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Speeches at the Plenary Session by Xu Qin, Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal People's Government


Xu Qin

Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,



The China-Southeast Asia Peace and Development Forum jointly organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, the United Nations System in China and the Shenzhen Municipal Government to commemorate the International Day of Peace is of special significance. On behalf of the Shenzhen Municipal Government and its people, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all distinguished guests attending this forum. I would also like to take this opportunity to brief you on the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and share with you the idea of strengthening Shenzhen’s exchanges and cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.

Peace and development is the theme of the contemporary world and the common wish of all peoples in the world. As China’s very first special economic zone, Shenzhen actively follows the trends of economic globalization, seizes the favorable opportunity of peace and stability in the world, constantly strives for wider opening up, and seeks to deepen exchanges and cooperation with other parts of the world, thus achieving rapid economic and social development. In the past 32 years, Shenzhen’s GDP enjoyed an annual average growth rate of 25%.The once small fishing village with a population of only 30,000 transformed into China’s economic center with a population of more than 10 million. In 2011, Shenzhen’s GDP reached about US$180 billion, ranking the fourth among mainland cities, while its per capita GDP exceeded US$17,000, taking the first position.

Shenzhen, as a window and pilot zone of China’s reform and opening up, emphasizes on promoting development through opening up and cooperation. Shenzhen is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao, and it is home to the fourth largest container port in the world, the largest inland port in Asia, and one of the Top-5 largest airports in China. The city is an important transport hub in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as an important channel for exchanges and contacts between China and Southeast Asia. In 2011, Shenzhen’s volume of import and export exceeded US$400 billion, of which exports amounted to US$245.5 billion, accounting for one-eighth of China’s total exports. Of the Fortune Global 500 corporations, 192 have invested in Shenzhen, making the city an ideal place for multinational corporations’ investment . The Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone is under accelerating development and opening-up process, making it an important platform for the opening up of China’s service industry in the new era. It will become a cluster of financial innovation, modern logistics, information services, science and technology, professional services, and other high-end services.

Shenzhen is an innovative city committed to innovation-driven development. Shenzhen was voted by Forbes as the most innovative city in Chinese mainland in 2011 and received the UNESCO City of Design award. In 2011, R&D investment in Shenzhen made up 3.66% of GDP; Shenzhen contributed 45% of China’s PCT international patent applications, and among these, ZTE and Huawei rank the first and the third respectively in terms of international patent applications by individual companies; and research into 4G mobile communication, gene sequencing analysis and metamaterials by Shenzhen companies and R&D institutes was at the world’s forefront. In the first half of 2012, the added value of six strategic emerging industries of bioengineering, internet, new energy, new materials, cultural creation, and new generation of information technology accounted for 28.5% of GDP, and Shenzhen is now home to the largest number and concentration of China’s strategic emerging industries.

Shenzhen is a green, low-carbon city which eagerly practices the concept of sustainable development. It has designated half of its land area as ecological protection zones, both of its energy consumption per 10,000 yuan GDP and water consumption are the lowest in China. It gains quality growth with fewer resources consumption and  lower environmental costs. Shenzhen is one of the largest cities in the widespread application of new energy vehicles, with more than 3,300 new energy vehicles on the market, and that number is set to exceed 5,000 this year. We are also currently implementing a pilot on carbon emissions trading and cooperating with the European Union and other parties to develop Shenzhen into an international low-carbon city.

Shenzhen is an international city which has always pursued harmonious development. As a young, migrant city, Shenzhen has developed the characteristics of being an open, diverse and inclusive place where multiple cultures blend and expatriate workers from more than 100 countries and regions work and live. We attach importance to ensuring social justice, developing an open market, implementing the rule of law, creating a positive international environment, strengthening international cooperation and friendly exchanges, participating in achieving international peace, and contributing to regional peace and development.

