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Think-tank Highlights China's Global Role
A group of world's top economics experts have said China, the fastest growing developing country, will be the most vibrant area in the global economy for years to come.

This was the consensus reached at the 2001 International Think-Tank Forum that closed over the weekend in Shenzhen, south China's leading special economic zone.

Hundreds of renowned economists, academics, senior officials and entrepreneurs from around the world attended the forum to discuss a theme of Asia and new economy.

The new economy, in which information is the major growth engine, has become a golden opportunity for developing countries such as China to close the gap with industrialized countries, said Joseph Stiglitz, former vice-president of the World Bank and famous economist.

Stiglitz claimed closing the gap was "the real and ultimate aim in developing the new economy."

China has made significant progress in financial and pension system reforms over the past few years, the economist said, but he added that the country should continue innovating if it wishes to realize the industrialization.

Stiglitz's remarks were echoed by Kenneth Courtis, vice-president of Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific.

The key issue for China is to remain devoted to heroic reforms of the capital market, labor market and innovation market, Courtis noted. He said flexible capital, job creation and pioneering technology were the indispensable factors for continued growth in the new economy.

Speaking on the role of government, Marguerite Hancock, a professor with Stanford University, said China's leaders should shoulder the responsibility to build up a favorable environment and act as the policy-maker rather than the controller.

"It is unwise for government to tie up resources and support companies that are going bankrupt," she said.

In Hancock's opinion, entrepreneurship, along with industrial innovation, is key for establishment and expansion of a local high-tech industry, something many Chinese cities are trying to establish.

Convinced talented people are crucial to the new economy, Hancock pointed out that developing countries should lavish attention on educational reform.

(China Daily 06/18/2001)

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