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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

APEC should lead a more open world economy & play a bigger role; Reform and innovation are new drivers: President Xi said

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific region and their respective spouses, wearing traditional Balinese "endek" costumes, pose for a group photo before a dinner hosted for the leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Monday. Photo: AFP 

Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday called on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies to play a leading role in maintaining and advancing an open world economy.

Xi made the remarks during a keynote speech to an informal meeting of economic leaders at an APEC meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, which had sustainable growth and regional cooperation high on the agenda.

Noting that the world economy is still confronted with daunting challenges before achieving a full recovery and sound growth, Xi said APEC must face them head-on with courage and resolve.

The president said APEC member economies should work together for the common development of the Asia-Pacific through increased macro-economic policy coordination.

With the economies of APEC members closely intertwined with economic globalization, they must amplify the positive effects of macro-economic policy coordination while preventing or reducing the negative spillover, and pursue win-win cooperation in an open and inclusive spirit, he said.

Su Hao, director of the Asia-Pacific Research Center at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that Xi's speech stressed that economic development is the priority for members of APEC, as other players try to provoke other problems in the region which might make some ignore the importance of economic development.

Meanwhile, Xi also noted that while the international community is working to push forward the Doha Round, various free trade arrangements in the Asia-Pacific are advancing in parallel, each with different rules, standards and preferred pathways.

Xi said that China believes that "any arrangement should lead to a cooperative relationship, not a confrontational one; an open mindset, not an exclusive one; win-win results, not a zero-sum outcome; and integration, not fragmentation," without naming a particular arrangement.

Analysts believe it refers to the US-advocated Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which excludes China.

"TPP is like a small circle which might be against APEC's aim to achieve wide economic integration in the region," said Su.

Xi also called on APEC members to stay committed to open development and resolutely oppose protectionism.

Ei Sun Oh, a senior fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, told the Global Times that Xi's call for more open access is "both timely and crucial," and Southeast Asian countries understand collective lowering of these barriers will ultimately bring forth more common interests for all.

He noted that China could take the lead, for example in lowering or canceling several tariffs in the new China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Earlier on Monday, Xi elaborated his views on the Chinese economy and the country's reform at a business forum on the sidelines of the APEC meeting, assuring business leaders that there is no reason to fear a hard landing.

China's GDP growth slowed to 7.6 percent in the first half of this year.

"I'm fully confident in the future of China's economy," Xi said, noting the slowdown is "an intended result of our own regulatory initiatives" and a "seven percent annual growth rate will suffice" to meet China's medium-term goal of doubling per capita income by 2020.

Xi highlighted the importance of reform, which he said is facing an uphill battle and in the deep-water zone.

"China is a big country. It shouldn't make subversive errors on fundamental issues, or it would be irredeemable. We not only need to be bold in exploring [reform], but also need to be cautious and think it over twice," Xi said.

The APEC group has 21 members, which account for about 55 percent of world GDP and some 40 percent of the world's population.

Agencies contributed to this story

President Xi fully confident about future of Chinese economy

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st L) pose for a photo with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2nd R) and his wife before a dinner hosted for the leaders and their spouses at the 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Oct. 7, 2013. Photo: Xinhua

 Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Bali on Monday that he is fully confident about the future of the Chinese economy, based on a comprehensive analysis of all factors.

"I am confident because first of all China's growth rate is within the reasonable and expected range," said Xi while addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) CEO summit, noting that the change in speed of growth has on the whole been smooth.

Describing the fundamentals of the Chinese economy as good, Xi said that "everything has been going as expected and nothing has come as surprise."

He stressed that the slowdown in the speed is an intended result of China's own regulatory initiatives.

"Second, I am confidant because the quality and efficiency of China's economy development are improving steadily," the president continued.

Moving from over-reliance on investment and export to dependence on domestic demand, China, instead of taking GDP growth as the sole criterion for success, is now focusing more on improving the quality and efficiency of growth, he elaborated.

"Third, I am confident because China has a strong home-grown driving force for growth," said Xi, adding that ongoing urbanization, education improvement and expansion of domestic demand will continuously inject impetus into the economy.

The Chinese leader also attributed his confidence to the sound development prospects of the Asia-Pacific, saying his country has faith in the development of the whole region.

"China has achieved its own development, and at the same time, China's development has also contributed to regional economic growth," said Xi, eying a stronger momentum of the interaction in the future.

After wrapping up his state visits to Indonesia and Malaysia, the Chinese President arrived in Bali on Saturday afternoon to attend the APEC meeting, his first appearance at the summit since taking over the presidency in March. -Xinhua

Xi: Reform and innovation are new drivers of economic growth

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told a group of CEOs gathered in Bali that his country's economy will continue to grow. His remarks came on the final day of a summit for business leaders that was held on the sidelines of the APEC Leaders Meeting.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the APEC CEO Summit in Bali,
Indonesia, Oct. 7, 2013. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

As the head of Asia’s most robust economy, when Xi Jinping talks, business leaders listen. And as a CEO Summit of regional executives closed, President Xi laid out his vision for Asia-Pacific’s economies.

"The Asia-Pacific has long been an important engine of world economic growth. To push forward a recovery at a time of a sluggish global economy, economies in the Asia-Pacific should have the courage to do what has never been done before." Chinese president Xi said.

Many CEOs attending the summit had expressed concern over Beijing’s QUOTE “slowing growth.” But a new study showed that nearly 70 percent of them plan to increase their investments in China in the coming years.

Speaking before Xi, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, attempted to assure them: the entire region presented all sorts of opportunities.

Already twice this year, Russia has had to cut its growth forecast, as Moscow has struggled with waning investment and output.

Last week, the U-S overtook Russia as the world’s largest gas-and-oil producer. A point highlighted by John Kerry, the U-S Secretary of State, standing in place for Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Kerry tried to reassure business leaders that despite Obama’s absence, Washington remained committed to region.

“I want to emphasize that there is nothing that’ll shake the commitment of the United States to the rebalance to Asia that President Obama is leading. And I think it’s fair to say to all of you that we are very very proud to be a Pacific nation.” Kerry said.

Reporter: “The CEOs represent the nearly 3 billion customers who live in the Asia Pacific region. In the coming years, the region’s economy will be determined by how those customers will spend their money and how they spend will likely be determined by what the leaders here say, and what the CEOs hear.” - CCTV

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