Your Excellency Dato'Seri Rafidah Aziz, Ambassador Dato' Syed Norulzaman Syed Kamarulzaman, Distinguished guests present today, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,
Good morning to you all!
It is my great pleasure to attend the 2007 Malaysia-China Business Investment Forum, to meet with government officials as well as friends from the business community of Malaysia and discuss our cooperation. On behalf of Guangdong Provincial Government and Governor Huang Huahua, I would like to extend our warm congratulations on the opening of the forum and our sincere welcome to all guests and friends.
Distinguished Madam Minister, guests, friends, as the pioneer and pilot field of China's reform and opening up, Guangdong Province in the past 28 years has achieved rapid and steady economic growth at an average annual rate of 13.7%. Last year, Guangdong's GDP exceeded 2.5 trillion yuan RMB, accounting for 1/8 of that of China's mainland. Its fiscal revenue reached 500 billion yuan RMB, 1/4 of the country's total. Accumulated foreign investment hit 177 billion US$, accounting for 1/4 of that of the whole nation. Guangdong's import and export volume was over 520 billion US$ last year, 1/3 of China's total amount. Nowadays, Guangdong enjoys economic prosperity, social stability and a comfortable living and working environment for its people. All social undertakings are advancing in a smooth and rapid manner. Guangdong has become the most economically dynamic area as well as the place in China with the greatest attraction for foreign investment. Such achievements couldn't have been attained without the long-term support and sincere cooperation from the industrial and business communities around the world, including those from Malaysia. Taking this opportunity, on behalf of Guangdong Provincial People's Government and Guangdong people, I would like to extend our heart-felt gratitude to Madam Minister, to our Malaysian friends, and friends from the industrial and business community that are present here today.
Dear guests and friends, China and Malaysia are close neighbors separated by a strip of water, whose friendly contacts date back to ancient times. Guangdong, as one of the nearest Chinese provinces to Malaysia, has long enjoyed close and friendly cooperations with Malaysia. We have noticed with pleasure that with the improvement in Sino-Malaysian relations in recent years, bilateral trade between Guangdong and Malaysia has been gradually expanding and has shown an increasingly good momentum for future development. Malaysia has become Guangdong's largest trading partner and the third major source of foreign investment in ASEAN. In 2006, bilateral trade volume between Guangdong and Malaysia hit US$11.3 billion, up by 22.4% from the previous year. By the end of 2006, accumulated foreign investment from Malaysia had totaled US$490 million , with contractual value reaching US$1 billion. Many famous big companies from Malaysia have invested and settled down in Guangdong and their investment has generated good returns. This has further promoted the cooperation and friendship between Guangdong and Malaysia.
Madam Minister, dear guests, friends, the world today is an open world filled with opportunities and challenges. Countries and regions, entrepreneurs in particular, are thinking about one question, that is: Against the backdrop of economic globalization and regional economic integration, how can they seize opportunities, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation so as to achieve common development? As far as I'm concerned, China's accession to WTO, our efforts of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, the acceleration of Guangdong's modernization, the full implementation of CEPA, the vigorous development of Greater Pearl River Delta and Pan Pearl River Delta regional cooperation, and the gradual establishment of CAFTA have brought about unprecedented business opportunities for our cooperation and development. Bilateral economic and trade cooperation between our two places enjoys high complementarities and huge potentials. Malaysia is an important industrial power in ASEAN which boasts rich natural resources, distinctive industrial characteristics, advantages in manufacturing, construction, and tourism industries, and well-developed small- and medium-sized enterprises. Meanwhile, Guangdong is among the top in China's mainland in terms of the comprehensive economic strength. It has witnessed sustained, rapid and coordinated economic development and features sound investment and trade environment. A number of industries and brands in electronics, household electrical appliances, light industries, and textile industry have enjoyed good reputation in the international market. Guangdong attaches great importance to economic and trade cooperation and exchange with Malaysia. We hope to see more Malaysian companies invest and start their business here to conduct trade with us and promote common development. We also welcome the establishment of R&D centers, regional headquarters and procurement centers in Guangdong by Malaysian companies. Malaysian companies in the service sector are encouraged to invest in Guangdong's modern service sector. We support cooperation and exchanges among small- and medium-sized enterprises from both countries. I am convinced that as long as we work together to promote mutually beneficial cooperation in a practical way, bilateral cooperation will yield more fruits.
In closing, I sincerely wish her Excellency Madam Minister a successful visit to China and to Guangdong. I wish this forum a complete success. I also wish all of you all good health and success in your career. Thank you!
(Full text of the remarks by Tang Bingquan, Executive Vice Governor of Guangdong Province at the "Seminar on Malaysia – China Business Opportunities" in Guangzhou on May 30, 2007, as transcribed)