The development achievements of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone have largely been benefitted from China’s reform and opening up policy as well as Shenzhen’s constant efforts to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with countries around the world, especially those in Southeast Asia. Over the past 20-plus years, trade volume between Shenzhen and ASEAN has grown at an annual average rate of nearly 30%, making ASEAN Shenzhen’s second largest trading partner, fourth largest export market and largest source of imports. In 2011, total imports and exports between Shenzhen and ASEAN amounted to US$43.89 billion, or one-tenth of Shenzhen’s total imports and exports and one-eighth of China’s total trade volume with ASEAN. Bilateral investment last year increased considerably, with ASEAN contractual investment in Shenzhen reaching US$2.15 billion and Shenzhen investing US$670 million in ASEAN. The increasingly close exchanges and cooperation between Shenzhen and ASEAN have promoted regional economic integration and played a positive role in the peaceful development of the Southeast Asia.

The current world economic situation remains complex and grim. However, Southeast Asia has maintained rapid economic growth and social stability, witnessing the strongest development dynamic and potential in the world. Shenzhen is located in the heart of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and the establishment and continued development of the Free Trade Area presents broader prospects for new cooperation and exchanges between Shenzhen and Southeast Asia. Looking to the future, Shenzhen is willing to further strengthen cooperation with the Southeast Asia in order to achieve mutual benefits and common development.

First, we hope to strengthen friendly exchanges and cooperation between cities. At present, Shenzhen is twinned or has set up friendly exchanges with 43 cities in 28 countries including Southeast Asian countries, and will soon finish setting up friendly exchanges with Bandung in Indonesia. We look forward to having more sister cities in Southeast Asia, building a cooperation platform between governments and establishing mechanism of regular communication and mutual visits in order to increase cooperation and exchanges between cities and promote friendly exchanges between countries.

Second, we hope to further deepen economic and trade cooperation. Shenzhen and Southeast Asian countries have different resources reserve and distinct industrial structures, our economies are highly complementary, so there is great potential for cooperation. Southeast Asia’s tropical fruits, agricultural and sideline products, mineral products, computer parts and other products are very popular in Shenzhen, while Shenzhen’s electronic equipment, clothing, watches and other products are favored by consumers in Southeast Asia. We hope that both sides continue to consolidate and expand trade in these areas, and we also welcome more Southeast Asian delegations to attend China Hi-Tech Fair as part of the efforts to increase imports and exports of high value-added products, which will gradually lead to greater trade in services in the areas of finance and logistics, thus further expanding the fields and scale of trade. Shenzhen is keen to work with all Southeast Asian countries to constantly increase mutual investment; to strengthen investment cooperation in modern agriculture, manufacturing and emerging industries, as well as the areas of resource development and utilization, technological research and development and project contracting; and to explore the establishment of economic and trade cooperation zones to create a favorable environment and conditions for mutual investment by enterprises from both sides.

Third, we hope that we can deal with new challenges in urban development together. As an emerging economy,  Southeast Asian countries are in the process of rapid urbanization and industrialization, and they are paying more attention to the coordinated development of economy, society, population, resources and environment. Shenzhen is committed to green, low-carbon development and building a livable and workable urban ecological environment. We will further strengthen cooperation and exchanges with Southeast Asia in the field of urban development, seek to learn from each other in the areas of infrastructure, clean energy, low-carbon technology, environmental protection and public transportation; and promote urban sustainable development to improve the development of cities.

Fourth, we will make efforts to expand the personnel and cultural exchanges. Shenzhen and Southeast Asia are close geographically and culturally, transportation of travel in the region is relatively convenient, and we also have a solid foundation of cooperation and exchanges in culture, education and tourism. Every year Shenzhen holds the International Cultural Industries Fair, and we cordially invite all our Southeast Asian neighbors to attend in order to further strengthen the cultural exchanges. Last year, Shenzhen successfully hosted the 26th Summer Universiade and set up the Universiade International Scholarship Foundation. We particularly welcome university students from Southeast Asia to study in Shenzhen and promote youth exchanges. At the same time, with its rich tourism resources, Southeast Asia is an important tourist destination for the people of Shenzhen, and Shenzhen will continue to strengthen tourism cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, promote friendly exchanges on both sides, deepen mutual understanding and constantly enhance friendship so as to create a more favorable environment for peace and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Peace, development and cooperation are trends of the times. Shenzhen is keen to work with Southeast Asian countries to promote closer cooperation between China and Southeast Asia and  make positive contributions to achieving sustainable peace and sustainable development.

Thank you.