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Address at the Economic and Trade Forum Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties between China and Fiji
By Wu Pin, Deputy Director of Planning Department of China Development Bank
2015/11/06
 

Your Excellency Mr. Zhang Ping, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Honorable Ministers of Republic of Fiji,Mr. Chen Jiayuan, Vice Chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Zhejiang Province, your Excellencies,and other Distinguished Guests:

 

Good afternoon.

First of all, I would like to thank the Ambassador Zhang for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to address on behalf of CDB.

Today, I'll introduce the development planning cooperation between CDB and the Fijian government, and share with you my opinions on promoting the China-Fiji economic and trade cooperation.

As you know, in August 2011, CDB signed the Planning Consulting Cooperation Agreement with Fijian Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics. Two sides decided to carry out planning consulting cooperation in such areas as energy and power, tourism, traffic infrastructure and agriculture.

According to the agreement, CDB organized a research team of experts from various Chinese top institutions. With the support of Fijian government, CDB led a delegation to have a deeply field investigation by talking with Fijian Ministry of Strategic Planning, Ministry of Public Utilities, Ministry of Primary Industry, Ministry of Land and Mineral Resources, Civil Aviation Administration (CAAF) and other relevant authorities. We were very pleased that CDB delegation also received sincere help from Chinese Embassy, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office, and many local enterprises.

After several rounds of proving, review, revision and improvement, CDB completed the Planning Consulting Report in October 2014, and submitted it to the Fijian Ministry of Strategic Planning in April this year. Now, to follow up the planning cooperation, CDB's relevant departments and international business group are putting great efforts in promoting the potential projects.

Actually, the Planning Consulting Report for Fiji is a good starting point for CDB to develop its business in South Pacific Island areas.

I would like to point out that, carrying out planning consulting cooperation with foreign authorities is an important step for CDB’s international business. Through the planning process, CDB is able to understand the development situations, industry structures, and potential opportunities of the partners. In this way, we could also come up with constructive advices to promote bilateral economic relationship, and identify some key priority fields and projects for future financing and investment solutions. As of now, CDB has signed Planning Consulting Cooperation Agreements with more than 60 countries in the world, covering a wide range of areas including agriculture, transportation, communication, energy, mineral, manufacture, tourism and finance.

With a focus on international business, CDB has become one of the largest Chinese banks for outbound investment and financing cooperation, and also one of the largest development-oriented financial institutions in the world. As of June, CDB's total assets reached $1.7 trillion USD and its loan balance outstanding was $1.3 trillion USD, of which more than $310 billion USD were international loans.

I hope this could give you some brief ideas of CDB, and its planning consulting services and international business.

Back to CDB’s planning cooperation with Fiji, through the process, we understand that Fiji's economic and social development has great potential and there is vast space for China and Fiji to deepen their cooperation. Fiji is a country with stable political environment, distinct location advantages, harmonious diverse cultures, and steadily rising economy.

To boost its economic and social development, the Fijian government has taken a series of incentive policies to adjust the industrial structure, including increasing the added values of agricultural products, fostering service industry, and enhance the international competitiveness. The Fijian government has also been working hard to improve the investment environment, encourage exports and attract foreign investments.

From my point of view, Fijian government and people can seize the strategic opportunity of global adjustment of industrial structure, accelerate the development of key industries such as agriculture, tourism, power and traffic, and improve people's livelihood. Located in the center of the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji has distinct location advantages to strengthen the cooperation with emerging markets like China, to serve as a bridge for the economic and trade cooperation between Asia and South Pacific island countries, and even to radiate to the entire South Pacific market.

By conducting the planning research, CDB expert team proposes some measures to be considered.

— Promote the construction and update of infrastructure, such as road, port and airport to ensure favorable business and tourism conditions.

— Develop bio-energy and renewable energy industries and micro hydropower and micro grid that meet the needs of dispersed islands, while protecting the environment.

— Expand the tourism industry chain and cultivate it into a main source of foreign exchange revenues.

— Increase the added values of the agricultural products to improve people's livelihood and increase export.

— Encourage financing innovation to attract more foreign investments in tourism, infrastructure, agricultural and energy projects.

— Combine industrial development with job opportunity and income acceleration, and drive education, housing, medical care and other livelihood areas.

— Keep a balance between industrial development, the introduction of foreign investment and environmental protection, so as to realize a coordinated and sustainable development of economy and environment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Now, China is promoting the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China wishes to consult with countries along the Belt and Road to jointly implement this initiative and share its results.

We think Fiji will become China's important economic and trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region. To achieve that goal, we hereby make the following suggestions for your reference:

— Thoroughly studying the business environment in Fiji and properly carrying out project feasibility studies could help Chinese enterprises to facilitate their future investment.

— Ocean-going fishing, hydropower station construction, hotel construction and transportation infrastructure are the suitable and promising areas for Chinese enterprises to start. In those areas, Chinese enterprises can make use of advantages like capital, applicable technologies and management expertise, and also consolidate the foundation for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

— A platform for China-Fiji cooperation and exchanges could be built up. This platform will provide a channel for Fijian government to release latest information and detailed guidance tailored to Chinese enterprise. This will help Chinese enterprises to effectively lower risks of misunderstanding, improve the success rate of investment, and drive more of them to do business in Fiji.

— Chinese government could consider continually providing aid to Fiji in agriculture, renewable energy, transportation infrastructure, human resource training and so on, thus playing a leading and demonstration role in bilateral cooperation for Chinese enterprises.

At last, I hope that through the joint efforts of Chinese and Fijian governments and enterprises, we could constantly improve the level of China-Fiji economic and trade cooperation and lay a solid foundation for the lasting friendship between the two peoples.

Thank you.

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