strategic cooperation, constantly enrich the contents of economic and trade cooperation, explore innovative means of cooperation, and lift the level of cooperation. 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 between our two countries. To this end, I'd like to put forward a four-point proposal:

First, to increase mutual political trust and promote strategic cooperation. China and Turkey are both important members of the Group of Twenty (G-20). The bilateral strategic cooperation between us has great potentials and far-reaching impacts. We must firmly grasp the general direction of bilateral relations, maintain frequent exchanges and continuously enrich the connotations of strategic partnership. China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Turkey on global and international hotspot issues such as reform of international economic governance system, climate change, energy and food, in the UN, WTO, G20 and other multilateral mechanisms and jointly promote world peace and development.

Second, to expand economic and trade cooperation and deepen pragmatic cooperation. On one hand, we need to further exploit the complementary advantages of our enterprises, continue to strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation in such areas as transportation and infrastructure development including communications infrastructure; on the other hand, we need to actively explore the feasibility of expanding cooperation in the fields of finance, renewable energy, advanced and new technologies, mining, and other areas and strive to foster new growth points for bilateral pragmatic cooperation. Moreover, we can also strengthen cooperation in the fields of energy conservation, green economy and new materials. We should organically combine various forms of cooperation, including trade in goods and services, project contracting, labor cooperation and mutual investment and seek balanced and sustainable development of our overall economic and trade relations on the basis of the continuous expansion of the scale and areas of cooperation.

Third, to jointly oppose trade protectionism. At present, the international financial crisis is still developing and the recovery of world economy is still a difficult and tortuous journey. We should take concrete actions to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and contribute to the full recovery of world economy. China does not deliberately pursue trade surplus with any country. With respect to the big trade deficit Turkey is experiencing, China has taken various measures to increase the imports from Turkey, such as sending the Chinese investment and trade promotion delegations to Turkey, providing Turkish enterprises with preferential exhibition booths, and assisting the promotion of Turkish special commodities in China. This time, we also organized an investment and trade promotion delegation with over 100 members to join my visit to Turkey. They signed various economic and trade agreements with Turkey worth nearly $4.3 billion, among which the contracted and intended procurement reached $490 million. We would like to maintain communication and cooperation with Turkey and also welcome friends of the business community to make positive suggestions.

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, we 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. This year, Turkey will hold the "Year of Chinese Culture" in Turkey while next year China will host the "Year of Turkish Culture" in China. We should work together to run these events successfully, which will contribute to deepening mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples. In the future, we should continue to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges and further consolidate the social basis of the strategic partnership. In addition, we should actively promote cooperation in tourism and the interconnectivity of our roads and railways so as to benefit our peoples.

Last, I sincerely wish the entrepreneurs from both China and Turkey career advancement, good health, and happy family, wish our two countries more prosperous, and wish our two peoples more happiness and well-being.

Thank you for your attention.

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