Asia Must Adapt to New Economy and Globalization: Official

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region must make timely adaptation to their strategies and enhance cooperation if they are to prosper or even survive in the age of the New Economy and globalization, senior Chinese official Yu Xiaosong said.

Yu, chair of the organizing committee of the APEC CEO Summit, made the comment in an interview with Xinhua on the eve of the CEO Summit scheduled to open here Thursday.

Yu, also president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said the Asia-Pacific region has benefited from the rise of the New Economy and globalization over the past decade, as indicated by the rise of a batch of big-name multinationals in the region.

However, he pointed out that not all countries have benefited from the trend of globalization. Instead, the gap between the rich and the poor has worsened on a global scale, while a new "digital divide" has emerged.

"The upcoming APEC CEO Summit and the leaders' meeting will debate on and try to find a clearer and more positive consensus on how to bring the benefits of globalization to more people," Yu said.

In his view, globalization should take the road of sustainable development, which requires enhanced cooperation of nations and guidance by governments.

"Asian and Pacific businesses should step up their cooperation in investment, trade and technology that will make all sides of such cooperation more competitive," he said.

Over the past two decades, Chinese enterprises have entered into extensive cooperation with their counterparts from other APEC member economies and reaped great and mutual-beneficial results, he said.

"The rise of the New Economy has not only made more of such cooperation possible, but has also created bigger demand that will bring more opportunities and room of development for enterprises," Yu said.

As for this year's APEC CEO Summit, Yu said China's immediate accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its winning of the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games have made it more remarkable than any summit before.

"Chinese President Jiang Zemin, U. S President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of Australia, Malaysia, Mexico and New Zealand will all deliver speeches at the summit, which will be attended by 500 CEOs and senior executives of major multinationals. Fifty out of the 100 biggest firms in China will be represented at the summit," Yu said.

He pointed out the CEO summit will be the first major gathering of Asia-Pacific business leaders in the new century, during which the participants will debate on key issues facing Asia-Pacific member economies, such as corporate responsibilities, the balance of efficiency and fairness in globalization, trade liberalization and the impact of new advancement in digital and bioengineering technologies.

"The summit will also arrange a China-focused conference, during which Chinese officials will brief the audience on the latest development in China, especially that concerning the nation 's "Go West" drive," Yu said.

The official expressed the hope that the summit will result in a consensus among Asia-Pacific business leaders that the region must face squarely the New Economy and move quickly to meet challenges of economic globalization, and that they will engage themselves in more active and extensive cooperation to promote a sustainable development of the regional and global economies.

(People’s Daily 10/17/2001)

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