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APEC Youth Forum Opens in Shanghai

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group opened its first youth forum - the APEC Young Leaders/Entrepreneurs Forum - Wednesday in Shanghai as part of the new APEC Youth Festival, which runs until Friday.

President Jiang Zemin sent a congratulatory letter Wednesday to the organizers of the festival.

In his letter, Jiang said, given the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, it is a wise and far-sighted move on the part of APEC to focus on fostering young people in order to ensure the improvement of human resources and the viability of sustainable development and prosperity in Asia.

The gathering of youth representatives from APEC member economies to share experiences and deliberate on how to promote common prosperity is a meaningful event, the president said.

Jiang added that he believes the forum will become an important arena for talented young people from the Asia-Pacific region to expand knowledge, foster creative ideas and pursue economic cooperation.

The forum was jointly proposed by the Chinese and Canadian governments and approved at the 12th APEC Ministerial Meeting in Brunei last year.

The three-day forum, one of a series of APEC conferences being hosted by China this year, was attended by more than 230 young entrepreneurs, scholars and officials from 21 APEC member economies.

Thursday's young people will play an increasingly important role in scientific and technological innovation and enterprise management, especially in the development of human resources, said Zhou Qiang, first secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

Now more than ever, young leaders have the capacity to develop coherent strategies that will determine the face and speed of change in APEC member economies, he added.

Zhou said it is necessary to establish a multi-level cooperation system within the APEC member economies among the youth.

Some 75 percent of the world's population will be under 30 years of age by 2010, according to sources of Shanghai Youth Federation. APEC represents half of the world's population and 60 per cent of its economic outcome.

The forum was jointly organized by the All-China Youth Federation and the Canadian Institute for Leadership Development.

(China Daily 07/12/2001)

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