|Ambassador Wei Ruixing Attended the Plenary Session of Lithuania-China Business Council and Delivered a Keynote Speech|
On January 26th, 2017, H. E. Mr. Wei Ruixing, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, was invited to attend the first Plenary Session of 2017 of Lithuania-China Business Council and delivered a keynote speech. Mr. Mindaugas Reinikis, Chairman of Lithuania-China Business Council, chaired the session. Mrs. Giedre Švedienė, Executive Director of Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, officials of the relevant government departments and about 40 members of the Council were present at the session.
Ambassador Wei gave a brief introduction of China's latest economic and social development, and shared with the audience some of his observations on China-Lithuania bilateral relations, trade and economic cooperation in particular. The Ambassador said that the Chinese economy maintained stability while making steady progress in 2016. At the background of weak recovery of global economic growth, China recorded an increase of 6.7% over 2015 with total GDP reaching about 11.18 trillion US dollars, maintaining the second largest economy of the world. Household income and employment have steadily risen, while per unit GDP energy consumption dropped over 5%. Thirteen million new jobs were created, surpassing the whole year target of ten million. China's total volume of import and export registered about 3.65 trillion US dollars, maintaining the world largest country in terms of foreign trade, although with a decrease of 0.9%. China remained the world second largest country in terms of direct investment in foreign countries with 170.1 billion US dollars, an increase of 44.1% over 2015, and maintained the world largest country in terms of foreign exchange reserve, with 3.01 trillion US dollars by the end of 2016.
"Last year witnessed continuous development of the friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Lithuania", the Ambassador said. Lithuania has maintained for many years China's largest trading partner among the Baltic countries, and China is the largest trading partner of Lithuania in Asia. From January to November of 2016, the total volume of trade between China and Lithuania was about 1.3 billion US dollars (1.2 billion Euros), up by 8.51% over the same period of 2015. Lithuania has been experiencing a trade deficit. However, Lithuania's exports to China during the past three years have achieved double-digit growth annually, particularly in the export of Lithuanian agricultural products to China. Although the two-way investment of the two countries is not in large scale, yet it is developing relatively fast and expanding in new areas. There is a great potential and bright prospect for further development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the field of transportation and logistics, and in innovation-oriented areas, such as Life Science, Laser and Biotech.
Ambassador Wei expressed his appreciation to Lithuania-China Business Council for their great efforts and important contributions not only in bringing the business communities of China and Lithuania together to have mutually beneficial cooperation, but also in promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. The Ambassador also expressed his hope that the Council would play a more active role to broaden the channels for mutual understanding and learning, move with the times and further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation, and act as an envoy for fair trade. The Ambassador assured the Lithuanian business community that the Chinese Embassy in Vilnius would continue to work together with them and facilitate their business with the Chinese counterparts.
Ambassador Wei also shared his thoughts and perspective during the interaction session in such questions as the exchange rate of Chinese RMB as well as other major currencies, the present status and prospect of China-Europe container (cargo) trains and that of China-Lithuania cooperation in transportation and logistics. Mr. Mindaugas Reinikis, on behalf of the Council, presented a painting by Mr. Marius Kavolis, a young Lithuanian contemporary artist, to Ambassador Wei as a token of appreciation.