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Remarks by H. E. Ambassador Wei Ruixing at the International Conference of "Silk Road Connecting China and Europe (Via Baltic)"
2016-09-12

Hon. Mr. Rimantas Sinkevicius, Minister of Transport and Communications,

Leaders of Business Communities,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning! It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to join you again in this beautiful port city of Klaipeda at this International Conference of “Silk Road Connecting China and Europe (Via Baltic)”. I wish to avail myself of this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to East West Transportation Corridor Association, China International Freight Forwarders Association, Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, Klaipeda Seaport Authority and other co-organizers for your great efforts and contributions to successfully hold this Conference, and my sincere thanks for your kind invitation. I also wish to extend warm welcome and express appreciation to each and every one of you present today.

I am very delighted to see so many friends, old and new, from Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, France, Germany and China. At this scenario, I feel that “the Belt and Road” initiative, with focus on mutual benefit and common development, has been attracting close attention and strong interest from the countries along the Belt and Road. A grand blueprint is being mapped out not only by China but also by the countries along the Belt and Road, including the Baltic Sea Region countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The ancient Silk Road of 2000 years ago was not only a road for trading, but also a road for friendship, for mutual learning among civilizations. Today in the 21st century, “the Belt and Road” initiative has waken up the vigor of the ancient Silk Road. Since China released “the Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” in 2015, more than 100 countries and international organizations have expressed positive impressions on the initiative, with over 30 countries having signed cooperation agreements with China, and about 20 countries have started industrial capacity cooperation with China. The establishment and operation of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road fund have promoted financial cooperation among the countries along the Belt and Road. Many major projects have already been making steady progress.

In early June this year, at the invitation of the Lithuanian Government, State Councilor of the Chinese Government Mr. Yang Jing paid an official visit to Lithuania, during which, he held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius. The two leaders reached broad consensus in promoting China’s “Belt and Road” initiative to match Lithuania’s strategy of development, further expanding ties in the fields of trade, transportation and logistics, among others, and pushing forward the continuous rapid development of bilateral relations and the “16+1” cooperation. It is my belief that, at the good atmosphere of friendly cooperation and at the background of the vigorous development of the “16+1” cooperation and the “Belt and Road” initiative, the consensus between the leaders of our two countries will be transformed into actions, which will be turned into fruitful results, thus lifting our friendly and cooperative relations to a new high and bringing tangible benefits to our two peoples.

The Baltic Sea Region is one of the important regions in “the Belt and Road”, and is a crucial region connecting China and Europe. Lithuania is a member of EU and Eurozone, and it is an important country in Baltic region and Europe. Lithuania has maintained China’s largest trading partner in Baltic region for years, and China is the largest trading partner of Lithuania in Asia. The volume of trade between the two countries last year totaled about $1.35 billion. Lithuania enjoys geographical advantages with good transport infrastructure and logistics. Here, Klaipeda is the largest container shipping port of this region. There is a great potential and bright prospect for cooperation between China and Lithuania in the fields of trade, transportation and logistics.

It is of great significance that this International Conference is held at the time when we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania. I hope that this Conference will provide a platform for experts and entrepreneurs of transportation and Logistics industry to exchange ideas in depth and give full play of your wisdom. As a Chinese saying goes, “Even mountains and seas cannot distance people with common aspirations”. It is my firm belief that, with your concerted efforts, this Conference will achieve fruitful results for concrete cooperation, making contributions to jointly building the Belt and Road” and common development.

In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation once again to all Lithuanian friends for your great efforts and dedication to make this event possible, and sincerely wish this Conference a complete success. Thank you!

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