[Gao Feng] Dear friends of the press,
Good morning, welcome to the press conference on the Second China-Mongolia Expo. Today we are very pleased to invite the issuers of this press conference: Mr. Qian Keming, vice minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Mr. L. Bayartulga, State Secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry, and Ms. Ai Lihua, vice chairman of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. I am the host of today's press conference, Gao Feng, Deputy Director General of the General Office of the MOC.
[Gao Feng] Today, Mr. Qian Keming will introduce the economic and trade cooperation between China and Mongolia and the basic information on the Second China-Mongolia Expo first. Mr. L. Bayartulga will expound the prominent role of China-Mongolia Expo in promoting the economic and trade exchanges between the two countries, and Ms. Ai Lihua will brief us on the overall preparatory work and comprehensive safeguards for the Second China-Mongolia Expo. Then, the three issuers will answer the questions of your concern. Now, we would like to invite Mr. Qian Keming to introduce the relevant situation first.
[Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming] Distinguished Vice Chairman, State Secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry Mr. L. Bayartulga, dear reporters, good morning! I would like to, on behalf of MOC, extend a warm welcome to your presence at today’s press conference and sincere thanks for your care and support for China-Mongolia Expo.
As close friendly neighbors, China and Mongolia share strong economic complementarity and great potential for cooperation. Recent years have seen great progress in the bilateral relations made on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, bringing tangible benefits to the two countries and peoples. First, bilateral trade has kept expanding. For over a decade, China has been Mongolia's largest trading partner. In 2016, bilateral trade reached US$4.61 billion, accounting for 60 percent of Mongolia's export volume. Especially in the first half of this year, Sino-Mongolian trade amounted to US$3.1 billion, up 44.2 percent from a year ago.
Second, investment in Mongolia has grown steadily. By June 2017, China's non-financial direct investment in Mongolia reached US$4.1 billion, accounting for 30 percent of Mongolia's total foreign investment. China has become the second largest source of foreign investment in Mongolia. Third, economic and technological cooperation has been deepened. Over the years, China has provided assistance to Mongolia, helping Mongolia establish a number of infrastructure, people’s livelihood and production projects and training over 3,600 people across the sectors for Mongolia. All these efforts have promoted economic and social development of Mongolia. Fourth, our bilateral cooperation mechanisms see continuous innovation. The two sides actively bring into play the role of China-Mongolia Joint Economic and Trade Commission to coordinate and promote the bilateral pragmatic cooperation and major cooperation matters. Moreover, the two sides are discussing the establishment of Erenhot-Zamyn-Uud Cross-border Economic Cooperation Zone, and China and Mongolia will soon start conducting a joint feasibility study for the development of a free trade zone.
[Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming] At present, the international economic situation is complicated and changeable. Sino-Mongolian economic and trade cooperation is facing both opportunities and challenges. China will continue to carry out the neighborhood diplomacy of friendship, sincerity, reciprocity and inclusiveness. To take China-Mongolia commercial cooperation to a new high, China will work with Mongolia to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Development Road strategy, tapping into respective comparative advantages for strengthened cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture and animal husbandry, mineral resources and the people’s livelihood.
During his visit to Mongolia in August 2014, President Xi Jinping and Mongolian leader decided through consultation to hold China-Mongolia Expo, an important platform to improve economic cooperation and cultural exchange between China and Mongolia and even in northeast Asia. In 2015, the First China-Mongolia Expo was successfully held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, achieving good results and highly recognized by the two countries and other economic partners along the Silk Road Economic Belt. The Second China-Mongolia Expo is slated to take place in Hohhot, between September 26 and 30 this year, with the theme of “Building China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, Embracing Global Cooperation and Win-win Results”. Exhibitions, forums, investment and trade negotiations and other forms of activities will be held for participants in this expo.
As one of the sponsors of China-Mongolia Expo, MOC has actively supported the parties concerned to hold the expo successfully and share the cooperation fruits and opportunities. We are willing to work together with all parties concerned to make good use of China-Mongolia Expo, an open international platform, to expand cooperation via the Belt and Road Initiative and building of China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor and with innovative thinking so as to make greater contributions to economic prosperity and development of China and Mongolia and even in northeast Asia. We also sincerely welcome high-level delegations and enterprises from various countries to attend this expo and relevant forums and exhibitions.
Finally, I wish the Second China-Mongolia Expo a complete success. Thank you.
[Gao Feng] Thank Mr. Qian Keming for his introduction. Now, we would like to invite Mr. L. Bayartulga to introduce the relevant situation.
[State Secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry L. Bayartulga] Distinguished vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC Qian Keming and Vice Chairman of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Ms. Ai Lihua, dear reporters, good morning! Today, I am honored to attend, on behalf of the Mongolian government, the press conference on the Second China-Mongolia Expo in Beijing.
