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It takes time, perseverance and patience to bridge gap of understanding between East and West.
--Ambassador Fu Ying delivered a speech at Boao forum for Asia International Capital Conference
2008/06/12

On 4 June, Ambassador Fu Ying attended the banquet in Boao forum for Asia International Capital Conference and delivered a speech. Secretary General of Boao forum for Asia Long Yongtu, Advocate General for Scotland Lord Neil Davidson, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment Andrew Cahn, CBBC Chairman David Brewer, former Chairman Lord Powell and President Mathew Astill of New Cavendish Group and around 200 guests from the British and Chinese business communities attended.

Fu Ying introduced China's economic development and said that curbing price rise was the priority for the Chinese economy at the moment. The rise of prices of oil and food and different direction of the US and other major economies all added to the uncertainty of the Chinese economy and outlined the fact that China was highly interdependent with the world economy and needed international cooperation.

Fu Ying said that the comprehensive partnership between China and the UK had developed in all areas. In the beginning of this year, Prime Minister Brown, Canceller Darling and Foreign Secretary Miliband all visited China. The two countries launched their financial dialogue at vice-premier level. This was the first between China and an EU country.

For years the UK has been the largest investor in China among all EU countries and the 3rd largest trading partner for China. Leaders of the two countries had set the 60 billion USD trade target in the beginning of the year and proposed five key areas of cooperation including technology trade, joint innovation, energy and environment, financial sector and IPR. PM Brown added his hope that 100 new companies from China would be listed in the LSE and there will be 100 more investment projects from China.

Fu Ying said that UK's financial sector was attractive to the Chinese companies. London is the world financial center. It is strong in capital operation, low in listing cost, flexible in financial supervision. Tran-boundary credit, foreign exchange and securities transactions of the City of London led the world. The City of London has rich experience in investment, M&A practice and professional skills. UK would be a good starting point for Chinese companies to invest overseas.

Fu Ying said Chinese companies faced good opportunities and environment for investing overseas. In 2007, 242 Chinese companies were listed overseas, 40% of which had the support of venture capital and private equity. Since the first quarter of this year, Chinese companies' M&A reached 43.1 billion USD, 28.5 billion USD being trans-boundary M&A, 4 times more than that of the same period last year.

Many Chinese companies are looking for overseas investment opportunity and partners, especially in private equity investment, M&A and overseas listing. But they still face difficulties in professional skills, talents, and overseas information.

Therefore it is timely for the conference this time to take capital as its theme. Chinese companies will be able to get useful information and professional skills and increase its mutual understanding with their British counterparts and look for new opportunities for cooperation.

Fu Ying pointed out that the recent negative feeling between media and peoples of the two countries on the Lhasa riot and torch relay showed the gap of understanding and knowledge between east and west. Both sides were hurt. With China's development, the west proposed demands based on its own features and values. It was also afraid that China would become more assertive and even coercive once developed. The Chinese maintained they were still a developing country and many did not understand why the west was looking to undermine its development.

Fu Ying went on to say that it was not a surprise to have misunderstanding. We were different in history and level of development. The key was to strengthen communication and eliminate misunderstanding. After the Sichuan earthquake, over 1000 Chinese and 500 foreign reporters went to the areas and showed a true China to the world. The west was able to see that the so-called "robot" image and everyone being the same was wrong. The British government and people actively donated money and materials and there were many moving stories. Condolences and help from around the world touched the heart of the Chinese people. They also realized that the west public and media could treat China fairly with efforts on both sides, at least it could on this issue. It takes time, perseverance and patience to bridge gap of understanding between east and West. The upcoming Olympics is an important chance for both sides to increase their understanding and exchange.

Fu Ying thanked the British side for their condolences and donation on behalf of the people in disaster areas.

Chairman Brewer of CBBC, Secretary Long Yongtu also made remarks.

Brewer once again expressed his sympathy and condolences to the people of the disaster areas. He said he was impressed by the way in which the Chinese government and people dealt with the disaster. President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiaobao, officials at different levels, soldiers and volunteers have all won world acclaim.

Brewer said that with China integrating into the world economy, capital and finance are key knowledge and skills that Chinese companies need to acquire in the years to come. China is UK's 11th export market. UK ranks the first in terms of investment and numbers of projects in China among all EU countries. There have been 350 Chinese companies in UK. The cooperation between the two countries in financial sector is very important. The British side hopes to further promote two-way flow of trade and investment between the two countries.

Long Yongtu said that Chinese companies needed to acquire more financial knowledge and expertise to develop themselves. Such Conference of International Capital is extremely useful for the Chinese companies who are seeking investment overseas in the world financial and trade center. Long thanked the people of both the Chinese and British communities for their contributions to the trade exchange between the two countries and the development of Boao Forum for Asia.

After the dinner, Clare A Hammond from HSBC appealed for donation to the Sichuan earthquake and offered same amount from HSBC in receiving every donation.

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Boao forum for Asia International Capital Conference was convened from 3-5 June in Central Hall in London. It was organized by Boao Forum for Asia and Cavendish Group. It was the first time that Boao Forum for Asia organized events outside Asia. The theme of the conference was opportunity for private equity, promoting world growth through M&A and successful financing. It was to discuss practice and cases of Chinese companies' financing, M&A and listing in the British market.

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