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Premier addresses Singapore banquet ‘from the heart’

Updated: Nov 14,2018 5:20 PM

Premier Li Keqiang received a request from the Singapore business community to address the welcome banquet with no script.

The request was sent by Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation Teo Siong Seng.

“Guests should follow the hosts’ arrangements,” said the Premier. “I also want to show my respect by speaking without a script, but from the heart.” His opening remarks won a burst of applause and laughter.

Attended by nearly a thousand representatives from Singaporean business circles, the banquet on Nov 13 was jointly held by the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“I think ‘Xinjiapo’, the Chinese translation of ‘Singapore’, is full of honesty. In Chinese, ‘Xin’ represents innovation, ‘Jia’ means plus, and ‘Po’ is a slope, indicating China and Singapore would climb slopes hand-in-hand while encountering difficulties in global or regional issues,” Premier Li said.

“When people review Sino-Singaporean relations, the history would date back to 40 years ago, when Deng Xiaoping visited and China’s reform and opening-up began. Over the 40 years, Singaporeans from business and industrial circles actively participated in China’s reform and opening-up and modernization progress, which generated win-win results,” the Premier said. “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and respect.”

There is endless space for development in China-Singapore relations, whose cooperation is comprehensive and innovative, the Premier said.

During his speech, the Premier sent an invitation to the Singaporean business and industrial circles, welcoming them to invest in China, and saying that the more investment from Singapore, the more mutual benefits for both countries.

He also said that the Chinese government is committed to furthering administration reform and reducing taxes and fees, to create an equal and fair business environment.

The Premier said no aggressive action will be taken to spur the economy, but reforms will be conducted to stimulate the market. China will not depreciate the Renminbi to galvanize exports, but instead, the currency will remain stable within a reasonable range.

The Chinese economy is running smoothly, with bright prospects for the long run, albeit in a changing international environment, under certain downward pressures, he stressed.

The successful entrepreneur must be a long-term investor. China will continue its reform and opening-up to cultivate a market that looks to stable profits, favorable for long-term investment.

“We welcome Singaporean and other countries’ enterprises to grasp the opportunities of investing in China, and to be China’s long-term investor,” the Premier concluded.