During his state visit to Mongolia in August 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, signed a joint declaration on forging a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. According to the declaration, the First China-Mongolia Expo would be held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China in 2015 to enhance the good-neighborly friendship, promote trade and investment and expand economic and trade cooperation. Factually, it has achieved satisfying results.
After the First China-Mongolia Expo, the economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges have seen rapid development between Mongolia and Xilin Gol League, Hinggan League, Baotou City, Manchuria City and Hohhot City in Inner Mongolia. Mongolian products’ sales volume in China has increased, and more Mongolian culture and art spread in the neighboring country.
In recent years, there have been constant high-level visits between our two countries, laying a solid foundation for friendly bilateral cooperation. In accordance with the concept that world economic development requires joint efforts, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held under the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat led a delegation to attend the forum.
[State Secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry L. Bayartulga] In response to President Xi Jinping’s appeal in his congratulatory letter that Chinese and Mongolian governments shall jointly hold an international expo for globalization and based on the geographical advantages and multi-faceted pragmatic cooperation relations between our two countries, Mongolia has actively taken part in the Belt and Road Initiative and building of China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor to develop economic ties with various countries. China-Mongolia Expo is of great significance for fulfilling this goal. The First China-Mongolia Expo received over 2,000 Mongolian enterprises and more than 10,000 guests, and witnessed the signing of 166 agreements on economic and trade cooperation, achieving fruitful results. It has played an active role in improving people’s living standards in the two countries, increasing the sales volume of products of the two countries, accelerating the capital circulation and enhancing trade cooperation.
Mongolia is very concerned about the green food trade with other countries along the Belt and Road with a view to establishing a long-term cooperation mechanism for food safety.
By aligning the Development Road strategy of Mongolia, the Silk Road of China and the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, the three countries laid down the “Development Plan on China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor”. The China-Mongolia Expo also invites guests from 30-odd countries including Russia, showing its inclusiveness and unique feature.
To successfully hold the high-level Second China-Mongolia Expo, we have carried out close cooperation with the People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region for the 22 items in four parts of the expo, and lodged higher requirements on the enterprise participants and the product quality and food safety of manufacturers to take part in the expo.
Meanwhile, colorful activities will also be staged during the expo to promote national culture and art and support youth sports. I believe this expo will surely serve as a bridge for closer economic and trade cooperation between the participants and look forward to see cooperation projects conducive to the development of the two countries. Thank you.
[Gao Feng] Thanks for Mr. Bayartulga’s speech. Now, we would like to invite Ms. Ai Lihua to introduce the relevant situation.
[Vice Chairman of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Ai Lihua] Dear friends of the press, good morning. First of all, entrusted by Chairman Bu Xiaolin, I would like to express, on behalf of the organizing committee of the Second China-Mongolia Expo and the People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, sincere thanks for your care for the Second China-Mongolia Expo and help and support for the economic and social development of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Holding of China-Mongolia Expo is an important event to implement the Joint Declaration on the Establishment and Development of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed by China and Mongolia in 2014. The First China-Mongolia Expo was successfully held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region from October 23 to 27, 2015. During the event, MOC of China and Mongolian Ministry of Industry and Agriculture signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Holding the China-Mongolia Expo. The two sides agreed to hold biennial China-Mongolia Expo in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia since 2015, and build it into a new platform to promote the cooperation in trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between China and Mongolia and even in northeast Asia.
The Second China-Mongolia Expo will be jointly held by MOC of China, Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry and the People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia between September 26 to 30, 2017, with the theme of “Building China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, Embracing Global Cooperation and Win-win Results”. Currently, intense yet orderly preparatory work for this event is ongoing. Now, I would like to brief you on it.
[Vice Chairman of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Ai Lihua] I. About invitation of guests to this expo
The Second China-Mongolia Expo has aroused wide, close attention at home and abroad. Thanks to the guidance and support of MOC of China, the organizing committee has basically confirmed over 2,000 important guests to this event, including foreign political leaders, officials of international organizations, internationally well-known experts and scholars, executives of multinationals, representatives from overseas business associations and famous enterprises from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, leaders from relevant ministries and commissions and various provinces, regions and municipalities of China, principals of central enterprises, famous private enterprises and financial institutions as well as athletes and personages from literary and art circles. We also invite officials from Russia, some countries along the Belt and Road, government departments of the countries trading with Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and embassies and consulates in China.
As the host and a sponsor of China-Mongolia Expo, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will, based on this national platform, strengthen communications with all parties concerned to reach consensus in projects, capital, technology and talents, etc. and carry out a range of pragmatic cooperation.
II. About the activities of this expo
Under the guidance of MOC of China and through communications with Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry, the Second China-Mongolia Expo will organize 22 items in four parts on the principle of overall layout, careful planning, emphasis on actual effects and highlighting features.
