China–Australia Friendship Forum on Economy and Trade Celebrates its Grand Opening at the Imperial Springs Convention Center

The China–Australia Friendship Forum on Economy and Trade celebrated its grand opening at the Imperial Springs International Convention Center on August 31, 2011. This forum marked the inauguration of China Imperial Springs International Summit, a grand gathering reputed as the “Boao Forum of Guangzhou.”

The summit, held at the Imperial Springs Convention Center, which was built with an RMB8 billion investment, will serve as a premium platform for the advancement of international economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges. It will also showcase Guangdong and its capital city Guangzhou, both of which are currently spearheading China’s reform and opening-up drive, to the outside world and lend a strong impetus to the economic take-off of Guangdong, projecting far-reaching influence of global proportions.

The First Summit Focused on China–Australia Economic and Trade Cooperation
The China–Australia Friendship Forum on Economy and Trade was jointly hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Association of Australia China Friendship and Exchange (AACFE) and was guided by the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS). At this inaugural event of the Imperial Springs International Summit, a high-level exchange mechanism was established between China and Australia which is aimed at facilitating economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Mr. Wayne Swan, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia; Mr. Wang Chao, Vice Minister of Commerce; and Mme. Zhao Yufang, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, attended the summit and addressed the audience. Mme. Li Xiaolin, Executive Vice President of CPAFFC, and Mr. Zheng Bijian, Chairman of CIIDS, delivered keynote speeches. Dr. Chau Chak Wing, President of Association of Australia China Friendship and Exchange and Chairman of the KINGOLD Group made the opening remarks. Mme. Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, and Mr. Tony Abbot, Leader of the Opposition of Australia, sent letters of felicitations on the successful convocation of this summit.

Dignitaries and guests present at the forum included Mr. Gao Siren, Chairman of Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress; Mme. Li Haifeng, Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council; Mr. Lin Jun, Chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese; Mr. Wang Chao, Vice Minister of Commerce; Mr. Wang Yeping, Vice Chairman of State Electricity Regulatory Commission; Mr. Jiang Shengsan, Director of the Board of Supervisors, All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives; Mr. Cai Dongshi, Member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; Mr. Xu Deli, former Vice Governor of Guangdong Province; Mr. Wei Jianguo, Secretary General of China Center for International Economic Exchanges; Mr. Cao Weilian, Director General of the International Cooperation Center of the National Development and Reform Commission; Mr. Zhang Tao, Director General of the International Department of the People’s Bank of China; Mme. Frances Adamson, Ambassador of Australia to China; Mr. Christopher Lett, Senior Trade Commissioner of Australian Trade Commission to China; Mr. Zhang Guangning, Secretary of CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee; Mr. Cao Jianliao, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou; and renowned scholars from different sectors.

Crafting Traditional Chinese Classical Elements into Major International Summits
The Imperial Springs International Summit, inaugurated with opening of the 2011 China–Australia Friendship Forum on Economy and Trade, is domiciled at the China Imperial Springs International Convention Center. The Center is located at the Spring Valley Business and Conference Zone south of Conghua city. Adjacent to the venue of the equestrian event of the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, it is only 80 kilometers from the downtown area of Guangzhou and a 40-minute drive from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

Nestled at the foot of green mountains, overlooking emerald creeks and springs, Imperial Spring International Convention Center crystallizes the defining features of classical oriental architecture and the quintessence of modern design. It combines natural scenery, culture, relaxation and wellness in one place, making it a “legendary resort at the Tropic of Cancer.” In August 2009, Mr. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, commented during his inspection tour in Conghua that Imperial Springs International Convention Center is capable of hosting major international conferences to the size of 500 to 600 participants as it is fully equipped with conference venues for such purposes. The Center boasts banquet halls of different sizes, high-end lecture halls and different special meeting rooms, specialized equipment for simultaneous interpreting services of eight languages, international video conferences facilities, and state-of-the-art wireless technologies.

Imperial Springs International Summit as a Highly Influential Event
“The Boao Forum for Asia, staged in Hainan Province, has been held for 10 sessions over the past 10 years. During this decade, Hainan Province and the Boao Forum forged a close tie, with the latter serving as a driver behind the development of Hainan International Tourism Island.” Likewise, as was pointed out by an industrial insider, the annual Imperial Springs International Summit will also greatly boost economic and trade exchanges between Guangdong Province and rest of the world and exert profound influence on the economic and cultural development of Guangzhou and beyond.

First, it will lead to more investment in infrastructure. According to statistics, over the past decade, Hainan Provincial Government has invested near RMB10 billion in infrastructure for the Boao Forum. With a solid foundation of RMB8 billion already spent for related construction, Imperial Springs International Convention Center will undoubtedly attract more investment in transportation and accommodation services in its neighborhood.

Second, it will raise the reputation of Conghua and Guangzhou. Every year for the past decade, Boao Forum welcomed over 1000 guests from around the world, which has raised the international stature and prominence of Hainan Province significantly. The yearly gathering of Imperial Springs International Summit will also draw the attention of global political leaders and business elites, making it an excellent platform for Guangzhou City and Guangdong Province to project their images.

Thirdly, it will boost the growth of local ecological tourism. This is in line with the requirement of “promoting the diversified development of tourist products” as stipulated in the No. 41 document of State Council issued in 2009. Conghua has long been renowned for its hot springs and well-preserved natural scenery. The Imperial Springs Convention Center leverages these advantages by providing high-quality, hot springs services. The Imperial Springs Summit will expand the reputation of Conghua hot springs around the world, and add to Guangzhou’s reputation as a mega international metropolis.

Fourthly, it will cultivate a legion of talents experienced in international exchanges. The Imperial Springs Summit will bring together many high-end talents who are proficient in foreign languages, international norms, protocol expertise, and international conference services, with the required global perspectives to engage in external affairs and international competition.