The First Ministerial Meeting of the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum is scheduled to open in Nadi, Fiji on Wednesday with the theme of "Promoting Cooperation for Common Development."
The two-day meeting is co-sponsored by the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Fiji Islands in order to further improve mutual understanding and expand trade and economic cooperation.
The Forum meeting provides an opportunity to attract over 200 reputable Chinese enterprises to participate and exchange ideas and establish commercial ties with their Pacific island counterparts.
It will also provide a platform to actively promote trade and investment opportunities between China and Pacific island countries and enhance development assistance by the Chinese government to individual Pacific island countries through bilateral arrangements.
The Forum offers consultations and negotiations between entrepreneurs from China and Pacific island countries against the backdrop of globalization with its opportunities and challenges.
In recent years, China and Pacific island countries have enjoyed an ever-enhancing political mutual trust, more commercial and human exchanges and deepening economic and trade cooperation in various fields.
According to the statistics of the Chinese Customs, the bilateral trade volume in 2005 was 838 million U.S. dollars, a year-on-year growth of 58 percent, among which China's export was 424 million U.S. dollars and import 414 million U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 93 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
The Chinese government always actively encourages Chinese companies, in their "Go Global" efforts, to identify good cooperation projects, which can give full play to their advantages, in line with the economic features of Pacific island countries.
By the end of 2005, China's aggregate (non-financial) direct investment in Pacific island countries and territories reached 16.87 million U.S. dollars. The contractual value of engineering projects was 1.644 billion U.S. dollars, and turnover 906 million U.S. dollars. The contractual value of labor service cooperation stood at 436 million U.S. dollars, and turnover 374 million U.S. dollars. There had been about 3,000 contract workers working in this region by the year end.
In addition, China has also provided Pacific island countries with assistance to its utmost capacity.