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Speech at the Launch Event of The Leeds Gold Business Programme


Pan Yundong

Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Manchester

Rose Bowel, Leeds Metropolitan University, 10 May 2012

Leader of the Leeds City Council, Councillor Wakefield,

Head of International Partnership of the Leeds City Council, Mr Martin Dean,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Many thanks to Leader Wakefield for inviting me to attend the launch event of the Leeds Gold Business programme. The name “Gold Business Programme” is a well adopted one that implies maturity and harvest, and I look forward to its full success. I hope it would provide broader stages, faster channels, and better choices in Leeds’ biding of expanding its cooperation with concerned parties of China.

The very much expected London Olympics is counting down. In about two months’ time, it will be officially unveiled to the world. Athletes from different countries will compete on the same stages by the Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger”. As the motto of London Olympics “Inspire a Generation” manifests, although the games are yet to be opened, the Leeds Gold Business programme tells us that, from the economic point of view, people here today, including myself, are already inspired.

As inspired, we are full of expectations. We have expectations to the Chinese athletes’ pre-game training in Leeds. We have expectations to the performance of the Chinese and British athletes in the coming Olympics. We have expectations to the attractive cooperation scenario between Leeds and concerned Chinese areas in the post-Olympics era.

The Chinese Olympic delegation will have its pre-game training in Leeds soon. Here, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester and Chinese Olympic delegation, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Leader Wakefield and the Leeds City Council who have done so much for this project. At the same time, I believe, by receiving the Chinese Olympic delegation to have training, Leeds not only seized an opportunity, but also gets ready for expanding further cooperation with concerned parties of China. I would like to add that, China’s development will bring more opportunities to Leeds.

In 2011, China overcame the negative impact muscled jointly by a slack international market, souring energy cost, and climbing big commodity prices, and secured a 9.2 percent growth. China’s GDP reached 4.7 trillion pounds, contributing the biggest share for the economic development of the world. While many countries are struggling with uplifting their economic growth rate, China works on the opposite direction, and succeeds accordingly. To address the economic overheating and inflation, the Chinese government strengthened its regulations, and achieved good results. In the first quarter of this year, China’s GDP growth was successfully reduced to 8.1 percent, and inflation to 3.8 percent. The figures not only signify that China’s economy is soft landing, but also portends that the future of the Chinese economy will march forwards in a healthier, more balanced, and more stable pace. I believe it will unleash promising opportunities for British enterprises, including Leeds enterprises.

From the perspective of history, China only accounted for a small part in world economy in the past. Now, China has become an important, even the biggest trading partner for many countries, as well as the biggest market and important investor in the world.

At present, guided by the Twelfth Five Year Plan for 2011 to 2015, all walks of the Chinese people are working hard in building their country. In the past, the most prominent two drives for the development of Chinese economy were investment and export. Now, China is changing this track to consumption and innovation. In 2011, the opening year of the Twelfth Five Year Plan, Chinese people’s personal income in urban and rural areas increased by 8.4 percent and 11.4 percent respectively. It is estimated that there will be no less than 7 percent annual income increase during the whole Twelfth Five Year Plan period. China is also constructing its huge social insurance system. By implementing the above mentioned measures, the Chinese people will have more dispensable money in their pockets, and building a consumption-driven economy will not in be a hollow slogan. What is worthy of mentioning here is that, we are not at loose in investment and industrial upgrading at the same time. Let me share with you an example. According to some information, during 2011 to 2015, China will build 70 new airports, relocate 15, upgrade and expand 101. Each year, China will usher into use 300 new airplanes. What’s more, according to Financial Times, Beijing will start the construction of the Second Capital Airport, which will incorporate 9 runways. Leeds harbors advanced material science, cutting edge hi-tech manufacturing, and outstanding design companies. I believe you can very easily smell the business opportunities there.

At the end of last year, the Chinese government issued the strategic blueprint to arduously develop culture industry, which is another domain where Leeds business community can have a big bite. In the next few years, China will increase its supply of public cultural commodities and service, build more public cultural facilities like museums, libraries, galleries, etc. and attach special importance in key cultural industries like creativity, filming, publication, printing, performance, digital video, animation picture, etc. With so many premium museums, advanced cultural institutions, and rich management experiences, Leeds will definitely harvest a lot in its cooperation with China in related culture industry.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The state of China’s economy is more prosperous and stable than ever before. The future of China’s economy is more promising than ever before. The opportunities and conditions for Leeds business community to take part in the development of China’s economy are more mature and feasible than ever before as well. Let us hope our cooperation may, like London Olympics “Inspire a Generation”, “benefit a generation”.

Thank you.

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