Deepen Mutually Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development
Remarks by H.E. Hu Jintao President of the People's Republic of China At the 18th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting
14 November 2010, Yokohama
Prime Minister Naoto Kan,
It gives me great pleasure to join you in Yokohama for discussions on promoting economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.
As a result of the concerted action of the international community, the world economy is slowly recovering. Yet the recovery is neither firmly established nor balanced, and there exist significant uncertainties. The Asia-Pacific region on the whole enjoys good momentum of development and has become the main driving force behind the sustainable recovery and growth of the world economy. At the same time, however, our region also faces some difficulties and challenges. Advanced economies have to cope with serious unemployment problems, while emerging market economies are confronted with asset price bubbles and inflationary pressure. The least developed economies are in serious difficulties. Economic restructuring remains a daunting task for all APEC members. Moreover, protectionism in various forms has risen notably. Many global challenges, such as climate change, food security, energy and resource security, public health security and major natural disasters, have become more pronounced. To safeguard the achievements of economic development, we need to make strenuous efforts.
We need to adapt to the changing global and regional economic situation and scientifically analyze the pressing problems and long-term requirements of world economic growth. It is essential to study the trajectory of economic growth, explore new concept, and transform the growth pattern to resolve difficulties and raise its quality and efficiency. We should work hard to solve the acute problems in economic and social development, address major issues bearing on the immediate interests of the people and strive for sound and fast economic development of the Asia-Pacific region at a higher level. To this end, I propose we focus efforts on the following aspects:
First, promote balanced growth to create conditions for long-term economic development. We should seek both balanced growth of different regions and industries within a member economy and balanced growth among all member economies. We should increase input to help developing members achieve their full potential and narrow the North-South gap. We should move towards more rational division of labor, more balanced financial and trade structure, more efficient allocation of resources and more equitable sharing of benefits. All this will contribute to balanced and coordinated global economic growth.
Second, advocate inclusive growth to boost the internal dynamism of economic development. We should focus on economic development, uphold social equity and justice and adhere to the people-first principle so that all countries, regions and groups can benefit from economic globalization and development. We should follow the guideline of prioritizing human resources development, implement development strategies conducive to full employment, improve the quality and competence of the labor force and speed up the building of a sustainable social security network. The aim is to get people involved in development, protect their interests and enable them to benefit from development.
Third, bolster sustainable growth to strive for long-term economic development. We should emphasize sustainable growth, which includes not only resource and environmental sustainability but also sustainability of fiscal, monetary, trade and industrial policies and the reduction of macroeconomic volatility and risks. We should implement responsible macroeconomic policies and ensure medium- and long-term fiscal sustainability. We should coordinate economic development, social development and environmental protection and move towards low-carbon growth. We should actively address the climate challenge, energetically develop green economy and foster new sources of economic growth. China proposes to hold the first APEC Forestry Ministerial Meeting to advance region-wide cooperation on forestry. We also call for closer cooperation on the APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Project to step up collaboration in conserving energy, reducing emissions and raising energy efficiency. I hope these proposals will have your active participation.
Fourth, encourage innovative growth to provide impetus for economic development. Innovation is a boost, as well as a guide, to development. We should create an enabling environment for innovation by improving the system of technological innovation and increasing input in research and development. This will see a gush of innovative ideas and talents in all areas. We should facilitate the cultivation and movement of innovative and high-skilled people, who can provide strong human capital and scientific and technological support to economic development, and promote a shift towards innovation-driven growth. Developed members of APEC should scale up technology transfer and help developing members build capacity for innovative growth.
Fifth, ensure secure growth to protect the results of economic development. We should work together to deepen exchanges and cooperation on counter-terrorism, disaster prevention and reduction, food security, energy and resources security and public health security. Policy coordination and dialogue, experience sharing and technical assistance on these non-traditional security threats can help create a secure, benign and convenient environment for regional economic and social development and people's livelihood and safeguard the safety and well-being of the people in our region.
