Chinese ambassador Li Li was the guest of honour on Monday 24th April 2017 at the farewell dinner party organised by 24 Sino-Mauritian Societies, each represented by their respective presidents, at Restaurant Grand Océan, Caudan Waterfront. Some 200 guests were present, including the former vice President of the Republic, Mrs Monique Ohsan-Bellepeau and the Mayor of Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill, Mr Ken Fat Fong Suk Koon.
The societies represented were: Culture On the Move, Chinese Culture and Arts Committee, China Universities Students Association, Heen Foh Lee Kwon Society, Chinese Diaspora and Heritage Association, Ping On Senior Citizens Association, Chinese Speaking Association, Dragon and Lion Dance Federation, Women Association for the Promotion of Chinese Culture, Federation of Chinese Societies, Dr Sun Yat Sen's Commemoration Committee, Chinese Writer Association, Chinese Business Chamber, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, La Librairie Chinoise Association, Hua Lien, Plaine Wilhems Chinese Women Association, Lim Sip Nee Society, Wushu Dragon Lion Dance Federation, On Kwet How Association, Nam Shun Fooy Kwoon, Oy King Sar Chan, Fook Loo Soo Senior Citizens Association and Fock Diack.
In his speech, Mr Li Li, the 13th Ambassador of the People's Republic of China (PRC), who is in Mauritius since May 2013, recalled the friendly tie which exists between his country and the Republic of Mauritius, ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Port Louis following the joint communiqué published on 15th April 1972. He stated that for the past 45 years, the PRC has been contributing in the fields of cultural exchange programmes, financial and technical assistance to Mauritius in order to raise the standard of living and the quality of life of the Mauritian population.
He mentioned the State visit of former Chinese President, Mr Hu Jintao, in February 2009 and the fallout of this visit in terms of economic assistance to Mauritius to develop its infrastructures. He invited Mauritian businessmen, including Sino-Mauritian entrepreneurs, to seize the windows of opportunity stemming from the opening of the Bank of China branch in Mauritius to offer financial services to Chinese operators, coupled with non-stop flights of Air Mauritius to Guangzhou and Shanghai and the potential reservoir of Chinese tourists, some 100,000 visitors, that Mauritius can tap to boost its tourism industry. M. Lili also mentioned the fall-out of last year's visit of Chinese minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang Yi, to Mauritius. The latter listed, among his priorities, the Chinese assistance to Mauritius in the fields of public infrastructure, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and financial services.
Mr Lili also praised the work done by the Director of China Cultural Centre (CCC), Mr Song Yanqun, in organising a lot of cultural activities to such an extent that many African countries are lagging far behind Mauritius in that field. For the latter, Mauritius is a vivid example of the diverse cultural acumen of the Mauritian population. Finally he invited the Mauritian entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity of Mauritius, being an economic hub in the making, to invest and to do business with Africa, "the continent of the future” and this in partnership with potential Chinese investors.
In her speech, Mrs Marie Louis Taikie, the chairperson for the organising committee, spoke of the sentimental feeling of the Mauritian Chinese for China, where many Mauritians can trace their origins. She invoked the immense contribution of Mr Li Li in the furtherance of the close tie which exists between Mauritius and China during his four years of office. She recalled the two big projects now in operation, namely the Bagatelle Dam and the Cardiac High Tech Centre recently inaugurated at the Victoria hospital, both financed by the Chinese government, the opening up of the Confucius Institute at the University of Mauritius. She concluded her speech by wishing Mr Lili further success in his diplomatic career, this time in the kingdom of Morocco. Mr Li Li will be leaving Mauritius in two months' time where he has made so many friends, to occupy his new post, the time he completes some assignments he has not yet finished. He made this confidence to the assistance.
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