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Remarks at the Commissioning Ceremony of The Singyes 2MW Solar Farm

It is a big pleasure for me to be invited to attend the commissioning ceremony of the Singyes 2 Mega Watt Solar farm. On behalf of the Chinese Government and the Chinese Embassy in Tonga, I’d like to extend my congratulations to the successful completion of the power plant, my sincere thanks to Your Majesties, the royal family, the government ministries and the local communities for your support for the project, as well as my best wishes to Zhuhai Singyes Company and Tonga Power Limited for more achievements of cooperation in the future!

After 10 months of hard work, the Singyes solar farm was successfully connected to the grid and started power generation in September. During the construction period, nearly 100 local jobs were created, and the actual investment has reached more than 4 million US dollars. In the future 25 years of operation, the solar farm will generate 2.8 million kilowatt-hour electricity, and reduce 1680 tons of carbon emissions per year.Furthermore, it will create more job opportunities for Tongan people and benefit local community in many ways. I am proud to tell you that this solar farm represents several No.1s among the Chinese business activities in Tonga. It’s the FIRST Chinese project in the renewable energy in the Kingdom, the FIRST project operating in Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mode for Chinese enterprises in this country and so far the LARGEST commercial investment by a Chinese company in Tonga.

China and Tonga share similar perspectives and goals on climate change related issues,as well as the development and utilization of renewable energy. As a matter of fact, and as active participants of the Paris Agreement, the Chinese government has made a strategic plan to promote non-fossil energy consumption to account for 20% of its total energy consumption, and non-fossil electricity generation to account for 50% of its electricity generation by 2030. The Tonga government also declared that“ 50% of the country's energy will be renewable energy by 2020, and 70% by 2030.” Tonga has various and abundant renewable energy resources, while China has world-class R & D skills and competent enterprises with constructing and operating capacities in this industry. Therefore, we can confidently expect that our two countries will enjoy more mutually beneficial cooperation in this promising field.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The economic and commercial bonds between China and Tonga are growing rapidly,especially in recent years. According to Chinese statistics, the bilateral trade volume reached 30 million US dollarsin 2016, including the historically first export of Tongan squash to China. Next month, a high-level Chinese governmental delegation will come here to formally sign the Squash Export Agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture of Tonga,which I believe will greatly help facilitate not only the squash export but also other Tongan agricultural and fishery products to China.

As is known to all, the China-aid programs have been the highlights of our bilateral economic interactions. But beside the achievements in bilateral trade and aid programs, we are happy to see that more and more Chinese companies are entering the Tongan market, from the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation(CCECC) and the Yanjian(Tonga) Building Company to the Zhuhai Singyes Company, from the Yanbei O’fa company as a producer of water, beverage and sausage that is providing more choices of food and flavor for the local community, to the Huawei Company that are working with TCC, DIGICEL and other local companies to build the national communication network.For the purpose of enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations in a more sustainable and healthier way, we encourage more Chinese companies to make investment and do business in Tonga, and we expect that the Tongan Government continue to provide favorable environment for the Chinese business community.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Both China and Tonga are respectively carrying out major political agendas at this moment. The Community Party of China(CPC) convened its 19th National Congress in Beijing yesterday, while Tonga will hold its new Parliament election in one month. In his speech at the Opening Conference of the Party’s Congress, President Xi Jinping declared that China’s Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has entered a new era, China will develop into a great modern socialist country by the middle of the 21st century. President Xi also pledged that China will continue to take the road of peaceful development and push for the creation of an international community of shared future for mankind, which means a lot not only for the future development of China, but also that of the world at large.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As we’re unveiling the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year, China-Tonga relations are entering an important stage between past and future. China looks forward to taking this great opportunity and working with the Tongan side to further strengthen friendly exchanges and practical collaboration in all-round areas, push for greater progress in our strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development, bring more mutual benefits to our two countries and two peoples, and make new contribution to the peaceful development in the pacific region.

At last, I would like to thank you again, to everyone present here, for your hard work, support and cooperation.

Malo ‘aupito!

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