This year has special significance for APEC, as it is the deadline we set in 1994 for the industrialized economies among us to achieve the Bogor Goals. Since then, our organization has actively promoted trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, accelerated regional economic integration and strengthened economic and technical cooperation in keeping with the spirit of the Bogor Goals. All this has played an important role in narrowing the development gap between the member economies and promoting the common prosperity of us all. The international and regional situation has changed a lot in the past 16 years, but we have stayed united in our common, unwavering resolve to attain the Bogor Goals and never slackened our efforts. We have built consensus over time, and moved forward step by step. We have respected the diversity of member economies, accommodated the comfort level of all parties, appropriately handled differences and advanced cooperation in various areas in a flexible and pragmatic manner. We have overcome the many difficulties and challenges on the way. We have successfully dealt with the negative impact of the Asian financial crisis and the ongoing global financial crisis, managed various risks and challenges and maintained steady and fast economic development in the region. We have broken new ground in tune with the changing times, adopted new ideas, improved the methods, enriched the content and improved the quality of our cooperation, thus enabling APEC to handle effectively new issues and tasks concerning regional economic development.
APEC should continue to uphold the spirit of the Bogor Goals, adapt to the changing situation and actively tackle new challenges, leverage its own strengths and further improve itself. It can play a bigger role in the following areas:
First, further promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and accelerate regional economic integration. Trade and investment liberalization and facilitation is an engine of economic development in the Asia Pacific. We should use this year's Bogor Goals Assessment as an opportunity to advance cooperation in this area and move faster towards unimpeded flow of goods, services, people and capital in our region. We need to take concrete measures against protectionism in all its forms and renew and fulfill our pledge to refrain from setting new barriers to goods, investment and services. We need to uphold the mandate of the Doha Round, lock in the progress already made and work for comprehensive and balanced outcomes of the Doha Round negotiations on the basis of the existing negotiating text so as to achieve the goals of the development round at an early date. China supports the acceleration of in-depth studies on the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific and incremental progress toward this goal at different levels, in various areas and through multiple channels.
Second, expeditiously implement the APEC Growth Strategy and improve the quality of economic growth. The Growth Strategy to be adopted at this meeting sets out the principles and guidelines for the economic development of our region in the years to come. We need to fully appreciate its significance and implement it in a proactive and determined manner. We can do so through policy exchange, capacity building and cooperative projects. And we can adjust and improve the Strategy as we implement it and review relevant experience. While strengthening coordination and forming synergy between various APEC institutions, we also need to step up cooperation with G20 and other mechanisms to complement each other's strengths in the interest of speedy economic recovery and growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
Third, increase economic and technical cooperation to strengthen developing members' capacity for development and their internal sources of growth. Closer economic and technical cooperation and narrowing development gap is the prerequisite for development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Human resources are the primary resource in economic and social development. It is therefore important to intensify cooperation in this area. With a view to helping other developing members in human resources capability building, China has decided to undertake the APEC Skills Development Promotion Project with other member economies and to establish an APEC Skills Development Promotion Center. We look forward to the support and participation of other APEC members in this regard.
Over the past few years, China has been striving for people-centered, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development. We have worked to transform the economic development pattern in our efforts to maintain steady and fast growth of the economy. We have adopted a pro-employment development strategy, pushed forward the reform of the income distribution system, and expedited the building of a social security network covering both urban and rural areas. We have intensified energy and resources conservation and environment protection, enhanced capacity for sustainable development and moved ahead on the path of sustainable development. We have strengthened our innovation capacity, worked to build an innovative country and promoted innovative development. We have enhanced the role of agriculture as the foundation of the economy and ensured food security for the nation. We have dealt with major natural disasters and public health emergencies, protected the health and safety of our people, and striven for safe development. We are committed to the scientific approach to development, a concept in tune with the trend of economic globalization. By embracing scientific ideas, an open strategy, the method of coordination and a win-win approach, we can meet the goal of greater productivity, prosperous lives and sound eco-environment.
At the same time, we are soberly aware that China is a country with a large population, weak economic foundation and uneven development between urban and rural areas and among different regions. It faces increasing resources and environmental constraints, mounting employment pressure and a long battle to eradicate poverty. China has drawn up a blueprint for its economic and social development for the next five years. We will continue to follow the scientific approach to development and focus on accelerating transformation of the economic development pattern in our endeavor to deepen reform and opening-up, safeguard and improve people's livelihood and ensure the steady, fast and long-term growth of the economy. China is willing to learn from, cooperate on an equal footing and work together with other members to realize common development. China remains committed to the basic state policy of reform and opening-up, the win-win strategy of opening-up and the regional policy of building good-neighborliness and friendship. We will unswervingly develop an open economy and remain actively engaged in international and regional cooperation. We will continue to grow our relations with other APEC members, and work with them to build a regional environment featuring peace, stability, equality, trust and win-win cooperation and contribute to the building of a harmonious Asia Pacific of enduring peace and common prosperity.