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Remarks at "2018 Road Show of Guangdong Premium Products in Pacific Islands (Nuku'alofa) on the Occasion of Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Tonga"
2018/06/02

Hon. Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,

Hon. Semisi Sika, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism,

Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu, Minister for Revenue, Customs, Police and Fire,

Respected Mrs. Ao Yan, Secretary-General of CCPIT, Guangdong Province,

Distinguished guests from the Industrial and Commercial circle,

Ladies and gentlemen,

    Good morning!

    Malo e tau lavahe pongipongi ni!

    It's a great pleasure for me to attend the “2018 Road Show of Guangdong Premium Products in Pacific Islands (Nuku'alofa) on the Occasion of Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Tonga”. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I'd like to extend the warmest welcome to all of you, especially the guests and friends from Guangdong province.

    I know that Secretary General Mrs. Ao Yan will talk about Guangdong province and its premium goods in a moment, and I believe the Tongan people will love the Guangdong made products. Here, I would like to serve as a promotion Ambassador of Tonga and share with you some information about the Kingdom of Tonga and the China-Tonga relations.

    Tonga is a shining pearl on the South Pacific ocean. It is an esteemed “Friendly Island Country” and beautifully landscaped. Tonga has a long history and unique culture. The people here are kind and hospitable.

    Tonga is rich in tourism resources, which serves as one of the three major pillar industries. The unique culture and beautiful natural scenery attract tourists all over the world. Tonga is one of the few countries where you can swim together with whales in the autumn. Visitors can also dive, view corals and take a boat out to the sea and go fishing, canoeing, and kite-surfing. It’s a pity that the seawater is a bit cold now, but you can try swimming if you are not afraid of the cool water.

    Fishery and agriculture are the other two pillar industries in Tonga. Tonga has a lot of fish and shellfish, so it’s a good opportunity for Guangdong friends to taste the delicious tunas, sea cucumbers and lobsters. Tonga also has an abundant farming products like taro, cassava and tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, coconuts and they all taste good. Tonga's pumpkins were officially exported to China last year, and the Tonga government will send a delegation to participate in the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November. We hope that CCPIT of Guangdong and friends from the Province's business communities will actively assist our Tongan friends in exporting more products to China.

    Ladies and gentlemen:

    Both China and Tonga are developing countries which share extensive common interests. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's introduction of its reform and opening up policy. Over the past four decades, great achievements have been made in the economic and social development. However, China remains as the biggest developing country in the world. The unbalanced and inadequate development in China is still a big problem, particularly in the Midwest China where the rural areas stay in a totally different situation from big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and there still live a large number of people in poverty. In spite of this, China is willing to, within its capability, provide more assistance to Tonga and other developing countries to help them achieve faster and better economic and social development and improve people's livelihood. This kind of practical cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win, and serves the common interests of both countries.

    Tonga is an important development partner of China in the Pacific region. The leaders of our two countries attach great importance to the bilateral relations. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-Tonga diplomatic ties, and our relations are entering a critical stage linking the past and the future. Not long ago, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, King Tupou VI paid a successful state visit to China, and the two heads of state reached important consensus on further promoting the strategic partnership between China and Tonga to a new level. Our two countries also issued a Joint Press Communique, and signed seven agreements which has laid a solid foundation for expanding mutually beneficial collaboration in the areas of economic cooperation and trade, agriculture, fishery, tourism, education and the exchanges between local governments.

    Ladies and gentlemen:

    Over the year, under the leadership of the Chinese government, Guangdong province has been actively providing assistance to the Tonga government and people in promote the Kingdom's social and economic development and the Tongan people's livelihood, of which we're highly appreciative.

    “2018 Road Show of Guangdong Premium Products in Pacific Islands(Nuku'alofa)” is another model of China-Tongan cooperation. I was told that there are more than 40 enterprises respectively from 4 key cities of Guangdong province and the Kingdom of Tonga present today, which are engaged in building materials, home-ware, furniture, hotel business and so on. I believe that, through this road show, mutual understanding and stronger friendship will be enhanced, and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields will be promoted. Taking this opportunity, I'd also say thank you to President Zhao De and the Guangdong (Tonga) Community Council Incorporated for their strong support for this road show.

    Ladies and gentlemen:

    As we look to the future, China-Tonga relations enjoy broad prospects. Following the spirit of mutual respect and common development, the Chinese Embassy in Tonga is always ready to work together with the Tongan government, the Guangdong Provincial Government, CCPIT Guangdong, and friends from different circles in the two countries, to continuously safeguard our common interests, deepen the friendship between our two peoples, further advance the bilateral relationship and create more benefits to our two peoples.

    In conclusion, I'd like to wish this event a full success!

   Thank you!

   Malo!

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