On behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China and Chinese people, I'm delighted to extend cordial greetings to the Royal Thai Government and people of Thailand as we celebrate our 62nd National Day.
China commences its Twelfth Five-year Plan in 2011. Facing new conditions and questions that have emerged in its own internal economy along with stagnant world economy and volatile international situation, the Chinese Government has made remarkable achievements in both calm and active manners by strengthening macro control, shifting growth pattern and sustaining coordinated development while policies remain continuous and stable. GDP reached 3.15 trillion US dollars and import & export volume climbed to 1.7 trillion US dollars with respective year-on year growth rates of 9.6% and 25.8% in the first six months this year. Significant progress has been made under the established policies in such fields as people's livelihood, domestic demand expansion, strategic restructuring of economy, science and technology innovations, and resource-conserving & environment-friendly society. Foundations thus have been consolidated to build a well-off society in an all round way.
On the other hand, we remain clear headed that a host of difficulties and challenges stand on the road of our development amid complex and fluid international situation. We shall persist in reform and opening policy and sustainable economic growth based on Scientific Development Outlook and people oriented value. Under strong leadership of the Chinese Government, we, with full confidence and determination, can make ever greater achievements in the cause of our national modernization constructions.
China cannot develop itself in isolation from the rest of the world, and neither can global prosperity and stability be maintained without China. China unswervingly takes a path of peaceful development and win-win opening-up strategy, pursuing open, peaceful, cooperative and common development. We insist on mutual respect and trust among regional countries, particularly good neighborly ties. Since China established dialogue partnership with ASEAN twenty years ago, friendly cooperation has moved forward steadily in a number of fields such as political trust, strategic coordination, cultural exchanges and trade. To celebrate China-ASEAN 20th partnership anniversary, a variety of activities take place with historical retrospect and future vision.
We see fresh headway in China-Thailand relations this year. High level visits retain good momentum. In the first eight months, our bilateral trade has flourished with a 43.17 billion US dollars volume, a 27.9% year-on-year growth rate. Meanwhile, 1.15 million Chinese citizens, exceeding the total number of last year, visited to Thailand, and 330 thousand Thailand visitors tours China. Peoples of China and Thailand feel more like one family, which lends impetus to smooth development of our bilateral relationship in accordance with the principles of equality, friendship, reciprocity and mutual benefits. We're convinced that our traditional friendly relations will forge ahead steadily and our people-to people friendship will pass on through generations.
Lastly, I'd like to avail myself of this opportunity to send best wishes for prosperity of our two nations and happiness of our two peoples.