Andorra-China: converging strategies, comments Pere AUGÉ, Vice-president of the CEA’s (Andorran business Confederation) Comission of International and Institutional Relations of Andorra

pere-augePere AUGÉ Vice-president of the CEA’s (Andorran business Confederation) Comission of International and Institutional Relations of Andorra comments All Andorra on possible development of business cooperation between Andorra and China:

“After a long business trip to China, now I can claim I feel much closer to this majestic country and also surprised for the capacity for effort, generosity, hospitality and spirit of improvement of its people.

The goal of this visit was to explain to our Chinese friends all good things Andorra can offer them as a strategic platform in Europe, and we reached this goal indeed. We came back home bearing proposals, projects and the friendship and respect from this people who, despite the evident differences, has been able to perceive the possible common interests between Andorra and China.

The Chinese analyze to the detail and take their time to take decisions, but once they act, they execute these decisions promptly and effectively. Precisely, Europe has definitely become a priority for them, and this is also an opportunity for Andorra. We would not be able to find a better friend: a noble culture, audacious, courageous, hard-working, powerful, which reaches out the hand and postulates as the best of the allies to give meaning to our country’s internationalization process.

Small as we are, maybe vulnerable, though strengthened by the bastion of our sovereignty, we have the opportunity to develop a foreign policy with exceptional partners as China which can help us become a bit bigger thanks to their certified talent and investment capacity. In exchange, Andorra can be an excellent strategic platform and an entrance gate to Europe for China. Two countries with converging strategies and a common objective: the development of successful economic projects, all complemented by values very present today in the Chinese strategy, identified by words such as research, knowledge, education, energetic efficiency, culture and entrepreneurial and social ethics.

The reasonable question in this context is: what is the secret for this country to have grown and still be growing at such a vertiginous pace? The answer is easy: beyond the competitiveness that can be found in a country of more than three hundred million people, the most transcendent factor is the fireproof capacity for sacrifice. Chinese people are a great example of this, and probably this shall take them to lead the world economy in a short period of time.

On the other hand, the second question should be: what can Andorra offer to a major player? The answer can be summed up in one single word: strategy.

Up until now China has been one of the greatest production centers of the world. Probably, like in all evolving countries, the production costs are decreasing; if we cross this circumstance with the strength of the Euro and the emergence of new territories with strategies to attract production, we will come to the conclusion that the Chinese smart operating machinery must make a move. One of these movements is Europe, where a small but competitive state stands for the welcome of certain investments from this Asian giant, and thus becoming a strategic operating center for the development of the commerce in Europe, in the best conditions to simplify the procedures and optimize costs.

For this cooperation between Andorra and China to become a reality, we all must be able to find the common point of understanding where the interests of a big and a small country converge and where the collaboration and interaction mechanisms are properly established. The process has been initiated and may result in successful experiences.

I have seen a lot of common sense in China, and a great vision to understand very well such a competitive product as the new Andorra and its new economic model, a product which I am convinced that China will acquire, because they always choose the best option. Wherever competitiveness and talent emerge, China gets involved and helps in their development, and I am totally sure that our new economic, fiscal and social model, which now arrives to a culminating point thanks to the negotiations with the European Union, can make Andorra a unique and very attractive jurisdiction for China.

I am totally convinced that the governmental authorities and the different economic agents of both countries will agree a strategy which allows the confluence of interests so that, in a short period of time, they can launch all common projects which may emerge.

It has been an honor to act as improvised ambassador for our country and an outstanding privilege to have discovered some of the best virtues of such a great culture as China, a potential ally, advisor, partner, friend and even brother, an example to follow and to which we can humbly bring all good things Andorra keeps, which is no small contribution at all”.

Irina Rybalchenko

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