Jiang Presides Over Dialogue
Between Leaders, ABAC Representatives

The leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies attended a dialogue with representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Saturday afternoon after attending a briefing on the agenda of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

Both the briefing and dialogue were presided over by Chinese President Jiang Zemin at the Shanghai International Convention Center.

At the dialogue, Jiang extended his warm welcome to representatives of the business community to come to Shanghai and thanked ABAC, on behalf of the leaders, for what it has done in the past year.

Jiang said that ABAC is an important channel to facilitate the business community's participation in the APEC process and ensure close contacts between the leaders and the business circles.

To strengthen ABAC's role is an important means to ensure APEC would keep pace with the times and maintain its vitality, the Chinese president said.

Before the briefing on the agenda of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, Jiang greeted the leaders in the lobby of the International Convention Center, shaking hands with them.

The briefing began at 3:30 p.m. Jiang said that the Ninth APEC Economic Leaders Meeting would feature the three topics of the macro-economic situation, human capacity building and the direction of the future development of APEC.

After the briefing, the leaders had a group photo taken, with Jiang, the host, taking the central position.

The dialogue between the leaders and nearly 60 ABAC representatives started at 4:05 p.m.

Jiang said the annual dialogue is a rare opportunity for the leaders and ABAC representatives to discuss the prospects of economic cooperation and development of APEC from their respective angles.

At the dialogue, the leaders and ABAC representatives had a sincere and practical discussion on major issues such as the global and regional economic situation, the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment and multilateral trading system, the strengthening of capacity building to reduce the " digital divide," the increase of regional and international financial cooperation, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and the extensive participation in the APEC process by the business community and the rest of society.

Jiang said in a concluding speech that the business community has made outstanding contributions to regional economic development and is a major force to promote regional and global economic development. He expressed the hope that the business community could strengthen the ties and cooperation with governments of APEC members, continue to support and participate in the APEC process, and make concerted efforts for a bright future of the Asia-Pacific region.

Qin Xiao, chair of the 2001 ABAC and vice-chairman of the China International Trust and Investment Corp., briefed the leaders on ABAC's 2001 report.

(People's Daily 10/21/2001)

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