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Forbes: Keep Yuan Stable

Steve Forbes, president and editor-in-chief of Forbes, yesterday said that China needs to keep the renminbi rate stable despite international pressure to let the currency float.

"Changing the currency value is of little long-term benefit to the global economy," Forbes said at a news conference yesterday afternoon at the opening of the three-day 2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference.

Governments should focus not on currencies but on removing barriers to economic growth trends, such as export taxes, the publisher and former US presidential candidate said.

Those who speculate on a big revaluation of RMB will be "very disappointed," he noted when commenting on the huge amounts of "hot money" rushing into the Chinese mainland.

"That hot money's gonna turn cold," said Forbes, who is known for his accurate economic forecasts.

He also predicted China has the potential to maintain its strong economic growth in the coming years and noted Chinese entrepreneurs, especially those from the private sector, will play an "increasingly critical role" in the global business arena.

The fact that Forbes has chosen Shanghai to host the event is testimony to the growing importance of the Chinese market to the global economy.

His words were echoed by top Shanghai officials.

"The gathering of all these top-level corporate leaders indicates the global business community's confidence in the future development of China and Shanghai," said Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said.

The conference, which is being held for the first time on the Chinese mainland, has attracted more than 400 regional and global CEOs and business leaders.

With the theme - Energizing Global Business: the China Factor - the conference is to cover topics such as the Global Economy, Made in China and Exported to the World, the Mystery of Capitalism, A Conversation about Leadership, Banks and the Capital Markets in China, and China's Entrepreneurs.

This is the third time the conference has been held in Asia. In 2001 and 2002, it was staged in Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively. It will be held again in Hong Kong next year.

(China Daily September 17, 2003)

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