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The 2008 Working Meeting of Economic and Commercial Counselors Stationed Abroad

On July 17, MOFCOM held the Working Meeting of Economic and Commercial Counselors Stationed abroad in Beijing. Minister of Commerce Chen Deming delivered a keynote speech on “Transferring Function, Serving the Overall Situation and Striving to Ensure that the Economic and Commercial Offices Stationed abroad Function Properly in the New Era”.

Chen expressed that the economic and commercial offices are an important front of China’s foreign economic work. Over recent years, China’s economic and commercial offices have served the overall situation of foreign affairs, actively promoted multilateral and bilateral trade and economic cooperation, facilitated the country’s domestic economic growth and enterprise development, positively respond to trade friction, properly dealt with various emergency accidents, strengthened their own construction, and have achieved marked results in their specific fields of work.

Chen pointed out that China is now undergoing the crucial moment of reform and development, and the world political and economic configuration is also at an active period of readjustments and changes. The economic interaction between China and the world at large has become more profound, the working environment of overseas economic work has become increasingly complicated. China’s open-oriented economic development has entered a new stage, the demand for utilizing two markets as a whole has become increasingly higher and the task of promoting the two-way trade and investment and conducting foreign economic aid has become increasingly prominent. Especially the recent increase of the pressure of the slowing-down world economy, the elevation of global inflation, the worsening of the international financial market volatility, the climate change that has become international hotspot, as well as the unclear prospects of the Doha Round Trade Talks, all contributing to the increase of the uncertain factors of world economy and potential risks. Therefore, the economic and commercial counselor offices stationed abroad shall, in the light of the requirements of the CPC Central Committee and State Council, conscientiously implement the opening-up strategy of mutual benefit and win-win, and based upon the situation development and changes, boost up the awareness of overall situation, substantiate work contents, intensify the work style construction, improve the working level so as to properly serve the promotion of economic and trade cooperation between China and the rest of the world as well as national economic development.

Chen expressed that as China has picked up its pace of “going global”, the construction of its public service system for outbound investment and cooperation should be quickened. The said offices stationed abroad shall provide services and guidance to the enterprises making outbound investments, strive to promote the transformation of the mode of investment made in the host countries; Intensify the regulation and supervision over the investment and cooperation projects, realize the harmonious development with the local economy; by taking effective measures to properly safeguard the safety of our assets and personnel stationed abroad; and strengthen the public information services to investment and cooperation. He urged the said offices to strengthen and improve their foreign aid efforts, earnestly implement the various economic aid measures proposed at China-Africa Cooperation Forum, etc. and further consolidate the friendship between China and the rest of the developing countries.

Representatives from CPC Central Committee and the state departments concerned, 173 economic and commercial counselors stationed abroad were present at the meeting.