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Speech by Ambassador Zou Xiaoli at the Huawei Smart City Forum


Your Excellency, Minister Nikos Pappas,

Vice President of Nea Dimokratia Adonis Georgiadis,

General Manager of Huawei Technology Greece Bao Jianlin,

Distinguished guests and friends,

Good morning! I am very happy to be invited to the Smart City Forum by Huawei. In a world where scientific and technological innovation is the important driving force for development, such events hold inspirations for every sector and field, diplomacy included. The attendance of Minister Pappas highlights the confidence and support of the Greek government for business cooperation between our two countries, which I highly appreciate. In the past few years, Huawei Hellas has worked together with its local partners on the path of innovation and has scored significant achievements. This demonstrates two points: First, crises have hidden opportunities that can be brought out with perseverance. Confidence is even more valuable than gold. Second, science and technology is the primary productive force. It not only drives economic growth, but also affects social development and relations between man and man and between country and country. Scientific and technological cooperation, and particularly the utilization of high-tech  is fast becoming an important part of our bilateral relations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is the worst of times, and it is the best of times. 2016 registered the slowest growth of global economy and trade over the past 7 years, heightened fluctuations in the international financial market, frequent regional and global challenges, and rising "anti-globalism" and protectionism. Despite grave external circumstances, China managed a growth rate of 6.7% and a total GDP of US$11 trillion last year through deepening reforms and expanding opening up, contributing to over 30% of global economic growth. The strategy of innovation-driven development is going into greater depth and new dynamisms are creating new vistas for development. New measures for opening up have been implemented and the development of the "Belt and Road" is gaining momentum. A series of major projects including the COSCO Shipping Piraeus project have been launched with success. While realizing its own development, China is also shouldering more international responsibilities and making greater contribution to world peace and development.

At the same time, China-Greece relations have registered major breakthroughs, reflected in the following aspects: development strategies of the two countries have aligned with each other under the framework of the "Belt and Road" Initiative. The role of Greece in regional and global connectivity has been further elevated. Prospects for investment cooperation between our two countries have been greatly expanded to transportation infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, finance, real estate, and tourism, among others. Cultural and local exchanges have taken off, with increased channels and mechanisms for cooperation. The "Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation", to be held in Beijing in May, to which Greece has been invited, provides a unique platform for Chinese, Greek and foreign leaders to discuss about and converge on the building and sharing of the 21st Century Silk Road. This will surely inject new vigor and vitality into the development of China-Greece relations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2017 will be a year full of uncertainties as well as opportunities. Governments of the two countries are formulating in consultation action plans for bilateral investment cooperation so as to provide guidance and help for the business community. I hope that entrepreneurs present will broaden your horizons, pay more attention to the big picture of our bilateral relations, and "Belt and Road" cooperation in particular, in order to tap into each opportunity and make the cake of development bigger and better in the interest of our two countries and two peoples. The Smart City Forum is sending very important message: believe in innovation, believe in cooperation, and believe in a better future! I hope this will become our common conviction.

Thank you all!

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