The international view: last year’s achievements and plans for 2016

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-1-5 17:08:01

GT asked 24 Shanghai consuls general how they had viewed 2015 and what they were hoping might be achieved in the coming year. Here are the final eight

Axel Cruau the Consul General of France

I arrived only in July but I lived in Shanghai through an event that I will never forget. On November 14 last year, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Pearl Tower in Pudong was lit to the colors of France: Bleu, Blanc, Rouge. I, and indeed the whole French Community, were deeply touched by this incredible sign of solidarity and support. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all those who made this decision.

We are promoting France and the French presence everywhere and in every way in this city France has so many ties with! There will be so many events in the year 2016, that I can only name a few: the Month of French Language in March, the Croisements Festival in the spring, the launch of a new French high-tech business network, a luxury festival in June... It's going to be a wonderful year.

I would like to see Shanghai becoming more and more a thriving innovation metropolis.

In this respect, I hope the efforts of the Shanghai Municipality to decrease pollution will be fruitful. In the year of 2016, I also hope for a faster and better access to the Internet, so that we can share with the whole world how great Shanghai is!

Kenssy D. Ekaningsih the Consul General of Indonesia

There were several occasions in 2015 that marked the increasing good relations between Indonesia and the city of Shanghai. We have intensified the sister city relations between Yogyakarta and Shanghai by holding a Yogyakarta exhibition in June, which introduced Yogyakarta trade, tourism, investment and culture to Shanghai people. In the investment area, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) established an automotive manufacturing factory in Indonesia. The Investment Business Forum was also convened in November to urge businessmen to seize every opportunity in Indonesia. On the cultural side, the Indonesia Festival was held in November to introduce Indonesia to people in Shanghai.

In the year of 2016, a series of official visits, business, investments and tourism promotion will be held to boost cooperation between Indonesia and the city of Shanghai. We would like to see the establishment and the operation of the Yogyakarta-Shanghai House of Friendship in Yogyakarta.

Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city with a good transportation system and public infrastructure which allow people to undertake many activities. Shanghai still does not neglect culture. It remains the No.1 city for culture in China.

Øyvind Stokke the Consul General of Norway

In 2015 we have seen a large increase in the number of Chinese tourists going to Norway, both as groups and individually, and not only during the summer season. I also value highly the close ties being built up between the many polar researchers from Shanghai and in Norway, in social sciences, climate change research and other areas. In 2015 Shanghai confirmed its position as the education hub for Norwegian students in China. The Nordic Centre at Fudan University marked 20 years in 2015 as an important meeting point for Sino-Nordic cooperation.

The Norwegian Consulate General will continue supporting Norway-China collaboration especially on Arctic research; projects in literature, film and theater; and will sponsor networks among Chinese and Norwegian students and academics. We will, in 2016, continue to focus on handling all visa applications swiftly, and we will arrange several media delegations to Norway to showcase investment opportunities and vibrant arts festivals. Norway will, together with the other Nordic country consulates in Shanghai, continue to present Nordic design and innovation.

All efforts to reduce air pollution, from industry, traffic and from ships, should be intensified.

Karina Morales Herrera the Consul General of Ecuador

Last year we celebrated 35 years of diplomatic relations between Ecuador and China, a commemoration that began with the state visit of the President of the Republic of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, to China from January 5 to 9. During 2015 Ecuador kept the presidency of the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) and established the China Forum-CELAC in order to build an agenda of mutual benefit.

Shanghai is the commercial city of China, like Guayaquil is Ecuador's main port and economic capital. Both cities are sister cities. To strengthen the twinning we have planned a week of Guayaquil in Shanghai in 2016, with concerts, exhibitions and visits from several authorities.

To celebrate our Independence Day in August, we are planning a different event so that the average citizen of Shanghai can get to know about Ecuador.

I'm sure 2016 will be the year to promote environmental programs in Shanghai. We are all responsible for caring for the planet and the Consulate of Ecuador will be pleased to get involved in any municipal initiative or even bring concrete proposals starting from our offices and homes to implement good environmental practices.

Jose E. Emanuel Alvarez the Acting Consul General of Peru

In September 2015, the first shipment of Peruvian avocados for the Chinese market arrived in the port of Shanghai. This was very important news because the agroindustry is one of the pillars of our economy. We expect high quality Peruvian avocados to become as ubiquitous as Peruvian table grapes in China. Also, Premier Li Keqiang visited Peru in May and announced the first stage toward the building of a transcontinental railroad that will connect Peru's Pacific coast with Brazil's Atlantic coast.

The year 2015 has consolidated Shanghai as a major cultural hub in Asia with many attention-grabbing events like the Photo Shanghai Fair, and ART021 for contemporary art.

In the year 2016, China and Peru will commemorate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Together with our Embassy in Beijing we will have a productive agenda of cultural and business-related events. Also Peru will host the 2016 APEC Leaders Summit and is already preparing to receive the visits of many important world leaders on the occasion, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

I look forward to more people from over the world continuing to make Shanghai their home so that it can further become a more cosmopolitan city.

Kazuyuki Katayama the Consul General of Japan

What impressed me most was the number of visitors from China (Eastern China being the hub) to Japan, which soared, unprecedentedly, to 5,000,000. We, the Consulate General of Japan in Shanghai, issued more than 1,550,000 visas in 2015, almost double the 870,000 issued in 2014.

Last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a second round of meetings with President Xi Jinping in addition to a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang. We will try our best to improve bilateral relationships and create a win-win partnership through various means.

We expect more frequent high level communications on various occasions, including the G20 meeting which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend. We will try to improve the friendship between China and Japan in a variety of ways. We will take an active part in introducing Japanese culture to the people of Shanghai. I believe edgy, fashionable culture is popular with Chinese, especially young people. We will try to improve ordinary people's understanding of Japan by presenting lectures.

In the year 2016, Japan will take an active part in protecting the environment as before, joining you people from Shanghai and China in general, to reach our shared goal.

Farhat Ayesha the Acting Consul General of Pakistan

The visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan was the highlight of 2015 in our bilateral relations. He launched the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is an important plank of the "One Belt, One Road" strategy for China. An all-weather friendship between the two countries is deepening among our people. We celebrated 2015 as "The Year of Friendly Exchanges." Exchanges took place among political leadership, businessmen, intellectuals, academics, students and artists. The Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan visited Shanghai in January, 2015. The Chairman of Senate of Pakistan along with a group of senators visited Shanghai in November, 2015.

In 2016, the consulate will focus on promoting business relations, inviting Chinese investment in Pakistan and will make it easier for Chinese traveling to Pakistan.

In 2015, the hallmark of the innovation and technological progress of China was the rolling out of the airliner C919 by COMAC at Shanghai. We sincerely hope that the efforts of the Shanghai leadership will succeed and the residents of Shanghai will enjoy a better environment and healthier life in the year 2016.

Weldon Epp the Consul General of Canada

2015 marked an important achievement for Canada and China as we celebrated the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of our strategic partnership. In 2015 we saw the strengthening of this relationship in key areas for both our countries, from growth in bilateral trade to cooperation in education, clean technology, and the health sector. Just one example was the inaugural White Coat ceremony on October 17 to launch the medical careers of 56 Chinese students from the Ottawa-Shanghai Joint School of Medicine, a joint program between the University of Ottawa and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

I am also proud to recognize that 2015-2016 has been designated by our leaders as the year of Canada-China people-to-people and cultural exchanges. In 2016, the Consulate General in Shanghai will continue to leverage the year of People-to-People and cultural exchanges to bring together our artists, authors, producers and composers. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated, we are hopeful that President Xi Jinping will visit Canada in 2016.

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