Chinese President Jiang Zemin read to the press the Leaders' Declaration of the Ninth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting in Shanghai on Sunday afternoon.
"We, as APEC Economic Leaders, have just had our first meeting in the twenty-first century. In many ways, this meeting has taken place at a crucial moment, a moment of great hope as well as imposing challenges. Certain of the vast potential of our region, we have resolved to meet those challenges and achieve common prosperity through broad participation and close cooperation.
As a top priority, we reviewed the global and regional economic situation. Here is our clear message for the market: We have full confidence in the medium and long-term growth prospects for the Asia-Pacific. Our confidence is grounded in the belief that the fundamentals in our economies remain sound. We did recognize, however, that the current slowdown has dampened the short-term outlook for the region, and that the downside risks have been increased by the impact of the terrorist attack on the US on September 11th. There is consensus among us that APEC must act to reverse the downturn.
We undertook to adopt pro-growth policies not only to tide over the current difficulties but also to build a stronger foundation for sustained growth and broad-based development. We agreed that it is particularly important for major economies to act quickly and decisively to stabilize markets, boost global demand and facilitate an early pick-up in global economic activity. And we further agreed on the need for accelerated structural reform.
The slowdown underlines, above all, the imperative of APEC staying its course towards more open and stronger economies. We thus renewed our support for APEC as the primary forum for regional economic cooperation in the Asia Pacific.
We are determined to ensure that all individuals in our communities benefit from the opportunities of globalization and the New Economy. We emphasized that economic and technical cooperation and capacity building is instrumental to achieve that objective. We endorsed the Beijing Initiative adopted at the High-Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building and called for its implementation, said the Chinese president.
We also delivered a long-term, forward-looking and action-oriented e-APEC Strategy for the development of the New Economy. It stresses the better and wider use of advances in information and communications technology. Its goal is to build APEC towards a digital society, with higher growth, more jobs and better qualities of life.
We reaffirmed our unyielding commitment to free and open trade and investment both within our region and globally, and resolved to work together to fight against protectionism in all forms. We strongly support an open, equitable and rules-based Multilateral Trading System, and the launch of the WTO new round at the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference. This has assumed added urgency in the context of the current slowdown. In this connection, we applauded the impending accession of China and others to the WTO. This historic step will not only make WTO a truly world organization but also reinforce the underpinnings for global economic cooperation.
We realized that given the challenges we face, we must remain fully committed to APEC's Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for developed economies and 2020 for developing economies. We reaffirmed our faith in the unique APEC Approach, We also recognized that APEC must advance with the times. Its dynamism lies in responding and adapting to changes in the world and regional economy.
To this end, we announce today the Shanghai Accord as a strategic, forward agenda for the development of APEC in the coming years. The Accord not only voices our common resolve to fulfill our commitments, it also stands as a template laying out some key steps towards our Goals and Objectives. In the Shanghai Accord, we commit to:
-- First, broadening APEC's vision for the future by setting up a conceptual and policy framework to guide APEC in the new century;
-- Second, clarifying APEC's roadmap for the Bogor Goals by broadening and updating the Osaka Action Agenda, adopting a new pathfinder approach whereby those that are ready can take the lead in advancing APEC initiatives, promoting appropriate trade policies for the New Economy, following up on the APEC Trade Facilitation Principles and pursuing greater transparency in economic governance; and
-- Third, strengthening APEC's implementation mechanism with a stronger IAP Peer Review process and greater Ecotech and capacity building efforts.
In view of the gravity of the terrorist attack on the United States, we went out of our way to discuss the issue of counter-terrorism in the course of our meeting. We condemned in the strongest term the attack as an affront to peace, prosperity and security of all people, of all faiths, of every nation. We vowed to strengthen our cooperation at the United Nations and other organizations like APEC to mitigate the impact on our economies, and to prevent and stop future terrorist acts in any form and anywhere in the world.
Let me conclude by sharing with you this strong belief we cherish among APEC Leaders: With our concerted efforts, the vision we set here today will no doubt come to full fruition. APEC will grow into a closer and stronger partnership for building a thriving Asia-Pacific community."
Attending the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting are Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos Escobar, Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Mekere Morauta, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, US President George W. Bush and Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai.
(China Daily 10/21/2001)