The first part includes five items for investment and trade negotiations, including the China-Mongolia Promotion Conference for Investment Environment and Key Projects, China-Mongolia Fair for Cooperation in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and Production and Processing of Agricultural and Livestock Products, China-Mongolia-Russia Seminar on Development of Mineral Resources, Promotion Activity for Inner Mongolian Tourism & “Ten-Thousand-Mile-Long Tea Route” International Tourism and Inner Mongolia-Hong Kong Symposium on Economy and Trade. These items focus on supply-side reform, innovation and entrepreneurship, investment funds and other hot issues in an attempt to launch a number of viable, advantageous industry projects with good cooperation prospects and serve as a platform for exchanges between the investing and financing parties.
The second part includes eight items for conferences and forums, including the Opening Ceremony of China-Mongolia Expo & High-Level Forum on China-Mongolia-Russia Cooperation, Forum on Central Asian Regional Cooperation, International Academic Symposium on Mongolian Medicine, China-Mongolia-Russia CEO Summit, Chinese and Foreign Universities Presidents Forum for Educational Cooperation and Development, Forum on International Scientific and Technological Cooperation and Industrialization, Open and Inclusive: Mutual Learning between Civilizations & China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor Forum and 2017 Summit Forum on International Grass Industry Innovation Alliance. The keynote forum and opening ceremony of this expo will focus on the theme of “Building China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, Embracing Global Cooperation and Win-win Results”. State leaders, foreign political leaders, leaders of MOC, provinces and regions of China, senior officials from international organizations and executives of multinationals will be invited to attend the keynote forum and Chinese and Mongolian leaders will address it.
The third part includes six items for exhibitions, including International and Domestic Commodities Fair, International Horse Industry Exhibition, International Mongolian Medicine Exhibition, Sino-Mongolian Education and Technology Exhibition, Exhibition of Belt and Road Cultural Relics & Oil Painting, Photography and Calligraphy Works of China, Mongolia and Russia and Nap + E-Commerce Comprehensive Experience Exhibition. They will cover 50,000 square meters indoor and outdoor, divided into four kinds of exhibition zones for comprehensive exhibition, special exhibition, experience exhibition and commodity trade exhibition. Currently, the organizing committee is inviting purchasers from around the world.
The fourth part includes three items for cultural exchanges, including China-Mongolia International Cultural Exchange, International Nadam “Silk Road Cup” International College Students’ Soccer Tournament and International Youth Cycling Challenge and Cycling Event for Sino-Mongolian Friendship. At present, all preparations are being made in an orderly way.
[Vice Chairman of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Ai Lihua ] III. About the service guarantee of this expo
Since Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is the host and a sponsor of China-Mongolia Expo, the Party Committee and government of Inner Mongolia attach great importance to this event, and take it as a specific task to implement the gist of important speeches made by General Secretary Xi Jinping and in particular his speech delivered during his inspection tour of Inner Mongolia as well as an important opportunity for the region to promote all-round opening up. They require the whole region to make joint efforts to strengthen communications and coordination, carefully organize and plan various activities with practical, detailed programs and devote every effort to all preparatory and guarantee work for the expo. On the principle of warm, active, considerate, careful, civilized, polite, standardized and orderly work, we should do a good job in ensuring the service of this expo.
Dear reporters, the Second China-Mongolia Expo will kick off on September 26. September is the most beautiful season in Inner Mongolia. Here, I extend, on behalf of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, warmest welcome to all guests to Hohhot to share opportunities and friendship, discuss cooperation and seek common development.
Finally, I would like to express thanks to you again for your care and support for the Second China-Mongolia Expo. Wish you good health and every success in your career. Thank you.
[Gao Feng] Thanks for Ms. Ai Lihua introduction. Now, please ask questions about the theme of today’s press conference.
Xinhua: Vice Minister Qian, how is the trade and economic cooperation between China and Mongolia doing and what is the potential? What have the two countries done together to build the Belt and Road? Thank you.
Vice Minister Qian Keming: Thank you for your questions. You have actually asked three questions. Firstly, in recent years, China and Mongolia have seen frequent exchanges of high-level visits which laid a solid foundation for the bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The China-Mongolia trade decreased compared with the previous years due to the impacts of the world economic downturn, including the drop of the commodity prices. However, in the first half of this year, the bilateral trade shot up by 44%. For over ten years in a row, China has remained Mongolia's biggest trading partner. Chinese investment in Mongolia has grown fast, too. By June 2017, the Chinese investment in Mongolian non-financial sector had accumulated to 4.1 billion dollars, making China the second largest investor in Mongolia. On top of that, China has provided assistance for Mongolia for many years within its capacity, which has yielded remarkable results.
