President Jiang Zemin said in Hong Kong Tuesday that opening-up to the outside world is a major decision China has made to advance its modernization drive and also its long-term basic state policy.
Jiang made the remark at the dinner for the opening of the Fortune Global Forum 2001 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, sponsored by AOL Time Warner. Jiang flew from Beijing to Hong Kong Tuesday morning to attend the forum.
The theme of the three-day annual event is Next Generation Asia, which Jiang said is of great significance, for Asia's development "bears on the development and prosperity of all countries and regions not only in this continent but also worldwide."
Extending warm welcome, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, to all those participating in the forum, Jiang said China will continue to develop its foreign trade vigorously and more effectively implement the strategy of diversifying market and expanding trade on the strength of quality and through science and technology, so as to increase import and export of both goods and services.
China will stick to the policy of making active, rational and effective use of foreign capital, continue to improve its investment climate and attract more foreign capital, and explore various ways to put foreign capital to better use, such as acquisition, merging, investment fund and equity investment, he said.
The president said China will open wider to the outside world, both sectorwise and geographically. It will phase-in the liberalization of such service sectors as banking, insurance, telecommunications and trade, and promote the opening-up in its mid-west. Meanwhile, China will work hard on e-commerce, accelerate the process of informatization, and support enterprises in applying modern information network technology to international cooperation and exchanges.
Jiang said that China will take an active part in the multilateral trading system as well as regional and international economic cooperation and develop its bilateral and multilateral trading ties in an all-round manner.
Following its entry into the World Trade Organization, China will steadily expand its opening-up program in terms of commodity and services trade, and create a level playing field for a fair and transparent competition between Chinese and overseas enterprises, Jiang said.
China will also establish and improve a foreign trade regime that is consistent with international practice and that suits China's own national conditions, and provides the overseas enterprises with more and stable accesses to the Chinese market so as to facilitate economic cooperation and trade between China and other countries.
Jiang reiterated that "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong," a high degree of autonomy and maintenance of the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong are the established principles and policies of the Chinese government.
Facts have proved that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government with Tung Chee Hwa as its chief executive has the wisdom and capabilities to cope with complicated situations and that Hong Kong people can manage Hong Kong well, the president said.
Jiang said peace and development are the themes of the times. People across the world should join hands in advancing the lofty cause of peace and development of mankind.
Gerald M. Levin, chief executive officer of AOL Time Warner, and Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR, delivered welcoming addresses, prior to Jiang's speech.
Those who were also present at the dinner included Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and his wife Zhou Hanqiong, principal officials of the Hong Kong SAR government, heads of the central government agencies in Hong Kong, and representatives from Hong Kong's business circles.
The annual Fortune Global Forum provides a forum for the world' s business circles to discuss issues of common interest. Shanghai hosted the 1999 Forum very successfully.
The current Forum in Hong Kong witnessed the participation of more than 700 people including chairmen, presidents and CEOs of more than 200 foreign consortiums and of 150 Hong Kong enterprises, heads of over 60 large Chinese companies, and more than 20 ministry-level officials from the Chinese mainland.
More than 1,300 Chinese and foreign reporters are in Hong Kong to cover the Forum.