Speech by President Jiang Zemin at APEC CEO Summit
Striving for Development and Prosperity Through Cooperation
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
You are gathered here this evening by the beautiful Huangpu River for APEC CEO Summit 2001. On behalf of the Chinese Government and people as well as in my own name, I would like first to extend a warm welcome to you all.
I have attended many sessions of the APEC CEO Summit to discuss the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation and development with business leaders in the region. This time, APEC CEO Summit 2001 Shanghai is devoted to New Century, New Economy: Developing in a Globalizing World, which is of great significance. At the last APEC CEO Summit in Brunei, I made some observations on the New Economy and economic globalization. Today I wish to further elaborate on this subject.
Mankind has entered a new century. This is not merely a chronological change. It marks a new era of economic development and social advancement for the international community. This new era distinguishes itself from others by a growing trend towards a multi-polar world and economic globalization, and, particularly, by the rapid progress in science and technology.
All these have laid unprecedented material and technological conditions for continued economic and social progress worldwide and promise a broad prospect. The scientific and technological progress is bringing a profound impact on economic, political and cultural life of all human societies. To develop the New Economy, we must not only update our economy with advanced science and technology, but also, in response to this new trend of development, revamp the economic structures, systems and mechanisms accordingly, readjust the economic relationships between states and between enterprises, and update our philosophies and concepts for economic and technological cooperation across national boundaries.
The past one hundred years and more have witnessed considerable expansion of global productive forces, unprecedented achievements in the production of both material and spiritual wealth and significant improvement in the living conditions of mankind. It must be noted, however, that in spite of rapid advancement of productive forces and science and technology worldwide, development has all along remained uneven and, what is more, the North-South gap has kept widening instead of narrowing. Poverty and hunger have been a commonplace in developing countries. People are still plagued by regional conflicts, environmental degradation and transnational crimes, among others. The development of high-tech industries is faced with some problems, such as relatively insufficient effective demand. All this shows that in order to ensure that all peoples in the world benefit from the progress of the productive forces and, particularly, of science and technology, and achieve common development, it is imperative to reform and renovate the economic systems, structures and mechanisms while developing new technologies and new industries.
In this connection, the key lies in a full implementation of the spirit of development through multilateral cooperation in world economic affairs. All countries or regions, regardless of ethnicity, history, culture, social system and level of economic development, should respect each other, seek common ground while setting aside differences, learn from each other to offset their own weakness, coexist peacefully, work for the establishment of a new, fair and rational international political and economic order and strive for common growth and prosperity through consultations and cooperation. Here in lies not only the fundamental solution to the problems in the world economic development, but also an essential condition for development of the New Economy in the new century.
Against the backdrop of growing economic globalization, trade liberalization has attracted increasing attention. To put economic globalization and trade liberalization in their right perspective is of overarching importance to a healthy development of the global economy. They are generally conducive to world economic development. But one must not overlook that given the unevenness of global economic development, any improper handling of this process will bring a negative impact on developing countries and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In view of this, the WTO, APEC and national governments should give full regard to the interests of the "vulnerable" countries and peoples while pushing forward economic globalization and trade liberalization.
There are two possible development scenarios for the process of economic globalization and trade liberalization. If the process moves along a rational track, it may not only allocate world resources more effectively and fairly and expand the productive forces of all countries, but also promote the establishment of a global multilateral trading system and of a new, just and rational international economic order to the benefit of people of all countries. But if it should be allowed to proceed along an irrational way, it may aggravate the uneven distribution of world resources and an unbalanced economic development, widen the gap between the North and the South, sharpen the polarization between the rich and the poor and cause further environmental degradation.
Without any doubt, we should opt for and facilitate the former scenario and guard against the latter. We must carry forward the spirit of development through cooperation and vigorously strengthen economic and technical cooperation. And we must make mutually beneficial cooperation a part and parcel of economic globalization and trade liberalization so as to ensure their sound development.
The inception and growth of APEC conform to the trend of our times and testify to the spirit of development through cooperation. In a mere decade, APEC has grown to a key economic cooperation forum in the world, boasting 21 members in the Asia-Pacific, and contributing significantly to the economic development in this region and the world at large. Facts have proved that development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific needs APEC. As the most important inter-governmental mechanism for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, APEC's very existence and development help maintain regional peace and stability and promote economic growth in this region.
If APEC is to maintain and enhance its vitality, it must stick to its cooperation approach suited to the realities of this region, constantly enrich its agenda for economic cooperation in light of developments and changes, and strengthen the communication between governments and enterprises so as to benefit all its members.
China is the most populous developing country in the world. China cannot develop itself in isolation of the world, and the world also needs China for its development. We sincerely hope to see increased cooperation with all other APEC members and all the countries and regions in the world for common development. After over two decades of reform and opening up, the Chinese economy and China's overall national strength have grown substantially with an ever-expanding market. In recent years in particular, China has redoubled its efforts to expand domestic demand and imports, and it has managed to maintain the momentum of a sustained, rapid and sound economic development. China has entered a new stage of development in which it is building a well-to-do society across the country and speeding up the socialist modernization drive. China has drawn up a blueprint for development in the next five years. It will unswervingly focus on development and carry out restructuring all the way through with reform, opening up and advances in science and technology as the driving force and the improvement of the living standard of people as the fundamental objective. It will continue to promote economic growth and social progress. We have full confidence in the prospects for China's development in the new century.
After more than ten years of hard work, the negotiations on China's accession to the WTO have been concluded. China's accession will herald a new stage for China's opening up. China will participate in international economic cooperation and division of labor on a larger scale and in greater depth. With a view to effectively fulfilling its WTO obligations and commitments, China is reviewing and amending, where necessary, existing laws and regulations as required by the WTO rules. Provisions of Chinese laws inconsistent with the WTO rules or our commitments will be amended to achieve consistency. All those that may contravene the WTO rules or our commitments will be abrogated. In case of absence of laws or regulations for the WTO purpose, new legislation will be enacted. We will continue to work hard to develop with all other countries and regions in the world an economic relationship that features cooperation, mutual benefit, all-win and common prosperity.
Closer cooperation between enterprises is a major trend in the enterprise development today. Many entrepreneurs believe that although competition among enterprises is important, cooperation is even more so and that there is a bigger scope for cooperation than for competition. This is a sensible and well-grounded view. Given the development of economic globalization and the New Economy, enterprises can hardly succeed without good cooperative relations with other enterprises.
China will develop its economy further and open itself still wider to the outside world, which offers more business opportunities to overseas enterprises. Since China's reform and opening up, Chinese enterprises have vigorously undertaken Ecotech with overseas enterprises and scored tremendous achievements. While helping Chinese enterprises develop, overseas enterprises have also benefited from it, hence mutual benefit and all-win. At this APEC CEO Summit, you will discuss the important matter of world economic development and you will also discuss how to strengthen mutual cooperation. The Chinese Government stands ready to continue to offer facilities and necessary conditions for closer cooperation between Chinese enterprises and their overseas counterparts.
To conclude, I wish the Summit a complete success!