Ambassador Gui Congyou’s Remarks at the Fourth Sino-Swedish Smart City Conference
15 October 2020
Representatives of the business communities from China and Sweden,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning and good afternoon! It gives me great pleasure to attend the Fourth Sino-Swedish Smart City Conference online. On behalf of the Embassy of China in Sweden, I would like to extend warm congratulations to the opening of the conference, and welcome all of you, representatives of the business communities from China and Sweden, to the conference. I would also like to express heartfelt thanks to the organizers and partners of the conference, IVL, Smart City Sweden, Business Sweden, China Urban-Townization Promotion Council, and Beijing Shuzihui Information Technology Company, for your hard work and contributions.
The conference focuses on green cooperation and new urban development. The previous three conferences since 2015 were important platforms for China and Sweden to share growth opportunities and expand cooperation. The conference this year shines the spotlight on cooperation in future urban planning and sustainable transportation. It provides an online platform for presentation and discussion of China and Sweden’s policies, cooperation projects and innovations on climate change, and explores future opportunities of China-Sweden smart city cooperation. We trust that this conference will further promote green development cooperation between China and Sweden.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year, there was some drop in trade and investment cooperation between China and Sweden due to the pandemic. Bilateral trade between January and July dropped by 6.2% to USD 9.96 billion, with China exporting USD 4.63 billion to Sweden, down by 10.6%, and importing USD 5.33 billion from Sweden, down by 2%. It is important to note that all these decreases are smaller than the average between China and the EU, and the numbers were decreasing at a slower pace in recent months. From January to July, Sweden invested USD 120 million in China, down by 54.2%, and China invested USD 320 million in Sweden, down by 7.4%. Since COVID-19 happened, our Embassy has been in close communication with Sweden’s business community. We learned that many Swedish companies are doing well in China, and they are optimistically committed to the Chinese market and believe our trade and investment will both rebound soon.
When it comes to expanding bilateral practical cooperation, this smart city conference with a focus on green cooperation is highly relevant. As is known to all, climate change is a major challenge facing the international community. It can only be addressed through global cooperation. As President Xi Jinping recently announced at the United Nations General Assembly, China will increase its nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and take stronger measures to have CO2 emissions peak by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060.
This major announcement is based on China’s internal need for sustainable growth and a sense of responsibility for building a community with a shared future for humankind. It demonstrates our firm determination to address climate change and pursue low-carbon growth. China will be committed to green low carbon and sustainable growth as we speed up economic recovery and pursue high-quality development. Our resolve is unwavering as we work to combat climate change and step up environmental protection efforts. Moreover, it shows China’s staunch commitment to multilateralism. The announcement of President Xi Jinping makes Chinese contributions to the improvement of global climate governance and implementation of the Paris Accord, injects positive energy into the multilateral process on climate change and strongly boosts the international community’s confidence in climate cooperation. It is another example of China pursuing the idea of building a community with a shared future for humankind. China’s announcement is in keeping with the global trend of strengthening climate actions and speeding up to enter a low-carbon world, and manifests China’s commitment as a major country to faithfully execute the Paris Accord, improve global climate governance and work with other countries to build a clean and beautiful world together
Ladies and gentlemen,
As the biggest developing country and emitter, China faces tremendous challenges in addressing unbalanced development, upgrading our industries and pursuing low-carbon growth. Based on our mid-to-long term climate goals and vision, China will have its emission peak by 2030 and use about another 30 years to reach carbon neutrality. Such a timeframe is only about half of what was proposed by many developed countries, which says a lot about how difficult it is to achieve. Undoubtedly, this goal will require hard efforts of us. To this end, China will take strong measures and work to revolutionize our economic growth and way of life, build a greener China, contribute to a green recovery of the world in the post COVID-19 era and protect our shared planet as we move forward together.
Sweden, as a country that proposed the concept of sustainability as early as 1970s, is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is a long list of such examples: the garbage disposal center in Uppsala, the smart city of Hammarby Sjöstad, the solar panels in Västeras and the green agriculture in Kristianstad. The potential for sustainability cooperation between our two countries is enormous. We hope that the participants will seize the opportunity of this conference, actively expand communication and cooperation in global climate governance, green and low-carbon growth, smart cities and environmental protection, and work together for sustainable development of our two countries and of the world.
Let me conclude by wishing the conference a great success. Thank you.