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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » October 1, 2010
Doing Business With China
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Doing Business With China
October 1, 2010   
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China’s ambassador to Poland, Sun Yuxi, talks to Ewa Hancock.

How would you summarize the last 20 years in China in terms of how the economy has developed and how society has changed?
In the last 20 years, China has continued to adhere to its basic national policy of reform and opening up and unswervingly pursuing the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. During these years, China has made tremendous progress and remarkable achievements, maintained rapid and stable economic development, elevated people’s living standards and increased its overall national strength and international influence.

In 1990, China’s GDP per capita was just over $300; by 2008 the figure grew to $3,300. Although ranked 104th in the world, it is 10 times higher than in 1990. In 2009, despite the international financial crisis, China achieved a total GDP annual growth of 8.7 percent through effective macroeconomic control. The country maintained its stable economic development and made great contributions to global economic growth and financial stability.

At present, China’s economy shows positive signs of “high growth and low inflation” with increasing employment and rising incomes for both urban and rural residents. In addition, there have been a number of improvements in areas such as culture, health and sports, greater spending on social insurance and welfare, great progress in energy saving and emission reduction.

During the last 20 years, with the continuous and rapid development of its economy, China’s international status and influence have risen obviously. Economically, the country’s accession to the WTO marked a new stage for China’s opening up. China has been further integrated with the global economic system. According to the Chinese Bureau of Statistics, the output of China’s major agricultural and industrial products both ranked first in the world. The country’s imports and exports are in the forefront in the world, so are China’s foreign exchange reserves. Politically, China unswervingly follows the path of peaceful development, strives to strengthen communication with other nations, and is willing to take responsibility for building a world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

Meanwhile, it is clear that China is still a developing country, despite the increase in GDP. China’s Human Development Index (HDI), according to UNDP figures for 2009, is 0.772, ranking the country 92nd worldwide. As a result, China is still classified as a medium developing country. As per the UN standards of $1 a day, 150 million people in 512 counties of China are still under the poverty line, almost a tenth of the total population.

China will continue to be a developing country for a long time and there is still a long way for China to go. However, no matter how its economy could grow in the future, China will still uphold its peaceful development route. And with the growing capacity and resources, China will definitely take more responsibility and contribute more to the world.

What state are relations between Poland and China in? In which areas is there scope for improvement?
Poland was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with China. Poland recognized the People’s Republic of China as a country on Oct. 5, 1949 and established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level on Oct. 7. Generally speaking, during the last 60 years, although relations between Poland and China have experienced many difficulties, the direction has always been forward. Especially, in 2004, Hu Jintao, the president of the People’s Republic of China, paid an official visit to Poland and signed a “Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Poland” with his Polish counterpart. In the statement, the two sides confirmed the establishment of a friendly cooperative partnership between China and Poland and opened a new era in the development of bilateral relations.

I believe that Chinese-Polish relations will develop in the right direction and enter a new stage of development through concerted efforts by the two sides. Poland is an influential country in Europe and plays an increasingly significant role in regional and international affairs. In the second half of next year, Poland will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU). Developing friendly cooperative relations between China and Poland is in the interest of both countries and will also be conducive to peace and development of the region and the world as a whole.

How could China’s presence in Poland and Poland’s presence in China be enhanced?
In order to further develop bilateral relations between Poland and China, it is necessary to increase the number of exchanges, enhance communication and improve understanding. I have the following concerns:
First of all, we should maintain top-level exchanges and contact in various forms, strengthen dialogue between the governments and parties of the two countries, improve understanding of each other, deepen mutual political trust and broaden consultations and coordination at various levels.

Secondly, we should increase exchanges between local governments and society. There has been a long history of local exchanges between China and Poland. Many cities in the two countries have established friendships. For example, Poland’s Pomorskie province and the Chinese city of Shanghai have established friendly relations. I hope these exchanges can be more productive and contribute to more intense economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchange.

Thirdly, we should promote exchange between enterprises in the two countries to improve economic and trade cooperation. Bilateral economic and trade development plays a significant role in Chinese-Polish relations. At present, China is the fastest growing economy in the world, whereas Poland is the only country in the European Union that has maintained positive GDP growth during the global financial crisis. I believe that Chinese and Polish enterprises will be able to seize this opportunity for development, taking full advantage of each other’s potential, strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields, and enhance Chinese-Polish economic relations and trade development.

Finally, we should expand cultural and educational exchange. Through more cultural exchange activities, such as the exchange of students and visiting scholars, we should be able to improve communication and dialogue in specific areas, develop multi-field academic exchanges, step up all-round understanding between the two countries and further the traditional friendship between China and Poland.

What needs to be done to step up business links between Poland and China?
Economic ties and the development of trade between China and Poland play an important role in bilateral relations. According to the European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat, in 2008, bilateral trade between China and Poland amounted to $10.46 billion, a 31.7 percent increase over the previous year. As a result of the economic crisis, in 2009, China-Poland bilateral trade declined slightly, to $9.21 billion, whereas bilateral trade in the first half of 2010 totaled $5.39 billion, growing by 36.6 percent from the same period last year. Despite the rapid increase in China-Poland bilateral trade, Poland’s trade deficit with China is relatively high.

On Aug. 19, 2010, an Association of Chinese Enterprises in Poland was established. The association is supported by the Chinese embassy in Poland. We hope all Chinese companies in Poland can be brought together and build a platform to enhance cooperation with the Polish Chamber of Commerce and Polish business associations. Through the platform entrepreneurs and businessmen from the two countries can exchange views, look for business opportunities and attract more Chinese corporations to invest in Poland.

We encourage Chinese businessmen and corporations to purchase products made in Poland, and we also encourage more Chinese companies to invest here. In addition, we support Polish companies taking their business to China. The Chinese embassy in Poland acts as a bridge, actively suggesting to the Chinese central government and local governments that they help bring more investors and entrepreneurs to Poland. It invites delegations of Chinese enterprises to come to Poland, and welcomes Polish entrepreneurs going to China. The embassy deepens communication between individual departments and works to boost economic ties and trade between China and Poland.
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