On the afternoon of March 24, 2017 local time, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia jointly attended and addressed China-Australia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Sydney.
Li Keqiang noted that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 45 years ago, China-Australia relations have gradually taken a mature and stable road for development. President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to Australia in 2014, and the bilateral relations were upgraded to comprehensive strategic partnership. At present, China and Australia enjoy stable growth in bilateral trade, more dynamic two-way investment as well as increasingly close people-to-people and cultural exchanges, which not only bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples, but also greatly promote stable economic growth of the two countries. Based on complementary advantages, mutual benefits and win-win results, such cooperative relationship is stable and enduring and can withstand the tests of international vicissitudes.
Li Keqiang pointed out that the international political and economic patterns are facing profound and complex changes as well as increasingly instable and uncertain factors. As the largest developing country in the world, China takes promoting economic and social development and improving people's livelihood as its top priority, which requires an external environment of long-term peace and stability. China will unswervingly adhere to the path of peaceful development, stands ready to make joint efforts with Australia and other countries to establish the awareness of a community of common destiny, and become the ballast of Asia-Pacific security and propeller of world peace. The two countries should jointly promote liberalization and facilitation of world trade, adhere to fair trade, open their markets more to each other, speed up negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and promote the construction of Asia-Pacific free trade zone. The two countries should actively accommodate themselves to and participate in economic globalization, and properly solve the problems in the globalization process so as to promote its development in a more inclusive, beneficial, fair and reasonable way. The two countries should make full use of their endowment in different natural resources and the advantages of high complementarities in industrial, further ease market access and vigorously enhance two-way investment. The two countries should continue to uphold an inclusive and open spirit, and deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation in broad areas including tourism, education, culture and local governments so as to make exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations a strong bond to maintain world peace and promote common development.
Li Keqiang briefly introduced China's economic situation, and said that the Chinese government achieved a 6.7 percent medium-high speed growth in 2016 in pursuing steady growth, structural readjustment and risk prevention based on reform and innovation. Its economic structure continues to be optimized. New industries, new types of business and new models are vigorously rising. And many traditional industries become more vigorous in the improvement process. In this January and February, China's economy maintained steady and sound progress. We will guide the various departments to pay more attention to promoting the supply-side structural reform. At the same time, we will enhance opening-up with deeper and higher levels, create a fair, transparent and regulated business environment and build the most attractive cross-border investment destination.
In his speech, Malcolm Turnbull introduced the consensus and achievements reached by the two sides during Premier Li Keqiang's visit this time. He said that Australia and China enjoy mutual respect between the two peoples, high economic complementarities, and long-term trade and investment contacts with strong growth, which provided huge opportunities of growth and employments for both countries. The protectionism is not the ladder to get rid of the low growth trap, but the spade that makes the trap deeper. Australia is willing to work with China to further tap potentials that deepen free trade cooperation in the fields of service trade and investment, strengthen cooperation in innovative research and development, jointly oppose trade protectionism, and promote free trade arrangements including the RCEP, so as to better achieve the common prosperity of the two great countries and the region.
The China-Australia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum was co-sponsored by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Australia China Business Council. Over 500 people from all walks of life in China and Australia attended the Forum.