President Jiang Zemin Presided Over Dialogue between APEC Economic Leaders and ABAC Representatives
On October 20, the leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies attended a dialogue with representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) at the Shanghai International Convention Center. President Jiang Zemin presided over the dialogue. US President Bush, Russian President Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi, Mexican President Fox, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa of HK SAR and other APEC leaders attended the dialogue. Nearly 60 ABAC representatives were also present.
Jiang first extended his warm welcome to representatives of the business community to come to Shanghai and thanked ABAC, on behalf of the leaders, for what it has done in the past year. Jiang said that ABAC is an important channel to facilitate the business community's participation in the APEC process and ensure close contacts between the leaders and the business circles. To strengthen ABAC's role is an important means to ensure APEC would keep pace with the times and maintain its vitality. The annual dialogue is a rare opportunity for the leaders and ABAC representatives to discuss the prospects of economic cooperation and development of APEC from their respective angles.
At the dialogue, the leaders and ABAC representatives had a sincere and practical discussion on major issues such as the global and regional economic situation, the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment and multilateral trading system, the strengthening of capacity building to reduce the "digital divide," the increase of regional and international financial cooperation, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and the extensive participation in the APEC process by the business community and the rest of society.
Qin Xiao, chair of the 2001 ABAC and vice-chairman of the China International Trust and Investment Corp., briefed the leaders on ABAC's 2001 report. The report points out that APEC should further advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation process in order to realize the Bogor Goals; support the launch of a new round of negotiations at the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha in November; adopt decisive measures to boost economic growth and accelerate financial reform and continue to promote a balanced development of globalization based on market access, human capacity building and wide participation.
Jiang said in a concluding speech that the business community has made outstanding contributions to regional economic development and is a major force to promote regional and global economic development. He expressed the hope that the business community could strengthen the ties and cooperation with governments of APEC members, continue to support and participate in the APEC process, and make concerted efforts for a bright future of the Asia-Pacific region.