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The leading role of the Asia-Pacific in meeting global economic challenges

Source: www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng | 2015-12-18

Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping 

President of the People's Republic of China 

At the APEC CEO Summit

Manila, Nov. 18, 2015

Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong,

Business leaders from the Asia-Pacific,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good morning! I am delighted to meet all of you again. Last November, we gathered in Beijing to explore the ways and means to advance Asia-Pacific economic cooperation. That meeting is still fresh in my memory.

APEC is not only the most important economic and trade forum in our region, but also the multilateral cooperation platform in which Asia-Pacific business communities are most deeply involved. We live in the age of transformation. Both political leaders and entrepreneurs need to focus on the present while keeping an eye on the future in order to stay on top of global trends and adapt to the changing world.

Two days ago, I attended the G20 Summit in Antalya, where world leaders had in-depth discussions on the major challenges facing global economy and the ways to deal with them. The basic view we came to share is that the global economy, though on a course of slow recovery, is not yet solidly based and still fraught with considerable destabilizing factors and uncertainties. Many countries expressed worries that the divergence of the monetary policies of the advanced economies may lead to erratic capital flows, high global indebtedness and low market confidence. All this, coupled with fluctuations in the global financial and commodities markets, will exert a greater impact on emerging markets and developing countries in general. Global growth continues to fall short of expectations with sliding trend of potential growth rates, and international trade and investment remain weak. The world economy might encounter simultaneous slowdown of multiple growth engines and get stuck in stagnation. It will probably take a long and tortuous process before the global economy becomes healthy again.

Against the backdrop of multiple challenges in the world economy, the Asia-Pacific economy is also confronted with many immediate and potential difficulties and risks. How to keep the Asia-Pacific economy on the right track? How to find new growth areas and strengthen the Asia-Pacific's status as a growth engine? These questions merit close attention and serious exploration.

Facing the dangerous rapids and shoals in the world economy, we must steer the giant ship of the Asia-Pacific in the right direction. All economies in the region must act in a responsible manner and work in unison to promote global growth.

First, we must press ahead with reform and innovation. To address the deep-seated problems in the world economy, monetary stimulus alone is not enough. We must commit ourselves to even greater efforts to advance economic structural reform so as to better adapt supply to the changing pattern of demand. This is an area where the Asia-Pacific should take the lead by adopting new approach, model and pathway of development. Efforts should also be made to expedite industrial upgrading so that science and technology innovation will bring about new products, management and business models, move Asia-Pacific economies up in the global supply chain and enable us to jointly build and benefit from a coordinated, open and inclusive global value chain. While developed economies need to be more forthcoming about sharing best practices and transferring technologies, developing economies should explore more boldly, increase input and try to catch up more quickly. We need to leverage the role of APEC as a policy platform and an "incubator" for strengthened cooperation in such areas as Internet economy, blue economy, green economy and urbanization, with a view to improving the region's capacity for independent innovation.

Second, we must build an open economy. Over the years, the Asia-Pacific has pursued greater openness, integration and development and found a unique path of dynamic regional economic cooperation, setting a good example of integration endeavor involving economies vastly different in level of development. Last year, APEC economic leaders took a historic step forward by kicking off in Beijing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) process. With various new regional free trade arrangements cropping up, worries about fragmentation are on the increase. We need to accelerate the realization of FTAAP and take regional economic integration forward. We need to encourage equal-footed participation and extensive consultation, and make free trade arrangements open and inclusive to the extent possible with a view to enhancing economic openness in our region and upholding the multilateral trading regime. We must commit ourselves to win-win cooperation, oppose protectionism and promote fair competition.

Third, we must implement the Sustainable Development Agenda. An ancient Chinese philosopher said, "The key to running a country is to make its people better-off." The ultimate aim of development is to serve the people by bringing more and more fruits of development to all our people. Not long ago, the UN Sustainable Development Summit adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the G20 Summit in Antalya, I called on the members to take actions and implement the Sustainable Development Agenda. To this end, we need to incorporate the Sustainable Development Agenda into our respective national development strategies and ensure its effective implementation. It is important that we establish an all-round partnership on development, mobilizing the government, enterprises and social resources in a concerted effort of implementation. It is necessary to promote inclusive and harmonious development, meet the targets of the Sustainable Development Agenda as soon as possible and, in so doing, create more room for improved quality and efficiency of development and ensure the tasks are mutually reinforcing.

Fourth, we must promote connectivity. Connectivity will make the Asia-Pacific economy more vibrant, which will in turn increase potential in economic and social development. It focuses on infrastructure, rules and institutions and personnel movement, and calls for progress in policy communication, infrastructure linkage, trade flow, financing arrangements and friendly exchanges between the people. Through connectivity efforts, countries can align their national development strategies, plans and programs, and identify priority areas and projects. Through connectivity efforts, regions and countries can trade in production factors, complement each other's industrial advantages and production capacity, and learn from each other's development experience. The supply chain, industry chain and value chain of the Asia-Pacific need to be improved so as to achieve economy of scale and combined effects in the interest of overall invigoration of the Asia-Pacific economy. Last year, we adopted in Beijing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, which needs to be earnestly followed through for tangible results.

