On February 1, 2018, the "Friendship and Cooperation" 2018 Consular Officers New Spring Social Gathering, an event hosted by the Chengdu Municipal People's Government, was held in Chengdu. Deputy Secretary of the Chengdu Municipal Party Committee and Mayor Luo Qiang was in attendance and addressed the audience. Deputy Mayor of the Chengdu Municipal Government Liu Xiaoliu, Assistant to the Mayor and Secretary-general of the Chengdu Municipal Government Han Chunlin and Deputy Secretary-general of the Chengdu Municipal Government Liao Chengzhen were also present at the social gathering.
Luo Qiang represented the Chengdu city government in expressing holiday greetings and good-wishes to the consular staffs and guests that attended the event. Luo Qiang pointed out that in 2017, Chengdu focused on the guidance inherent in Xi Jinping’s Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, accelerated the establishment of a National Central City that fully exhibits new developmental concepts, and recorded gross regional product of nearly RMB 1.39 trillion, a growth of almost 8.1%. Of all Chinese provincial capital cities, Chengdu's total economic output remained in the number two spot and in general has maintained a sound development momentum. As the administration of a high ground for opening-up efforts in western China, the Chengdu Municipal Government has always followed through on its open development principle and stayed tuned to both global outlook and national strategy. Luo said that Chengdu has continued to accomplish new breakthroughs in foreign opening-up and international cooperation, the formation of a "big avenue" that connects the world is picking up pace, the construction for a bilaterally opened "big platform" is being accelerated, the expansion of mutually beneficial "big economy and trade" is speeding up, foreign exchanges and cooperation are deepening more rapidly, and a livable city of harmonious life is quickly taking shape. Luo underscored that 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Chinese reform and opening-up, thus Chengdu will intensify the level of its bilateral opening-up, increase its participation in the construction of the "Belt and Road," adhere to the principle of utilizing opening-up to promote reform, promote development and promote transformation, and accelerate the establishment of an open-type economic stronghold in the inland region and a gateway city for the nation's opening-up endeavor toward its western and southern regions. Luo Qiang also expressed the wish that consulates in Chengdu or involving Chengdu could continue to function as promotional ambassadors and communicational conduits, and recommend Chengdu's solid development potentials and internationalized environment to more international associates, more international enterprises and talents.
Alistair Crozier, Consul-general of New Zealand in Chengdu, represented consulates in Chengdu and Chongqing in addressing the audience. He congratulated Chengdu on the socio-economic development it has achieved in recent years, thanked the Chengdu Municipal Government for providing great support that facilitated the duties of the consulates in Chengdu or involving Chengdu, and expressed the wish that cooperation between Chengdu and the various represented nations could continue to expand and deepen in 2018, concluding with good-wishes to the people of Chengdu for the new spring.
The crowd of about 50 guests attending the social event was comprised of consul-generals and consular representatives and staffs of foreign consulates in Chengdu or involving Chengdu including those of the United States, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Pakistan, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hungary, Ethiopia and Italy, persons in charge at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu, persons in charge at the Investment Promotion Institute of the Macao SAR, heads of the Chengdu Municipal Party Committee Publicity Department, Municipal Development and Reform Commission, Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, Municipal Port Logistics Office, Municipal Commission of Commerce, Municipal Commission of Investment Promotion, Chengdu Culture, Radio, Television, Press and Publication Bureau, Chengdu Municipal Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Municipal Tourism Administration, Municipal Commission of New Economy and Chengdu Bureau of Expo Affairs, and leaders of Chengdu Tianfu New Area, Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone and the Management Committee of Chengdu Economic Development Zone.
Prior to the start of the event, the consular officers also watched a thematic cultural exhibition featuring "made in Chengdu" highlights such as Shu brocade, Shu embroidery, Pixian Douban and culinary and cultural creativity products, enjoyed a live paper-cutting performance presented by traditional paper-cut intangible cultural heritage inheritor, received interviews by journalists from a number of provincial and municipal media outlets, and relayed greetings and good-wishes for the new spring to the citizens of Chengdu via the media.