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China Deserves World's Attention: WEF Official
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As the world's fourth largest economy, China deserves all the attention it is getting from the world, said Lee Howell, head of Asian affairs at the World Economic Forum (WEF).


Howell made the remark in an interview with Xinhua about the upcoming China Business Summit.


The summit, held annually in China since 1981, is an event jointly held by the WEF and China Enterprise Confederation. This year's session will last from September 10 to 11.


"China should be used to getting a lot of attention from the world," said Howell, adding that some big issues in China are of great significance to the world.


With regard to the close economic links between the United States and China, Howell said that a slowdown in the US economy could have a knock-on effect on China which sends nearly 40 percent of its exports to the United States.


Again, if China was to relinquish some of its US dollar foreign reserves holdings, the effect would be significant not just for the United States but for the global economy, said Howell.


The world needs to know about the problems China is facing, the path China is following, the way China handles its problems, the reasons which underlie China's economic and social choices, and the effects of its decisions on the world, he said.


Howell had studied the development projects for the five years from 2006 to 2010 contained in the Chinese government's 11th Five-Year Plan.


China's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded US$1000 in 2003. However, to realize its ambitious goal of tripling per capita GDP in the next 15 years, China has to reinvent its growth model, he said.


The 11th Five-Year Plan provides a governmental perspective on China's future development, he said, explaining why the theme of this year's summit on China's business is "Sustainable Growth through Innovation: China's Creative Imperative."


The China Business Summit is not the only top-level forum the WEF is interested in. In June this year, the WEF set up a Beijing office - its first office outside Switzerland - and is planning to create another brand in China starting 2007 after the famous annual global event in Davos of Switzerland.


The new event, held annually, will not be a copy of the famous WEF summits in Davos which attract a top-drawer audience of businessmen, political and media leaders to discuss issues on the global agenda. Instead, the WEF's new annual China summit will focus on companies that have the potential to be future multinationals, said Howell.


"We chose Beijing for our first overseas office because we believe many future multinationals will come from China as well as from Russia, India and Brazil," he said.


(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2006)


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