I believe there lies enormous potential in the bilateral trade and economic cooperation. When I met Minister Bayartulga of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, we both noted the great potential for cooperation. To start with, we are close neighbors joined by the same mountains and rivers. Second, the frequent mutual visits and interactions at the high-level in politics and diplomacy pave the way for the political mutual trust. Third, Mongolia's Steppe Road Program and the Belt and Road initiative are highly complementary. As you all know, the Belt and Road will reach out in five directions, among which three routes are on land. One of them includes a vital economic corridor running through China, Mongolia and Russia. Mongolia is critical to the economic corridor. Mongolia has started implementing the Steppe Road program, crafting major plans for infrastructure, economic diversity, restructuring and others. As the two countries synergize their strategies, I believe enormous potential in cooperation on, among others, mineral resources, infrastructure, agriculture and animal farming and free trade area development will be unlocked. More importantly, China and Mongolia are highly complementary in terms of resources and industrial structures, which can be translated into more growth.
Gao Feng: Please continue to ask questions.
CCTV-News: State Secretary, what positive role the China-Mongolia Expo will play in promoting China-Mongolia business cooperation? What does Mongolia hope to achieve through the Expo? Thank you.
Minister Bayartulga: Let me begin with echoing what Vice Minister just mentioned. China and Mongolia have maintained sound commercial relations. Against the backdrop of the slump in international commodity prices, the trade went down in previous two years. But in the first half of this year, we saw a 44% of growth, principally driven by mineral resources. Second, Mongolia is diversifying the commercial relations with China, seeking to expand the cooperation areas from resources to other areas like agriculture and husbandry, tourism, processing, etc.
Gao Feng: Please go on.
Inner Mongolia Radio: Vice Chairman Ai, the first China-Mongolia Expo held in 2015 produced good results. What new expectations do you have for the second Expo? Thank you.
Vice Chairman Ai Lihua: Thank you for your question. The first Expo achieved many positive results. For the second Expo, I especially hope to see substantive progress to be made in building the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor. I hope the second Expo will serve as a platform where the three countries can build consensus and work together to explore new cooperation models, increase trade, achieve cross-border transportation facilitation, enhance the competitiveness of products, grow pro-trade tourism and promote investment cooperation.
Second, I hope the second Expo will open a new prospect for multilateral cooperation. Compared with the first Expo, the second Expo invited officials from 40 countries and regions and exhibitors from over 30 countries and regions. The second Expo is expected to expand cooperation between Inner Mongolia and the rest of the world on, among others, trade, science and technology, talents, people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Third, I hope the second Expo will explore new paths for practical cooperation. Instead of relying on minerals only, we will widen the cooperation areas. The second Expo is expected to make breakthroughs in cooperation on industry transformation and upgrading and Inner Mongolia's competitive industries such as farm production and processing and animal husbandry, horse industry and grass industry.
Fourth, I hope the Expo will become a new brand for integrating commercial cooperation with people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The section of people-to-people and cultural exchanges is a manifestation of people connectivity. I believe people from China and Mongolia will applaud events focusing on ethnic cultures.
Gao Feng: You may continue to ask questions.
Mongolian press: Vice Minister Qian, you spoke highly of the first China-Mongolia Expo. What's your expectation for the second one? What outcomes can we look forward to?
Vice Minister: The second Expo has adjusted and expanded the theme, highlighting more the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor and global win-win cooperation. Second, it invited more guests and exhibitors than the first Expo. It has not only invited the head of state and officials in Mongolia, but also planned to invite ministerial level senior officials and diplomats in China from central Asian countries including Russia. The second Expo has drawn exhibitors from over 30 countries, including not only China, Mongolia, but also ASEAN countries, Africa, Arab countries, and Central and Eastern European Countries. Third, the trade and economic cooperation activities at the second Expo are more practical. Trade and investment discussions and forums center on the competitive industries of Inner Mongolia, including minerals development, farm production and processing as well as animal husbandry, horse industry and grass industry.
Gao Feng: In the interest of time, it will be the last question.
Inner Mongolia Daily: Vice Chairman Ai, how does the China-Mongolia Expo promote opening up of Inner Mongolia?
Vice Chairman: The grassland is always open to the outside world. The China-Mongolia Expo held in Inner Mongolia created a new platform for promoting opening up. It is still a young event compared with other expos. Despite that, it has already let on features of a state-level, international and high-end event, driving the all-round opening up in Inner Mongolia. It is in the interest of trade and economic cooperation between Inner Mongolia and Mongolia and expands bilateral trade.
In the meantime, we display Inner Mongolia as an open market through the platform. On the occasion of the first Expo, General Secretary Xi jinping wrote a congratulatory letter noting that the Expo was cohosted by the governments of China and Mongolia as an international exhibition, which would play as a major forum for strengthening trade and economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between China and Mongolia as well as in the Northeast Asia at large and push the China-Mongolia relations to a higher level. Thank you.
Gao Feng: I want to thank all the three speakers and friends for today's press conference. This concludes the press conference.