Premier Wen Jiabao Attends and Addresses the Opening Ceremony of the Second Annual Meeting of Summer Davos
The Second Annual Meeting of Summer Davos forum was officially opened at Tianjin Binhai Convention and Exhibition Center in Tianjin on the afternoon of Sept. 27, 2008. Premier Wen Jiabao attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the meeting. He stressed that reform and opening-up is a critical choice that has since shaped the course of development of contemporary China. Only by continuing reform and opening-up and unswervingly following the path of socialism with distinctive Chinese features can China have a bright future. Reform and opening-up must be carried on through the entire process of China's modernization drive.
The meeting was also attended by Chairman Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, Singapore’s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and other foreign dignitaries.
Premier Wen firstly extended warm congratulations on the opening of the World Economic Forum Summer Davos 2008 in Tianjin on behalf of the Chinese government. He said that in the 37 years since its inception, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has grown into an important platform for international exchanges and dialogues and played an active role in promoting world development and progress. Last year, the Summer Davos forum had its first successful annual meeting in Dalian, China and now it is holding this second annual meeting in Tianjin. We applaud the Forum's progress and achievements and are pleased with the deepened cooperation between China and the Forum.
Premier Wen said that this year marks the 30th anniversary of reform and opening up, which brought a fundamental change to the isolated, backward and ossified situation, which had existed in China for years. Reform and opening up freed people's minds, broke institutional barriers to development, unleashed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity of hundreds of millions of the Chinese people, injected great vigor and vitality into the nation, and greatly stimulated economic and social development. As a result, China has achieved 30 years of continued fast economic growth. Back in 1978, China's GDP accounted for only 1% of the world's total. By 2007, it was over 5%. China's share in global trade jumped from less than 1% to roughly 8% during this period. Reform and opening-up have delivered real benefits to the people, whose livelihood has undergone great changes, from lack of adequate food and clothing to moderate prosperity. More importantly, reform and opening-up have invigorated the whole society and enabled people to freely pursue a happy life through hard work, frugality and wisdom.
He also pointed out that China's changes over the past three decades would not have been possible without reform and opening-up. To meet the goals of the modernization drive and build China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious country, we must remain committed to reform and opening-up. China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come, and there are many economic and social issues that call for our attention. Only by continuing reform and opening-up and unswervingly following the path of socialism with distinctive Chinese features can China have a bright future. Reform and opening-up must be carried on through the entire process of China's modernization drive.
Wen stressed that China will continue to deepen economic reform. We will further improve the basic economic system and market system, deepen reform of the fiscal, taxation and banking systems and improve the macro-economic regulation system. We will continue to promote political restructuring and reform in other aspects. We will not only improve people's lives by developing economy, but also protect their rights by improving democracy and legal systems and achieve social equity and justice. We will further deepen and broaden opening-up. China's opening-up is long-term, all-directional and beneficial to all. We will stick to all those policies that facilitate opening-up. With a better system, a dynamic society, sustained and steady development and greater openness, China will not only bring more benefits to the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also make greater contribution to world peace and development.
Premier Wen said that 2008 was the most difficult year for China's economy in recent years. We have overcome difficulties one after another and maintained the momentum of steady and fast economic growth. In short, the economic fundamentals in China remain unchanged and the economy is moving in the direction envisaged in the macro-economic control policy.
However, all these are difficulties that have occurred in the course of our development. There are many favorable conditions for China to maintain sustained and fast growth. China is in the stage of rapid industrialization and urbanization and has huge potentials for economic growth. The important period of strategic opportunities for China's development will last quite a long time. We have full confidence and capability to overcome various difficulties and ensure sound and fast growth of the national economy for an even longer period of time.
After the address, Premier Wen took the questions from the audience.
Zhang Gaoli, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee also attended the opening ceremony. More than 1300 participants from political, business, academic and media circles of nearly 90 countries and regions attended the meeting. The theme of the meeting is “Next Wave of Growth” and the theme is supported by the following five pillars: Going Global, Managing Risks, Drivers of Future Growth, Technology and Innovation: The Next Wave and China as a Global Player. The meeting will focus upon discussing important issues such as methodologies for the new generation of fast-growing multinationals to cope with current economic challenges and future opportunities.
WEF was founded by Klaus Schwab in 1971 and based in Geneva, Switzerland. It hosts its annual meeting at the beginning of each year in Davos, Switzerland. The annual meeting of Summer Davos forum was the global meeting held by WEF outside Davos. This year’s meeting was supported by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and hosted in Tianjin.