Speech by H.E.LI Ruiyu at the symposium on the Chinese 13th Five-Year Plan and Sino-Italian cooperation

    First of all, I'd like to thank you all for being here to attend the symposium today. This year marks the beginning of the Chinese 13th Five-Year Plan, which is an important document that gives an overall picture of the economic and social development of China in the future, and opens a door of opportunities for Italian friends. In order to help Italian friends to understand the document and to do related research, the Embassy of China has translated and published the Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China into the Italian language. Here, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my points of views with you. First of all, I would suggest that we need to understand "Five Principles", "Four Types of Indicators" and "One Mainline".

    "Five Principles" include innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, as the soul of 13th Five-Year plan. First, innovation is the primary engine of development. We must implement a strategy of innovation-driven development, by making consistent efforts to encourage the public to start businesses and make innovations. Second, China will stick to coordinated development, promoting new-type urbanization and modernization of Chinese agriculture. Third, China will give high priority to making ecological progress and construct a beautiful China with a blue sky, green land and clear water. Fourth, China will unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of opening up, and commit itself to developing an open economy at a higher level. Fifth, shared development should be insisted to have the people share its fruits, to enjoy a better life in material terms, and also to live a more enriching intellectual and cultural life.

    Centering on "Five Principles", the 13th Five-Year Plan also clarifies "Four Types of Indicators". The first type is the economic development indicators. We adjust economic growth at an average annual rate of at least 6.5%, and per capita labor productivity will have risen from 87,000 RMB to over 120,000 RMB. The second type is the innovation-driven indicators. China's investment in research and development is expected to reach 2.5% of GDP, and the contribution of scientific and technological advances toward economic growth should come to reach 60%. The third type is the people's livelihood and welfare indicators. China will have per capita personal disposable income increased by 6.5%, help nearly 60 million rural residents lift themselves out of poverty, and achieve a one-year increase in average life expectancy. The fourth type is the resources and environment indicators. we should aim to ensure that water consumption, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP are cut by 23%, 15%, and 18% respectively, and the air quality of cities is good or excellent for 80% of the year. These specific indicators constitute a "coordinate system" for the future of China, both directing the development of the country and encouraging the government to improve itself.

    For better implementing "Five Principles" and accomplishing "Four Types of Indicators" as expected, we must hold One Mainline firmly to facilitate the "supply-side reform", which should be promoted by five measures.

    First we will cut excessive industrial capacity by further reducing the output of crude steel by 100-150 million tons within 5 years, and eliminating coal industrial capacity by 500 million tons within 3 to 5 years.

    Second we will reduce the inventory. It is important not only to promote urbanization of migrant workers for new-type urbanisation, but to destock the real estate gradually as well.

    Third we will carry out deleveraging. At present, the ratio of Chinese central and local government debts to GDP is 40%, lower than the European Union's cautious line of 60%, which guarantees that the financial risks are under control. Meanwhile we will take proactive and steady measures to further decrease the risks stemmed from economic high leverage.

    Fourth we will lower corporate costs. We are now spurring enterprises by reducing their tax burdens and adjusting the deposit ratio of "five kinds of social insurance and housing fund" etc.

    Fifth we will improve weak links. We will foster new industries and new advantages, transform and upgrade traditional industries, and develop social causes. Only in this way, could the weakest links be improved as quickly as possible.

    The five measures address the principal issues of Chinese economy by doing both "adding" and "subtracting", which is the priority of the “supply-side reform” .

    Dear friends,

    At present, the overall performance of Chinese economy continues to be stable and to move in a positive direction.This year the Chinese economy has got off to a good start. The GDP of China in the first quarter increased by 6.7% over the previous year, and 3.18 million new urban jobs were created. Import and export, the value added of the industrial sector, the investment in fixed assets, the total retail sales of consumer goods and other indicators are better than expected. The development of new driving forces is accelerated, and the number of daily newly registered enterprises reaches 11.7 thousand, an increase of 25.9% over the previous year. Recently, IMF lowered the forecast for world economic growth, while raised the forecast for China's economic growth by 0.2%. This shows that China's economic transformation measures are achieving positive results, and are fully recognized by the world. In the next five years, China's urbanization and the growth of domestic consumer demand, including upper-middle-class, will continue to provide great potential for Chinese economy. According to The wealth report 2015 issued by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, the number of China's middle-class population has reached 109 million, which ranks NO.1 in the world. Their wealth reached 7.34 trillion USD in 2015. According to IMF, the contribution of Chinese economy toward the world economic increment would reach 30% by 2020.

    Dear friends,

    Italy is China’s comprehensive strategic partner. We hope that the Italian economic circle will see a prosperous prospect and find confidence for bilateral cooperation from the Chinese economic development, and seize new opportunities for cooperation in the “coordinate system” of the 13th Five-Year Plan.

    First, let us continue to open-up and achieve win-win cooperation. In recent years, the depth of bilateral enterprises cooperation have been deepened remarkably. Chinese companies such as Huawei and Weichaicare have achieved great success in Italy. The Italian company, Brembo, acquired 66% stakes of Asimco Meilian Brake Technology Co.Ltd. And Ferrero set up a production base in Hangzhou, China. These mutual beneficial cooperation has brought new jobs and wealth for the two sides. We appreciate the open and positive attitude of the Italian government toward cooperation with China, meanwhile, as Prime Minister Li Keqiang pointed out, China will also remain to be “the hot land” for foreign investment.

    Second, we should press ahead with pioneering spirit. The two countries’ enterprises can take respective advantages of capital, technologies and experience of internationalization to strengthen cooperation in fields of science and technological innovation, high-end manufacturing, energy conservation and environmental protection, medical and health care, modern agriculture, and fashion design etc.. We can also explore to carry out cooperation in mergers and acquisitions and infrastructure construction in Europe, meanwhile we will develop third-party markets in Africa and other places by strengthening production cooperation and going global jointly. We also welcome Italian companies to join China’s e-commerce networks to promote Italian`s high quality products.

    Third, we should comprehensively cooperate with a long-term vision. Sino-Italian cooperation must not be “the first and the last”deal. Both sides should improve the industrial integration, and strengthen the management and cooperation of the industrial chains and logistics chains, combining advantages of development strategies, market resources, economic factors. Meanwhile the two sides could further expand the Sino-Italian cooperation in various fields such as culture, education, science and technology, and accelerate personnel exchanges, to forge a Sino-Italian community of common interests and future.

    Dear friends,

    At present, both China and Italy are at critical stages of economic development. I completely agree with what professor Marco Simoni and other experts have said: the economies of the two countries are more complementary than before, and their meeting points exceed those in the past. The 13th Five-Year plan has planned a roadmap of Chinese comprehensive reform, and opened a new door of opportunities for cooperation with global partners. Therefore, the 13th Five-Year plan belongs to both China and the world. The Government of Italy is now implementing a series of reforms and measures, which has boosted the economy to bring the country back to the growth track, improving international competitiveness of "made in Italy", and initiating human sciences such as new technologies and new industries. China has confidence for the promising future of Italy and bilateral cooperation. I hope that we should make joint efforts and seize opportunities, to make more contribution to the development and people's welfare of the two countries.

    Thank you very much!

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