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Address by his Excellency Mr.

Ivar Asjes
Prime Minister of Curaao
on the occasion of the official opening of the first Consulate of the People!s "epublic of China in Curaao and the celebration of the Chinese #pring $estival %illemstad& '( )anuary *+', eneral

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening. Tonight we are gathered here on a very special occasion. In addition to celebrating the opening of the first official representation of the Peoples Republic of hina in ura!ao, tonight we are also celebrating the hinese "pring #estival, also $nown as the hinese %ew &ear. This is an important and traditional hinese holiday dating bac$ more than '((( years. It is a time to celebrate with family and friends and to wish for prosperity, abundance and richness.

I am honored to have the opportunity to e)perience and celebrate such an important occasion with the hinese community of ura!ao and other guests and I would li$e to ta$e this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy, peaceful and inspiring *(+'. It is with great pleasure that I officially, on behalf of the government and people of ura!ao, welcome the first onsul General of the Peoples Republic of hina to ura!ao, ,rs. hen -iman. I also would li$e to welcome onsul .hang, onsul /ue and the rest of the staff of the hinese onsulate General to our island. 0s the Peoples Republic of hina is a ma1or player on the global scene and one of the worlds largest economies both in terms of manufacturing and trade we are delighted that its government has seen the merit of having an official presence in our country. The hinese governments decision to formali2e its relationship with ura!ao is therefore further proof of the vast opportunities present here. 0s you all $now in its oalition agreement of +* 3ecember *(+*, entitled 40$uerdo pa un Gobernashon enfo$5 riba pas, tran$ilidat i prosperidat, this government has committed itself to wor$ towards the reali2ation of close and lasting bilateral ties with friendly nations. In that sense also the establishment of the hinese onsulate General in ura!ao can be viewed as the fulfillment of one of the policy ob1ectives of my Government. Ladies and gentlemen,

The first hinese nationals came to our island some +(( years ago among other things as coo$s on board of oil tan$ers of the ura!ao Petroleum Industrie ,aatschappi1, the subsidiary of "hell International, that started the refinery in ura!ao. They were actually on their way to 6ene2uela but li$ed our island and decided to stay. They opened the first laundries in ura!ao and later diversified their economic activities by opening restaurants and a hotel thereby becoming one of the first entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector on our island. Today hinese entrepreneurs dominate the retail food sector and as owners of small and medium7si2ed enterprises contribute to the economic development of ura!ao. The bilateral cooperation between hina and ura!ao offers a host of possibilities. Tourism, trade, logistics, education and culture and the energy sector are some of the areas in which our two countries can wor$ together and create mutually beneficial outcomes. Ladies and gentlemen, 8e have 1ust entered into a new year. 0gain we as a collectivity have the opportunity to continue to build a solid future for our country. The tas$ may seem daunting but with a positive attitude and a grateful spirit we will be able to build a society in which e9ual opportunity for growth and development will be open to all. In closing in I wish each and everyone of you 4G:ng) f;c5i<, which is ,andarin for 4=appiness and prosperity<. 4/ie)ie<, I than$ you.