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  • Home > News > Details
    World's consuls general marvel at Sichuan's growth

    Since the United States set up its consulate general in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in 1985, 16 countries have been approved to build their consulates general in the city. All of these countries consider their consulates general in Chengdu to be their stronghold in Southwest China, through which they are able to deepen their economic and cultural ties with the region by taking part in projects relating to China's Belt and Road Initiative.

    Sichuan, especially Chengdu, occupies an important position in the implementation of the strategy, which was proposed in 2013 by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote global interconnectivity, cooperation and development.

    Cities in Sichuan have more than 90 twin towns and sister cities in Europe, an important partner for China in the Belt and Road Initiative. More than 500 European corporations have invested or are currently investing in Sichuan.

    In a Sichuan-Europe investment fair held in Chengdu in April, Zbynek Noha, consul-general of the Czech Republic in Chengdu, welcomed Sichuan enterprises to invest in his country. The direct 10-hour flights between Prague and Chengdu serve as a bridge between the two peoples to boost bilateral trade and cooperation, he told local media in Chengdu, he said.

    Andrey Denisov, Russian ambassador to China, has visited Sichuan many times, and he said in a recent interview that he is impressed by Sichuan's history, culture, natural resources and fast development in economy in recent years.

    "Sichuan is cooperating with some regions in Russia in trade, investment, agriculture, infrastructure construction, transportation and education," he said, adding that he hopes the bilateral cooperation can extend to manufacturing of machinery equipment, electronics and innovative products because of Sichuan's rich experience in these fields.

    After a direct air route connected Moscow and Chengdu last year, Denisov expects there will be direct air routes between Moscow and other cities in Sichuan, to let more Russian tourists experience Sichuan's places of interests and create more opportunities for Sichuan people to visit Russia.

    Changhong Group, headquartered in Mianyang of Sichuan, invested $38 million in the Czech Republic, and is the largest Chinese manufacturing investor in the European country.

    New Zealand is also an important partner country with Sichuan. Alistair Crozier, New Zealand’s consul-general in Chengdu, told local media in an interview earlier last month that New Zealand can not only provide Sichuan with quality agricultural products, but also share its advanced agricultural technology with the province.

    In a recent conference in Chengdu on Sichuan and South Asian trade and cooperation, Amna Baloch, Pakistan's consul-general in Chengdu, advocated creating more opportunities for face-to-face dialogue between enterprises from Sichuan and South Asia, and encouraged more Sichuan corporations to invest in Punjab Province in Pakistan.

    Olivier Vaysset, France's consul-general in Chengdu, said he has been to many countries as a professional diplomat since early 1980s. His working experience in Chengdu makes him more satisfied with his career choice, he told local media in Chengdu. As the most developed province in southwest China, Sichuan has a long history, splendid culture and rich natural resources. He has no reason to refuse working in Chengdu, he added.

    An important job for him is to let the French people know more about Sichuan, an inland province, he said. He is certain more investment will come to Sichuan when investors know more about the region.

    Bangladesh's consul-general in Kunming, Yunnan province, and the Japanese consul-general in Chongqing also marveled at the fast development of Chengdu after visiting the city's Tianfu New District in February, the 11th national-level industry and technology zone, and said they will seek more cooperation with Sichuan in the future.

    Raymond Greene, US consul-general in Chengdu, told local media in Chengdu that Sichuan reminds him of his home state of Texas, thanks to the two areas’ respective histories and unique cultures —including their shared fame for spicy food. He hopes the southwestern region of China can deepen cooperation with the southwestern region of the United States in water resource management and environmental protection, as they share many similarities in culture and nature.

    Gan Teng Kiat, Singapore's consul-general in Chengdu, said: "The Singapore Chamber of Commerce has developed well in the Singapore-Sichuan New Technology Park in Chengdu. We are looking for bigger cooperation opportunities now."

    Sichuan is a big province in science and technology, and is currently seeking more innovative forces to drive their growth.

    Amir Lati, Israel's consul-general in Chengdu, believes Sichuan and Israel can find many opportunities to deepen bilateral cooperation.

    Lati said that Israel is known as an innovative country and that he is committed to introducing Israel’s innovative concepts as well as advanced technology to Sichuan.

    "Israel creates high agricultural production value out of limited land with advanced technology. Sichuan can make a good use of the drip irrigation technology and wastewater treatment technology of Israel," he told local media in Chengdu.

    Chengdu has many tourist attractions, picturesque landscapes and deeply-rooted cultural traditions. It makes Lati feel relaxed, and makes him believe the city has huge potential, he told Chengdu media in an interview.

    Komate Kamalanavin, Thailand’s former consul-general in Chengdu, said: "Sichuan leaves me a good impression. The people are friendly, hardworking and open." Before leaving his post in Chengdu, he took every opportunity to explore the territory of Sichuan.

    He had been to many cities in Sichuan, such as Zigong and Meishan, and was impressed by Sichuan's pristine natural conditions, beautiful views and fast-developing cities, as well as Sichuan's protection of its traditional cultural heritages.

    Contact the writers at liyu@chinadaily.com.cn and liyang@chinadaily.com.cn

    © Copyright 2017 Invest in Zigong
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