APEC Urged to Play Key Role Guiding Economic Globalization

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum should play a key role in setting the economic globalization along the path of "seeking benefit while avoiding damage" and serving common development of all countries, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said.

Members of the region's flagship economic body should endorse and encourage their businesses to actively participate in diversified co-operations, so as to boost the regional economic expansion, Jiang said Wednesday.

Addressing a luncheon for the APEC 2000 CEO Summit in the Bruneian capital, Jiang said that with the dawning of a new millennium, global residents, leaders as well as entrepreneurs are facing an imminent task of how to achieve healthy, stable and common progress in the 21st century.

The ever enlarging disparities between developed and underprivileged nations called for world leaders to fully review the economic globalization process and enhance its management and correct orientation, he told the CEO gathering, which is a forerunner to the APEC Leaders' Informal Summit scheduled to open Thursday.

Noting that economic globalization is instrumental to stimulating the optimal allocation of capital, technology, knowledge and other factors of production in a global context, Jiang said the process has brought about fresh challenges to an overwhelming number of developing countries, in addition to new development opportunities.

With the advanced nations dominating the globalization procedure, the world has witnessed the developing countries grapple in dire straits for development, while their wealth gap with the developed countries is ever widening, said the Chinese president.

He said the status quo is detrimental to the sound growth of the global economy.

It also may undermine the regional and global peace and stability. 'All-win' globalization economic globalization featuring equality, reciprocity and coexistence amongst all countries," Jiang said.

As the flagship regional economic forum, APEC has the capability and obligation to carry forward the process of economic globalization along the track of common development, he said.

Praising that the theme chosen for this year's CEO Summit -- "getting back to basics: Revitalizing and Refocusing APEC's Business Agenda" is a very important topic, Jiang said all APEC members should attach due importance to it and earnestly boost business development of the region.

Though not a regional organization with actual administrative functions, APEC can play an important role in maintaining the regional market openness by defining objectives, fixing timetables and formulating action agendas to prod regional trade and investment liberalization and promote regional economic and technological links, he said.

Co-operation stressed "APEC should create a better environment for economic and technological co-operation for the region's business communities, which in turn also should augment their roles in promoting the business agenda in the fields such as e-commerce, technological development co-operation and transfer," he said.

He also said the developing members of APEC should highlight introduction of foreign capital and technology and further tap their own human resources potentials.

They also should enhance the innovation capability of their enterprises. China has forged increasingly close relations with other members of APEC since it joined the regional body in 1991, noted Jiang, promising that his country will continue to play a "more active and constructive role" in APEC in the years ahead.

The Asia-Pacific region is China's major foreign trade market and source for its foreign capital, according to Jiang. China's trade with APEC members totalled US$223.829 billion in the first eight months of this year, up 35.1 per cent, indicated the latest statistics from the General Administration of Customs.

Jiang also gave a snapshot of China's economic development by mentioning that 80 per cent of the world top 500 trans-national corporations have started businesses in China, and saying that the country is well on course for more achievements in its reform and opening-up drive.

"The new century will see a more open China," Jiang told the world top business executives, adding the country will underpin exchange and co-operation with the rest of the world in economic, trade and technical spheres and contribute to the economic advancement in the world, and the Asia-Pacific region in particular.

In a dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council members yesterday afternoon, Jiang said it was his consistent understanding that APEC should prioritize both trade and investment liberalization and economic and technology co-operation.

He also said he fully consent and appreciate that the APEC council's statement that the general public should have access to the achievements and opportunities brought about by technological advancement.

(China Daily 11/15/2000)

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