"Even the shortest journey can't be finished without taking the first step. Even the most trivial task can't be completed without taking actions." No blueprint will just automatically come true. When it comes to realizing the goals we set, all APEC members need to work hand in hand. We must step up policy dialogue and coordination and use APEC as a platform to create synergy. We must focus on development, spare no effort in fostering an environment of peace conducive to development and never allow anything to disrupt the Asia-Pacific development process. We must adhere to the concept of win-win cooperation and community of shared future, cooperating while competing, and achieving common development through cooperation. We must recognize diversity in development path, respect each other's development paths chosen in light of our specific conditions, and resolve differences through dialogue and consultation. I am confident that the vast Pacific Ocean will become a bridge of cooperation, a bond of friendship and a place we call our common home.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 


As the world's second largest economy, China's economy is very much in the international spotlight. With global growth slowing down, China is working vigorously to overcome difficulties and meet challenges by strengthening macro-regulation and effectively advancing reforms. Though our monthly and quarterly economic indicators have fluctuated a bit, the overall economy has operated within the reasonable range and maintained steady and fairly rapid growth. In the first three quarters, China's economy grew by 6.9%, contributing approximately 30% to global growth. Such a growth rate was achieved by a big economy of over 10 trillion dollars and in the process of economic restructuring and transformation. This is indeed a hard-won result.

In general, China's positive economic fundamentals and long-term trajectory remain unchanged. What also remain unchanged are the basic fact that China's economy possesses strong resilience, great potential and ample room for maneuver; the strong support and conditions favorable for continued growth; and the forward movement of the country's economic restructuring and upgrading. On the other hand, China's economy is still grappling with a complicated internal and external environment, considerable downward pressure and the throes of deep reforms. The opportunities are unprecedented, but so are the challenges.

Recently, the fifth plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee adopted the proposal for the 13th five-year plan on economic and social development, putting forth the concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and proposing a series of major reforms in next five years which is the final stage of our quest for a society of initial prosperity in all respects. We will step up reform and innovation, accelerate the shift of growth model and economic restructuring, earnestly address the difficult issues in development, cultivate new drivers and new edges for development, and create more fresh opportunities for development.

- We will pay still more attention to efficiency and quality. We will work hard to shift the growth model, from expanding scale to improving structure, from factor driven to innovation driven, and from depending mainly on investment and export to relying on coordinated increase in consumption, investment and export. We will work for a deeper convergence of IT application and industrialization, a sound interaction of industrialization and urbanization, and the mutual reinforcement of urbanization and agricultural modernization. All this, we can say for sure, will bring forth new development drivers and greater room for China's growth.

- We will pay still more attention to innovation. While vigorously implementing the strategy of an innovation-driven development, we will lay greater emphasis on innovation and take full advantage of its multiplier effect in galvanizing growth. We will do away with institutional obstacles, and let the market be the decisive force in allocating innovation resources and the enterprises the key players in technological innovation.

- We will pay still more attention to equity and justice. Always bearing in mind the most direct and immediate interest of the people, we will build a new development mechanism that features equity, justice, joint efforts and sharing of benefits by all. In this way, we can make economic development more inclusive. We will concentrate our efforts on some tough issues. For example, in the next five years, all the remaining 70 million-plus rural people living in poverty by existing Chinese standard and all the designated poor counties will be lifted out of poverty, which will be an important part of our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

- We will pay still more attention to green development. We will make ecological progress part and parcel of the entire process of our economic and social development with a view to achieving sustainable development. We will build up a strong capacity to adapt to climate change, stick to our basic state policy of resource conservation and environment protection, and turn China into a beautiful country with blue sky, green land and clear water.

- We will pay still more attention to opening to the outside world. While pushing for a more proactive strategy of opening-up, we will build a new system of open economy with an even higher level of openness. We will accelerate efforts to build high-standard FTAs. Talks are near conclusion on an upgraded China-ASEAN FTA, which is set to make a positive impact. China's bilateral FTAs with Australia and the ROK are both expected to come into force by the end of this year, giving a fresh boost to economic growth. China will also work with relevant parties to finish at an early date negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) while accelerating talks on a China-Japan-ROK FTA. We will step up reforms of the foreign investors management system, substantially cut back on market access restrictions for foreign investment, improve IPR protection and foster an open, transparent, fair and highly efficient market environment.

Here I would like to reiterate that China's policy on welcoming foreign investment will not change, nor will its protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign-invested enterprises or its commitment to provide better services for them. China's door to the outside world will forever stay open.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


China is a member of the Asia-Pacific family. We began our development here and we owe our development to the Asia-Pacific. We will continue to anchor ourselves here and deliver benefits to the region. Two years ago, I proposed the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The initiative has since received warm responses from and active participation by over 60 countries and international organizations. The "Belt and Road" Initiative is gaining momentum and achieving some initial results.

Committed to open regionalism, China has signed cooperation agreements with many countries in and beyond the region to harmonize policies and development strategies and facilitate freer and more orderly flow of economic factors, more efficient allocation of resources and deeper integration of the markets. Through implementing the "Belt and Road" Initiative, we will go for even broader, deeper and more sophisticated cooperation at the regional level and jointly foster a regional framework of open, inclusive, balanced and mutually beneficial cooperation.

At present, some key economic corridors and a large number of major multilateral and bilateral projects are making steady progress. China has established and put into operation the Silk Road Fund, and is now working actively with more than 50 countries to prepare the launching of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new type of investment and financing institution that is expected to be officially up and running by the end of this year. It will provide financing support for a number of important projects. What is more, we will gradually put in place new cooperation platforms in such priority areas as economy and trade, energy, investment, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and work to reinvigorate the existing bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Asia-Pacific business communities represent a principal force for development in the region and a pioneer in innovation and entrepreneurship. Having made significant contributions to regional prosperity and development, you carry an important mission to shape the region's future. We welcome the continued participation of Asia-Pacific business communities in China's development in which you can share our opportunities and potential benefits. We also look forward to your greater contribution to the region's long-term economic development and to the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy.

Next September, China will host the 11th G20 Summit in the city of Hangzhou. I welcome the active participation of Asia-Pacific business communities in the events in China, where all can share their ideas and help build a stronger world economy.

Thank you.


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