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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the 2019 Australia-New Zealand & China International Business Forum & Gala Dinner

(1 December 2019, Perth Crown Towers)

Hon Dean Nalder MLA, Shadow Treasurer; Shadow Minister for Finance; Energy,

Mr. Sun Bo, Chairman of Shenzhen Yantian Port Group,

Mr. WU Yue, President of the WA Shenzhen Association,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all I would like to congratulate the organizers for the opening of the 2019 Australia-New Zealand & China International Business Forum, which brings together business people and representatives of the Chinese community not only from WA, but also across Australia and New Zealand. I would like to extend my warm welcome to those who have come afar especially delegations from China to beautiful Perth to attend this Forum.

This Forum is initiated by the Australian and New Zealand Chinese community from Shenzhen, and will benefit from the presence of business delegations from China, including a delegation of Shenzhen Yatian Port Group. I assume that a high percentage of participants would either have business connections in Shenzhen or have visited Shenzhen before.

Shenzhen is a pioneer and symbol of China's reform and opening up, an important stop of former leader Deng Xiaoping's famous South China tour in 1992 when he made important remarks that later became the guiding principle of China's reform and opening up. A former fishing village four decades ago when China started opening up, Shenzhen surpassed Hong Kong in terms of GDP in 2018 to become the largest economy among cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Today Shenzhen is renowned for its strong innovation capabilities, home to more than 14,000 high-tech enterprises and technology giants, including Huawei and Tencent.

In August this year, the Chinese government issued an official document entitled "Guidelines on supporting Shenzhen in building a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics", which enhanced the role of Shenzhen as a "core engine" for the economic growth of the Greater Bay Area. With a population of 71.16 million people, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had a total GDP of $1.6 trillion USD in 2018, the third-highest after the Tokyo bay area and New York metropolitan area.

Under the guidelines, the central government will support Shenzhen in introducing a more open and convenient system for the attraction of overseas talent and allow foreigners who have obtained permanent residency in China to launch science and technology enterprises in Shenzhen.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen will comprehensively improve its democracy and rule of law and expand people's participation in politics in an orderly manner under leadership of the Communist Party of China.

Shenzhen can adopt a flexible interpretation of laws and regulations to serve its reform and innovation practices, for example, by establishing pilot programs to promote RMB's internationalization and innovation for financial regulation.

Shenzhen will also vigorously develop new industries including the intelligent economy and the health care industry, and support the research on digital currency and the application of innovations such as mobile payment.

Shenzhen will also continue to open up to Hong Kong and Macao, and explore the model of collaborative development to facilitate the efficient flow of personnel, capital, technology and information.

Overall, the guidelines will help better develop the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and enrich the practice of the "one country, two systems" principle. It is also conducive to the implementation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area plan and the fulfillment of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

By 2025, Shenzhen will become one of the leading cities in the world in terms of economic strength and quality of development. Its research and development input, industrial innovation capacity, and the quality of public services and ecological environment will be first-rate in the world.

By 2035, Shenzhen will become a national model of high-quality development and a globally recognized center of innovation and entrepreneurship. It will become an example for China to build itself into a powerful modern socialist country.

By mid-21st century, Shenzhen will become a global benchmark city in competitiveness, innovation and outstanding influence.

I therefore hope that the Forum will promote Australia and New Zealand's trade and investment with the Greater Bay Area with Shenzhen at the core, building networks for small and medium sized enterprises to benefit from the new favorable policies towards Shenzhen and maximize the opportunity provided by China's latest measures of reform and opening up.

Distinguished guests, ladies and Gentlemen,

Last month, the 4th session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) made a historical decision on major issues related to upholding and improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advancing the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance. It summarized the notable strengths of China's state and governance systems in 13 aspects and called for efforts to better turn institutional strength into effective governance.

The two miracles, namely rapid economic development and long-term social stability in the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, could not have been possible without the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

We are confident that this system will push for the continuous progress towards the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and by next year we will reach the first centenary goal, namely building a moderately well-off society is all aspects by 2020, when the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its one hundredth anniversary since establishment.

I hope you will all visit China more often and see with your own eyes and make a fair judgment on China's social system as well as path of development. And Shenzhen is the best place to go. Shenzhen is a showcase of China's economic and social miracle during the past 40 years' of reform and opening up. And Shenzhen represents the future of modern socialist China, as it continues to stand at the forefront of China's reform and opening up.

In China, Shenzhen embodies the spirit of reform and innovation, with the courage to be the first to eat the crab in the unprecedented course of China's reform. I am sure that during the discussions of this Forum, many of you will have stories to tell about Shenzhen and the tremendous opportunities it offers. I wish the Australia-New Zealand & China International Business Forum a great success. I wish you all enjoy the summer of Perth and make new friends, explore new opportunities and launch new projects.

I thank you all.

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