Chinese President Jiang Zemin on Sunday gave a press conference after the conclusion of the Ninth APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.
Jiang said the meeting was successfully concluded, adding it was the first gathering of the APEC community since the beginning of the new century and the most important meeting of leaders of the Asia-Pacific region after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
During the meeting, leaders of APEC member economies, focusing on 'Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation,' had an in-depth exchange of views on the current macroeconomic situation, the negative impact of the September 11 Incident on economic development, human capacity building and future development of APEC, and reached a broad consensus and issued a Leaders' Declaration, Jiang said.
The meeting has attained all its expected goals, he said. APEC members are satisfied with the achievements of the meeting, believing that it is a meeting of great significance and far- reaching impact, he said.
The meeting represents a solid step forward in the Asia-Pacific cooperation process and has strengthened APEC members' confidence and resolve to overcome their current economic difficulties and to restore global economic growth, he said.
The meeting has adopted the Shanghai Accord, reaffirming APEC members' determination to achieve the Bogor Goals and seek common prosperity, he said. This will exert a profound and far-reaching impact on the future development of APEC and will facilitate a sustained economic development in the Asia-Pacific region, the president said.
The meeting has also adopted an e-APEC Strategy, which will help promote the information and telecom industries of APEC members and narrow the "digital divide" existing between the members, Jiang said.
The meeting has identified human capacity building as a major item on APEC agenda in the near future, Jiang said. All members are committed to establish a new type of cooperation mechanism between governments, business community, and educational and academic communities, he said.
As the host of APEC 2001, China has initiated a Human Capacity Building Promotion Program and the Chinese Government has earmarked a special fund for the launch of an APEC Finance and Development Project, both are aimed to promote substantive cooperation among APEC members, Jiang said, Jiang said.
This meeting has enhanced friendly relations and cooperation among APEC members, Jiang said. During the meeting, he had separate meetings with leaders of the United States, Russia and ASEAN member states, he said. Moreover, APEC leaders also exchanged views on anti-terrorism and the maintenance of world peace and stability. All the leaders strongly condemn terrorist activities in all forms, and agree to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism, Jiang said.
Jiang said this meeting has offered an opportunity for the world to know China better and for China to further engage the world. Government officials and business leaders of APEC members, who are gathered here in Shanghai, have acquired a deeper understanding of China's reform, opening up and modernization drive, he said. China, for its part, will embrace the world with greater openness and strengthen its exchange and cooperation with other APEC members and all countries and regions in the world, he said.
Asked about what opportunities and challenges the APEC meetings has brought about to China's reform and opening up drive and what role the meetings will play in promoting the WTO talks, Jiang said that China's hosting APEC meetings and upcoming entry into the WTO demonstrates its stand on actively participation in regional and world economic cooperation.
The convening of the APEC meetings in China has provided a good opportunity for the country to further participate in regional economic cooperation, to learn the experience of other APEC members and to promote its reform and opening up drive, Jiang said. Upon China's WTO accession, its foreign trade and economic cooperation will enter a new stage.
Jiang said participation in economic cooperation in the Asia- Pacific region and accession to the WTO also mean that China will shoulder corresponding obligations while enjoying due rights and that China will face new challenges in certain aspects.
He said China is confident in making continued improvement and progress and contributing to global and Asia-Pacific economic cooperation by deepening reform and opening wider to the other parts of the world.
APEC has been devoted to strengthening and improving the global multilateral trading system, Jiang said, the APEC meetings demonstrated a strong support for the launch of a new round of WTO talks. As APEC economies account for more than half of the world economy, a consensus reached in this regard will play an important part in promoting a new WTO round, he said.
Answering a question about regional and global economic situation, Jiang said that the economic situation of the Asia- Pacific region and the world was a major topic at this year's APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.
The leaders are optimistic about the prospects of the medium- and long-term economic development of the Asia-Pacific region, and have expressed willingness to strengthen cooperation and take necessary measures to overcome the current difficulties, restore confidence in the market, and make joint efforts for economic recovery and growth, Jiang said, adding that all these are included in the APEC Economic Leaders' Declaration.
Jiang said that the leaders also pledge to firmly support the multilateral trading system and the APEC process of cooperation, promote the launch of a new round of the World Trade Organization talks at an early date, enhance financial cooperation, and take solid steps toward the realization of the Bogor Goals.
This is of positive significance to restoring market confidence under the current circumstances, Jiang said.
(China Daily 10/22/2001)