On September 2, 2011, Ambassador Zhang Jun attended the Opening Ceremony of Rotterdam World Port Days and addressed the audience. Also present were Mr. Aboutaleb, Mayor of the city of Rotterdam, Vice-Admiral Mr. M. Borsboom, Chief Commander of the Dutch Royal Navy, and Mr. Smits, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam.
Ambassador Zhang appreciated that a part of the theme of this year’s World Port Days is related to China, and gave positive comment over the port of Rotterdam’s role in Sino-Dutch relations. Ambassador Zhang said that the first group of Chinese seamen settled down in Rotterdam 100 years ago, and it was maritime connection that shortened the distance between two nations as well as facilitated mutual understanding. The port of Rotterdam carries great weight in economic and trade cooperation between China and the Netherlands. The gate-way position of Rotterdam not only provides convenience for Chinese products, but also attracts many Chinese investors. The Port of Rotterdam has made great contribution to Sino-Dutch economic and trade cooperation, and is also where the hopes and potentials rest on. With the implementation of the Twelfth Five Year Plan, China will enter a new development stage, featuring transformation of economic development pattern. Momentum of China’s development will remain strong and China’s continuing development will create more opportunities for other countries in the world, including the Netherlands.
Ambassador Zhang stressed that China cherishes its friendly relationship with the Netherlands. By making China a part of this year’s theme, the organizers have set a higher goal for future relationship between the two nations. Both countries should spare no effort in facilitating mutual understanding, deepening economic cooperation, broadening people-to-people contact, so as to bring our relationship to a higher level.
Ambassador Zhang and Mayor Aboutaleb sounded the Gong together, officially declaring the opening of the World Port Days. Together with the guests, Ambassador Zhang visited exhibition of new planning project of the Port of Rotterdam as well as photo exhibition of the world’s five largest ports, co-organized by Xinhua News Agency, City of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam. Ambassador Zhang also gave interviews to the Xinhua News Agency and CCTV.
The annual World Port Days attracts around 400,000 visitors every year. This year marks the 34th World Port Days, and the themes are Port of Many flavors and 100 Years Chinese in the Netherlands.