The 19th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Is Held in Hawaii President Hu Jintao Attends the Meeting and Delivers an Important Speech
On November 13, 2011, the 19th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. President Hu Jintao attended the meeting and delivered an important speech. He pointed out China will unswervingly participate in regional and international economic cooperation and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation to contribute to lasting peace and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
At about 10:00 local time, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the start of the meeting. With the theme of "Closely Linked to the Regional Economy", the annual meeting focused on the Asia-Pacific regional economic growth, regional economic integration, green growth, energy security, regulatory cooperation and other issues. The participating leaders exchanged views around these topics.
President Hu delivered a speech titled "Shift Growth Model to Sustain Economic Development" at the meeting. He emphasized that we should strengthen our confidence and determination, show courage and wisdom and implement the growth strategy adopted at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Yokohama last year. He called for efforts to accelerate the transformation of economic growth pattern, improve the quality of economic development, strive for balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and safe growth of the economy and promote long-term stable and rapid economic development and social harmony and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. To meet this goal, Hu made a three-point proposal.
First, APEC members should step up coordination to improve global economic governance, Hu said. "We should enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies and boost market confidence. We should press ahead with the reform of the international financial institutions, aid by the principles of mutual respect and collective decision-making, and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries," Hu said. "We should make financial regulation more targeted and effective, enhance supervision over credit rating agencies and cross-border capital flows, keep the liquidity of main reserve currencies at reasonable and stable levels, improve the international monetary system, and make the international economic order more just and equitable," he said.
Second, APEC members should make unremitting efforts to speed up the shift of the growth model, Hu said. He said that developed countries should follow responsible macroeconomic policies and properly handle sovereign debt and fiscal risks, while emerging markets should boost domestic demand and promote growth through the combined forces of consumption, investment and export. "We should strike a balance between economic and social development and environmental protection, achieve sustainable development in resources and the environment, and maintain sustainability in fiscal, monetary, trade and industrial policies," he said. The promotion of employment should be taken as an important channel to consolidate and expand the economic and social development outcomes and create job and development opportunities. Efforts should be made to carry out industrial, trade, fiscal, taxation and monetary policies and establish a sound public service system for employment to build harmonious labor relations. Efforts should also be made to develop the mechanisms for guiding, training, evaluating and offering incentives to human resources to improve quality and capacity of all workers.
Third, APEC members should build consensus and continue to promote economic globalization and regional economic integration, Hu said. "We should fully honor the commitments already made, avoid new trade protectionist measures, firmly oppose and jointly resist protectionism of all forms, and work to establish a balanced, inclusive and win-win multilateral trading regime so that people everywhere will enjoy the benefits of trade and investment liberalization." "We should actively promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the Asia-Pacific and deepen regional economic integration so as to create impetus for the sustainable economic recovery and growth of the Asia-Pacific region."
Hu pointed out that as the most important economic cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC should play a unique role in supporting its member countries' shift of economic growth pattern and deepening regional economic integration according to the new situation in international economic development and trade and investment.
The Chinese president proposed the following three steps to this end. First, promote in a comprehensive way trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. "We should deepen cooperation on the global supply chain and enhance infrastructural connectivity and network building in the region," said Hu. He also highlighted the necessity to "improve the policy environment for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and promote the participation of SMEs in the global industrial chain. The role of the government should be displayed to create an environment for encouraging innovation, improving the technological innovation system, intensifying R & D investment, strengthening technical cooperation and technology transfer and improving the innovative capacity of members. At the same time, efforts should be made to comprehensively promote the regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, deepen regional economic integration and strengthen economic and technical cooperation to achieve common development and prosperity of all members.
Second, deepen cooperation on green growth in the Asia-Pacific region. "We should steadily reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers regarding environmental goods by taking into account different national conditions and differential treatment of developed and developing members. Efforts should be made to strengthen sustainable forestry recovery and management in the Asia-Pacific region and to cope with climate change. We should also stabilize the prices of energy and other commodities, guarantee countries' energy demand and maintain the normal order of the energy market. We should improve the energy structure, enhance research, development and promotion of advanced energy technologies and develop clean and renewable energy. We should enhance international cooperation on new energy and renewable energy, energy conservation, recycling economy and improvement of energy efficiency.
Third, advance economic structural reform and regulatory cooperation. "We should enhance cooperation in priority areas of economic structural reform and continue to increase economic competitiveness of the Asia-Pacific region," Hu said. APEC should give priority to activities such as capacity building and experience sharing to help foster a dynamic, efficient and more open policy environment conducive to trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ten years after its entry into the World Trade Organization and 20 years into the APEC, China has opened further and wider to the world, with its trade and two-way investment increasing rapidly and its open economy growing in an all-round way, Hu said. China has established closer links with other countries and regions and achieved win-win progress for both itself and the world, Hu said. China has become one of the most open markets in the world. The process of China's participation in regional and global trade shows that only by combining opening-up with domestic reform and development, and only by participating in and moving forward global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, can a country make its own development an integral part of global economic development and achieve win-win progress, he said.
In the morning, Hu also attended the dialogue between leaders and representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The participating leaders exchanged views with representatives on issues including regional economic integration, SME development and food security.
At noon, President Hu attended a working luncheon hosted by President Obama.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Hu also took group photos with other leaders.
The meeting issued a Leaders' Declaration.
The 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will be held in Russia.
On the evening of November 12, President Hu and his wife Liu Yongqing attended a banquet held by President Obama and his wife in honor of participating leaders and their spouses. They also watched performances.