Speech by H.E. Ambassador Gu Xiaojie at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Gotera Interchange(May 31st, 2009)


H.E. Prime Minister Meles,

Honorable Mayor Kuma,

Distinguished guests,

Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am extremely delighted to attend the Inauguration Ceremony of the Gotera Interchange Project today. On this day of great happiness and joy, I would like to, on behalf of the Chinese Government and the Chinese Embassy, extend warm congratulations to the Ethiopian people, especially to the people of Addis Ababa, and express my sincere compliments and heartfelt gratitude to the hardworking engineers and constructers from both China and the Ethiopia, especially those from the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG).


Gotera Interchange Project, with an investment of around 100 million RMB (which is about 150 million Birr), is the first interchange aided by China to Africa and also the first urban interchange in East African region. The completion of this interchange project is another splendid outcome of Sino-Ethiopian economic and technical cooperation and a landmark of deepening Sino-Ethiopian traditional friendship, which testifies again the deep affection for and friendship with the Ethiopian people by the Chinese people.


We are delighted to see that, over recent years, a continuous and rapid economic growth has been achieved in Ethiopia under the leadership of the Ethiopian Government, with the increasingly busy traffic in Addis Ababa, the capital city, as a good proof. The Gotera Interchange Project will not only help to upgrade the image of Addis Ababa and promote the socio and economic development in Ethiopia, but also improve the traffic situation in Addis Ababa.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Chinaand Ethiopia enjoys a long-standing traditional friendship. Mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit are the main sources of vigor and vitality of our flourishing bilateral relations. Over recent years, the Sino-Ethiopian relationship, on the basis of equality and mutual trust, shows itself a momentum of an all-round, sound and rapid development, with abound and fruitful results from the pragmatic cooperation in all areas, especially in the field of infrastructure.


At present, though China, like the other countries in the world, is facing the challenges of the global financial crisis, the mutual-beneficial cooperation between China and Ethiopia won't be affected. The Chinese Government cherishes the Sino-Ethiopian friendship, will continue to provide assistance within her capacity to Ethiopia and to expand the cooperation fields and channels in a more flexible and pragmatic manner, so as to further promote the mutual-beneficial cooperation and achieve common development.


I would also like to take this opportunity to share another good message with you: The Ceremony of Placing Corner Stone for the Tirunesh Beijing Hospital, which is one of project assisted by the Chinese Government under the eight policy measures of the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation in 2006, will be held in the coming weekend. This hospital, after its completion, will be another symbol of Sino-Ethiopian unity and friendship.


Long live the Sino-Ethiopian friendship!


Thank you.