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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Li Keqiang's Attendance of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015

On January 16, 2015, Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign Media on Premier Li Keqiang's attendance of the World Economic Forum(WEF) Annual Meeting 2015 and on his working visit to Switzerland. Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong briefed on relevant situation and answered questions from Chinese and foreign journalists.

I. Attendance at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the WEF

Li Baodong introduced that Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the annual meeting of the forum has three characteristics. First, this visit is the first visit by China's major leaders in 2015. This year is a crucial year for China to comprehensively deepen reforms, an opening year to comprehensively promote the rule of law and the final year to comprehensively complete the 12th Five-Year Plan. At the beginning of this year, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the annual meeting of the WEF as Premier for the first time, which has attracted tremendous attention and is of great significance. Second, this is the first time in five years that a Chinese leader will attend the WEF's annual meeting. Former Premier Wen Jiabao and then Vice Premier Li Keqiang attended the WEF's annual meeting in 2009 and in 2010 respectively. This time Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the WEF's annual meeting shows that China attaches importance to the forum and it will also increase "China's weight" at the WEF's annual meeting. Third, the WEF's annual meeting will be unprecedented. According to the news released by the forum, so far nearly 50 heads of state and heads of government have confirmed their attendance. Over 2500 representatives from more than 140 countries in the field of politics, business, academia and media will attend the meeting, reaching a record high in terms of participants.

There are mainly three important events during Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the WEF's annual meeting, two of which in the afternoon of January 21 are respectively a special speech and Q&A session at the plenary session of the WEF, and dialogues and exchanges with representatives from the International Business Council of the WEF. On January 20, he will meet with President of the WEF Klaus Schwab. Premier Li Keqiang will deliver important information in three aspects at the WEF's annual meeting. The first is about his view on the international situation, the world economic situation and solutions to problems, so as to promote the international community to analyze the world economic situation in an objective and dialectical way, to find the proper way for the problems, to drive the steady recovery of the world economy and to achieve a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. The second is to introduce China's economic situation to boost all parties' confidence in China's economy and development prospects of emerging economies, and to enhance the international community's awareness, understanding and support of China's efforts to comprehensively deepen reforms and opening-up. The third is to expound on China's policy on comprehensively deepening reforms and opening-up.

II. Working Visit to Switzerland

As Li Baodong introduced, Switzerland is an important cooperative partner of China in Europe and China is the largest trade partner of Switzerland in Asia. Switzerland has become the fifth largest trade partner of China in Europe.

Recent years have witnessed sound development of China-Switzerland relations with frequent high-level mutual visits and constantly deepened cooperation in all areas. China-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement (FTA) officially took effect in July 2014, which became a new milestone of relations between the two countries. The year of 2015 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Switzerland and this will bring new development opportunities for bilateral relations. This visit will kick off activities to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Switzerland and will further promote the steady development of China-Switzerland relations.

This visit is Premier Li Keqiang's second visit to Switzerland since he took office, which highlights China's attention to the development of China-Switzerland relations. Premier Li Keqiang and President Simonetta Sommaruga of the Swiss Confederation as well as other Swiss leaders will hold bilateral talks in Davos. Then they will exchange in-depth views on China-Switzerland relations, bilateral practical cooperation in various areas and relevant international and regional issues.

The goal of Premier Li Keqiang's visit is to consolidate China-Switzerland traditional friendship and to further promote bilateral practical cooperation. During the visit, the two sides are expected to reach significant consensus in finance, economy and trade, scientific research, food, pharmaceuticals, people-to-people and cultural engagement and other areas, and announce a new batch of cooperation achievements, especially those in the financial cooperation sector. The two side will also conduct in-depth communication on implementing all the preferential policies in FTA and jointly staging well various events to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship. New breakthroughs are expected to be made in facilitating personnel exchanges.

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