Xi’s visit to Monaco marking historical moment in bilateral friendship: Monaco minister

By Zheng Bin from People’s Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Monaco would mark a historical moment in the friendship between the two countries, said Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance and Economy of Monaco, in a recent interview with People’s Daily.
He believes Xi’s visit is of vital significance for the further development of bilateral cooperation, adding that the two countries have achieved heartening achievements in past and will embrace a brighter future together.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Monaco, the two countries have seen remarkable development in economic and trade relations. In the past two decades, bilateral trade has grown 11 times, and bilateral cooperation has also been extended from the traditional sectors of tourism and culture to more areas such as mobile communication and high technology.
Castellini said that Monaco has always attached great importance to the economic and trade cooperation with China. Last September, Prince Albert II of Monaco paid a visit to China, and signed a slew of cooperation agreements and intentions, arousing huge attention in the business world of Monaco.
The minister noted that the achievement of visit by Prince Albert II was described as “more-than-expected” by the Monaco society. He told People’s Daily that till today he could still receive letters from Monaco companies that hope to further enhance cooperation with China.
He believes that President Xi’s visit to Monaco will surly push for a new high of China-Monaco economic and trade cooperation.
Despite the second smallest national territory in the world as well as the lack of population and resources, Monaco has created remarkable economic achievements, becoming one of the best-performing countries regarding per capita GDP.
Since the early 20th century, Monaco has undergone successful economic transition and gradually grown into a diversified economy that enjoys all-round development.
Speaking of the characteristics of China-Monaco cooperation, Castellini noted that the two countries share many similarities in economic development despite the huge difference in economic sizes. He said that both countries lay high importance on maintaining political stability and sustainable policies, and take opening-up as the fundamental national policy.
These are what the two countries have in common for their economic success, and also an important foundation for bilateral cooperation, Castellini added.
The minister also shared his view on the potential of bilateral cooperation in the future. The two economies are highly complementary, he said, adding that China is a global leader in infrastructure and high technology, while Monaco boasts outstanding performance in clean energy, environmental protection, and financial services.
In addition, both countries have gained rich experiences during economic transition and diversified economic development, which is conducive to the further promotion of bilateral exchanges and cooperation, the minister added.
Castellini noted that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China reflected the country’s determination to open up and its willingness to share its development dividend with the rest of the world.
The government of Monaco has always paid close attention to the BRI, and hopes that both countries could roll out more specific schemes of further cooperation under the BRI framework through President Xi’s visit, the minister added.

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