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Remarks by Mr. He Meng, Charge d'Affaires a.i. of the Chinese Embassyat the Farewell Reception for Scholarship Students and Seminar and Training Participants Departing for China
2011/08/23

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends:

Good evening! It's my pleasure to host this farewell reception for the scholarship students and seminar and training participants who are departing for China soon. Thank you for your presence. Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest welcome to the Nigerian officials present here who have yielded great assistance to fulfill the trips of the students and participants to China.

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of China-Nigeria diplomatic relations. With rapid development of our bilateral relations in recent years, people-to-people exchanges between our two countries have been more and more frequent. Among the exchanges, we have been annually arranging for around 30 military trainees to China and there are 100 Nigerian scholarship students studying in China each year. We have also set up different seminars attended by over 300 Nigerian officials and technicians per year under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). It's encouraging to see that all the programs have been effectively enhancing our human resources building, and have successfully promoted our mutual understanding and friendship. I believe with the joint efforts of our two countries, those programs will maintain the good development momentum in the future.

Dear friends,

In the past 3 decades since China adopted the policy of Reform and Opening-up, it has realized rapid economic development. Some Nigerian friends in China even told me that people who used to say "Go to Paris, you can die" are now saying "Go to China, you can die". Some figures of development would indeed be impressive to everybody. China's GDP reached 5.8 trillion US dollars and became the world's second largest economy in 2010. Our foreign trade volume has reached 2.97 trillion US dollars and also ranked second in 2010. China has been hailed as the global factory and world famous brands like IBM PC, Volvo etc. have become Chinese brands. Chinese enterprises like the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, now largest stakeholder of the Standard Bank in South Africa, have emerged and been playing a more active part in the global business.

At the same time, China is still a developing country. Despite the huge economic volume, our per-capita GDP, just exceeding 3,000 US dollars, ranks the 104th in the world. The problem of uneven development is prominent. While when you go to big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, you may feel "you can die", you could still find many rural and remote areas that are quite backward. Nearly 10 percent of our population are living on less than one dollar a day and 10 million have no access to electricity. We're on the way to further and comprehensive development, and would like to share our experience with other developing countries including Nigeria.

My dear friends, seeing is believing. Especially for those of you who are now going to China for the first time, I believe this trip will definitely be a chance for you to get a clear picture of real China as well as to feel China by yourself. When back in Nigeria, I hope you'll be ready to tell people around about China as well as our relations as you then understand. We look forward to your return!

Bon Voyage!

Thank you!

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