Opening Remarks by Ambassador Li Chao at the Ceremony of Guangzhou Hangxin Aviation Technology's Acquisition of Magnetic MRO

Members of Estonia-China Parliamentary Group,

Friends of Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Enterprise Estonia,

Chairman Bu Fansheng, and Mr. Kristjan Kalda from Baltcap,

Dear Friends,

Good morning! Today, it gives me great pleasure to join you at the Ceremony of Guangzhou Hangxin Aviation Technology’s Acquisition of Magnetic MRO.

May I first of all extend, on behalf of Chinese Embassy to Estonia, my warmest congratulations to the success of this acquisition! I also would like to express my deep appreciation to Estonian Investment Agency for their efforts to help connect the two companies and finally facilitate their cooperation.

Today's event is of especial significance because it sets a string of new records. It is the first aviation industry cooperation project between our two countries, as well as the biggest investment made by Chinese companies in Estonia so far. This cooperation will also serve as a new benchmark for companies from our two countries to integrate their culture and explore global market shoulder by shoulder.

China's aviation industry, although a late starter, is developing fast as China's aviation market and aircraft maintenance market keep expanding. In 2017, China's aviation maintenance market achieved more than 700 million euros. China-Estonia cooperation in the aviation industry enjoys great potential and broad prospects. Hangxin Aviation Technology is one of China's largest aviation accessory maintenance companies, with its business spreading across southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe etc.. Magnetic MRO is also a star enterprise in Estonia and has a high reputation in Europe. Their merger is a real combination, which will not only further enhance the competitiveness of Hangxin Aviation Technology, but also enable Magnetic MRO to expand its global business, leading to mutual benefit and win-win outcomes and realizing the economic benefits of "1 + 1 greater than 2". In addition, I think the significance of this deal is three-fold.

First, this cooperation is a good example that demonstrates the vast space of China-Estonia economic and trade cooperation. Estonia advocates a free economy, with an open and transparent legal environment, easy market access and global reach in company business. More and more Chinese companies are looking to Estonia for its superior geographical location, digital technology and high quality products and services.

The sound development prospects of China's economy also inject strong impetus into our cooperation. As the world’s second largest economy, the second largest trader, the second largest outbound investor and second largest recipient of foreign investment, China has made many historical achievements. Over the past five years, the Chinese economy registered an average annual growth of over 7.1%, accounted for roughly 15% of global economy, contributing 30% to global growth. China's overseas investment and trade created 15 million jobs worldwide every year. Now China is a major outward investor with abundant foreign exchange reserve. A growing number of companies, like Hangxin Aviation Technology, are both willing and able to explore the global market. Meanwhile, China is a country of over 1.3 billion people. With its personal income rising 7.4% every year, and consumption demands increasingly diversified, China has become the most promising growth market in the world. It is also estimated that, in the next 5 years, China will import 10 trillion US dollars worth of goods and services, and attract 600 billion USD foreign investments. The high complementarity between our economies promises greater potential and more opportunities for our enterprises.

Second, this cooperation is the outcome of our joint efforts to jointly implement the Belt and Road initiative. I still remember the first consulting email from Hangxin Aviation Technology to our embassy. Hangxin wrote in its email: ‘in order to grasp the opportunity of the Belt and Road Initiative, we would like to to know about the investment environment and opportunities in Estonia, which is one of the countries along Belt and Road’. Similarly, we often receive inquiries from Estonian enterprises on the Belt and Road initiative. I think nothing could more vividly illustrate the important role of Belt and Road initiative in promoting cooperation, trade and investment development between the two countries.

Estonia is China’s important partner in the European Union and the Baltic region. It is also our partner in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 Cooperation. Last year, Estonia officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative. Our two governments signed two MOUs on e-commerce and digital cooperation, providing new opportunities for businesses of both countries.

I would like to stress that the Belt and Road Initiative may be China’s idea, but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world. China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and does not do business by force. As long as the parties embrace the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we will definitely enhance cooperation and fast-track implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative to the greater benefit of all our businesses and peoples.

Third, this cooperation shows that China is determined to deepen reform and open wider to the world. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. What has happened proves that opening-up was key to China’s economic growth over the past 40 years. The growth history of Chinese enterprises also stands as an important historical witness to China’s reform and opening up. And I believe that if you consult Chairman Bu Fansheng about the development process and history of Hangxin Aviation Technology, you will have a deeper understanding of China's determination and real action to pursue further reform and opening.

I wish to make it clear to all that China’s door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider! We encourage our enterprises to go abroad, participate in global competition and integrate into the global value chain. We also welcome enterprises including Estonian enterprises to enter the Chinese market. In the coming years, we will significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and take the initiative to expand imports.

This November, we will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. It is not just another expo in an ordinary sense, but a major policy initiative and commitment taken of our own accord to open up the Chinese market. Friends from Estonia are welcome to participate in the Expo.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Well begun is half done. I am very pleased that our Belt and Road cooperation is followed closely by today’s gratifying results. I am glad to see that Hangxin Aviation Technology and Magnetic MRO have had a pleasant and productive communication. I am very happy to witness the cooperation between the two companies in this splendid spring.

Taking today’s opportunity, I sincerely hope that the Hangxin Aviation Technology will take full advantage of the market opportunities of our two countries, continue to raise global influence and international competitiveness, and make more contribution to even stronger China-Estonia business cooperation.

Thank you.

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