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Speech by President Jiang Zemin at APEC CEO Summit

2001/08/10

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!

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