|Ambassador Zhang Weidong attends the opening ceremony of Charming Beijing Tourism Photo Show|
On 11 August, the Chinese Ambassador to Iceland Mr. Zhang Weidong attended the opening ceremony of "Charming Beijing" Photo Show hosted by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development and delivered a speech. Mr. Song Yu, head of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development and Inga Hlin Palsdottir, Director of Promote Iceland are also present at the opening ceremony.
The full text of the speech is as follows:
Good morning everyone!
First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland, I would like to extend my warm welcome all of you, especially our colleagues coming far away from Beijing, China! Let's congratulate Beijing on hosting this "Charming Beijing Tourism Photo Show!
China and Iceland established diplomatic relations on 8 December 1971. Last year, we celebrated together the 45th Anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties with a series of activities. The friendly exchanges between China and Iceland enjoy a long history and a variety of links. The non-governmental contact between the two peoples have also been frequent and fruitful. Delegations in all areas including art, culture and sports, have been sent to each other's countries for mutual visits, which has further enhanced the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. Iceland has achieved a series of "firsts" in its relationship with China. Iceland is the first country in Western Europe to recognize China's market economy status, the first Arctic country that has signed a Framework Agreement on Arctic Cooperation with China, the first European countries that has signed Free Trade Agreement with China. It is also a founding member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I'm fully confident that under new circumstances and with our joint efforts, the prospect of our cooperation will be even broader.
I'm very glad to see that in recent years, China-Iceland relationship has been developing fast, with our cooperation in various areas deepened, and Chinese and Icelandic people's yearning to know each other. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Iceland exceeded 66,000 last year, with an annual increase of 40%, and the number is expected to exceed 100,000 this year. Iceland is getting more and more well-known and popular among Chinese tourists. I strongly believe that more Chinese tourists will be attracted to come to visit this beautiful country to experience the unique nature and culture, thus strengthening the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Beijing is the Capital City of China, a city that combines old tradition with modernity. It has received 4.2 million overseas visitors in 2016. Beijing is famous for its world cultural heritages and rich historical culture connotations. As a modern international metropolis, you will find fashionable and convenient life as well as hospitable local peoples there. We hope that this photo show would display the unique charm of Beijing and after the show there will be more and more tourists from Iceland going to visit Beijing. I'm sure you will definitely have a pleasant journey there.
I believe that the exchanges of our two peoples will inject more fresh energy into our countries' friendship. I wish a great success of the photo show and thank you all once again for coming!