Dear Colleagues, I am very pleased to be with you all in Shanghai in this golden season of autumn to discuss economic cooperation in the Asia- Pacific region. On behalf of the Chinese Government and people and in my own name, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you.
We, the APEC economic leaders, have a historical mission to fulfill: We must adopt a forward-looking approach and formulate, through discussion, a common development strategy that is responsive to the development requirements of the new century in the interest of promoting growth and prosperity in the Asia- Pacific.
At the first APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in 1993, I said that what kind of world was to be brought into the 21st century was a crucial issue that we leaders of this generation must carefully think about and address. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, we have found the world situation and that of the Asia- Pacific both encouraging and worrying.
On the one hand, peace and development remain the theme of our times. Economic globalization is developing in depth. Science and technology are advancing with each passing day and high-tech industries are booming. All this has offered us new opportunities for achieving national economic growth and improving our peoples' lives.
On the other hand, development is uneven in the Asia-Pacific and throughout the world. The gap between the rich and the poor still exists. The "digital divide" is widening. Since early this year, some major economies in our region have witnessed a sluggish demand and a slow-down in their growth, which has affected trade and financial stability. The September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, in particular, have produced serious consequences.
All in all, there are both challenges and opportunities ahead. We should work together, take actions, seize opportunities, and rise to the challenges so as to promote greater economic growth of our region in the new century. This is a major responsibility for us leaders of the region. To strengthen cooperation so that all APEC member economies may benefit from economic globalization and scientific and technological progress should be an objective for APEC to strive for. How to take concrete and effective measures to bolster confidence and realize recovery and growth -- this is a pressing issue for this Meeting to address.
The Asia-Pacific region, in the long run, will remain economically the most dynamic part of the world. It will surely usher in a new phase of development if all the countries and regions pull together in times of trouble to overcome difficulties. It is in the common interests of APEC that all its member economies enhance coordination in macro policies, deepen economic restructuring, stabilize financial markets and create a sound overall environment for economic recovery and sustainable development. Developed members are the major beneficiaries of economic globalization and an important force for worldwide economic growth. Therefore, they should lose no time in adopting further measures to restore market confidence, expand demand and promote an early recovery and development of the regional and global economy. They also have the obligation to help lift developing members out of the current difficulties at an early date, which will in turn facilitate their own sustainable development.
APEC must give firm support to the multilateral trading system, strengthen Ecotech and try to attain the Bogor Goals of realizing trade and investment liberalization before 2010 for developed members and 2020 for developing members. Globalization will grow smoothly and the world economy develop in a sustained and steady manner only when most members of the international community can reap the benefit. The New Economy will bring its potential to the full only when all the members and all sectors of the society participate in it.
To this end, enhancing Ecotech with emphasis on human capacity building and promoting a coordinated development of Ecotech on the one hand and trade and investment liberalization on the other will be an effective way. Human resources are the most valuable. Human capacity building meets our long-term as well as immediate needs. It has now become one of the core areas of APEC cooperation, an area that members enjoy the broadest consensus and the best foundation for closer cooperation. We should translate the strategic choice into strategic action, advancing it steadily and seeking practical results. Governments of member economies must take up their responsibility. At the same time, efforts should be made to mobilize the business and academic communities and bring their enthusiasm and creativity into full play.
Last May, China and Brunei jointly hosted in Beijing the APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building. The meeting adopted the Beijing Initiative, advocating a tripartite partnership among governments, educational and academic circles and business communities. It represents a useful effort not only for human capacity building but also for Ecotech in wider areas.
To implement the consensus of the Beijing Meeting, the Chinese Government has, in cooperation with some internationally well-known IT firms and educational institutions, launched a follow-up project to the Beijing Initiative. The three-faceted project includes the training of IT specialists, dissemination of Internet knowledge and establishment of a Human Capacity Building Forum. In the next three years, 1,500 high-level Internet specialists will be trained for APEC members free of charge on its on-line training platform. In addition, the Chinese Government will earmark US$2 million for the launch of the "APEC Finance and Development Project" in Shanghai, a project designed to train more financial professionals and enhance APEC members' capacity for a sustainable economic growth.
To meet challenges of the new century, APEC should play a bigger role in promoting regional economic growth and prosperity in light of the realities of the region and the requirements of our times. As the top-level inter-governmental forum for economic cooperation in this region, APEC has contributed significantly to economic development in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large. The APEC Approach, featuring such principles as consensus and voluntarism, tallies with the reality of diversity of the region and holds the key to the success of its member economies through closer cooperation. APEC must build on these successes and give a new dimension to its intensified cooperation in the future.
-- APEC should always stand at the forefront of regional and global economic development, adapt itself to the latest economic situation and characteristics in the region and the world and play an important guiding role in addressing the acute economic problems therein.
-- APEC should take firmer steps toward the Bogor Goals on the basis of respect for diversity and, at the same time, help develop the multilateral trading system in line with the principle of " open regionalism".
-- APEC should develop in a way that reflects the broadest common interests of all its members and adopt more effective cooperation modalities to narrow the gap between its members so as to enhance their cohesion. This is the only way for APEC to remain dynamic and attain the goal of common prosperity for all its members.
I am confident that with the concerted efforts of all its members, APEC will make ever greater achievements through cooperation and participation.
China will, as always, commit itself to reform, opening-up and modernization drive. China has entered a new stage of development, a stage in which it is building a well-to-do society throughout the country and speeding up socialist modernization. We are implementing the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) for the National Economic and Social Development. Guided by this plan, we 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 people's living standards as the fundamental objective. We will continue to promote economic growth and social progress.
China will take a more active part in regional and global economic and technical cooperation. Once inside the WTO, China will strictly comply with the universally acknowledged market rules, implement open, transparent and equality-based policies of trade and investment and endeavor to promote a multi-directional and multi-level opening-up in a wide range of areas. A China that enjoys stability, growth and progress will make even greater contribution to peace and development in the region and the world at large.
Dear Colleagues, APEC has pioneered an effective cooperation modality that galvanizes growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. It will continue to forge ahead, with its members working in mutual trust and closer cooperation.
A peaceful and stable environment is indispensable for sustained economic growth. Terrorism is a scourge that undermines stability. It is therefore a common task for people throughout the world to fight terrorism. Let us join hands in creating a regional and international environment in which people of all countries will enjoy success, peace and prosperity.