Remarks by H.E. Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
At the 19th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting
Hawaii, 13 November 2011
I am glad to meet you here in Hawaii. As this beautiful place connects the two sides of the Pacific, it is of special significance for us to come here and explore ways to promote economic development and deepen cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
We live in a world where economic globalization is gaining momentum, countries are becoming increasingly interdependent economically, and new changes are underway in global economic governance. At the same time, the global economic environment remains complex and volatile. Some major economies are experiencing economic slowdown, and some countries are facing acute sovereign debt problems. Volatility in the international financial markets persists. Rising inflationary pressure confronts emerging markets. Protectionism in various forms is on a notable increase. As a result, the global economic recovery encounters greater instability and uncertainty. In addition, the continuous international and regional hotspot issues as well as acute global issues such as food security, energy security, climate change and major natural disasters all add to the grave challenges confronting the global economy.
At the recent G20 summit in Cannes, participating leaders agreed that, under the current situation, we must continue to embrace a spirit of helping each other in times of difficulty and pursuing win-win cooperation. We must be firmly committed to maintaining growth and promoting stability. It is of particular importance to strive for strong growth. This is the requirement of world economic development and the common wish of people of all countries and regions. We should demonstrate confidence and resolve, courage and vision, and a heightened sense of responsibility and urgency, and we should earnestly implement the APEC Leaders' Growth Strategy adopted at the Yokohama meeting last year, speed up the shifting of the growth model, and promote quality economic growth that is balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure. Our goal is to achieve sustained, steady and fairly fast economic growth and social harmony and stability in our region. To meet this goal, we should make the following efforts:
First, we should step up coordination to improve global economic governance. The global economic governance mechanism should adapt to the changing economic environment in order to help all countries strengthen coordination and work together to effectively tackle challenges. We should enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies and boost market confidence. We should press ahead with the reform of the international financial institutions, abide by the principles of mutual respect and collective decision-making, and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. We should make financial regulation more targeted and effective, enhance supervision over credit rating agencies and cross-border capital flows, keep the liquidity of main reserve currencies at reasonable and stable levels, improve the international monetary system, support the G20 in playing its role as a premier forum in global economic governance, and make the international economic order more just and equitable.
Second, we should make unremitting efforts to speed up the shift of the growth model. Economic recovery and long-term development calls for sustainable growth. We should speed up the shifting of the growth model and adjust the economic structure. Developed countries should follow responsible macroeconomic policies and properly handle sovereign debt and fiscal risks. Emerging markets should boost domestic demand and promote growth through the combined forces of consumption, investment and export. We should strike a balance between economic and social development and environmental protection, achieve sustainable development in resources and the environment, and maintain sustainability in fiscal, monetary, trade and industrial policies.
We should take job creation as an important way to consolidate and expand the achievements of economic and social development, adopt development strategies conducive to full employment, and create as many job and development opportunities as possible for the labor force. We should implement industrial, trade, fiscal, tax and financial policies that promote employment, put in place a sound public employment service system, and foster harmonious industrial relations. We should improve mechanisms to guide, train, evaluate and motivate the labor force, and we should give full play to the role of education and ensure that education serves public good and benefits all. Through such efforts, we will raise the professional competence of the workforce. We should speed up the building of the social security system and address issues affecting people's livelihood. China hopes that all the APEC members will support and take an active part in the APEC Skills Development Promotion Project and the activities of its Center, and strengthen cooperation in human resources development, job creation and training of young professionals.
Third, we should build consensus and continue to promote economic globalization and regional economic integration. Economic globalization helps improve international division of labor and allocation of factors of production, while opening-up in trade and investment is crucial to economic recovery. Economic globalization should be further advanced. We should fully honor the commitments already made, avoid new trade protectionist measures, firmly oppose and jointly resist protectionism of all forms, and work to establish a balanced, inclusive and win-win multilateral trading regime so that people everywhere will enjoy the benefits of trade and investment liberalization. We should endeavor to reach an "early harvest" agreement in the Doha Round within this year on giving tariff-free, quota-free treatment to products from the least developed countries, and we should demonstrate the political will to achieve comprehensive and balanced outcome in the Doha Round negotiations at an early date and realize the goals of the development round. China has announced its decision to give zero-tariff treatment to 97% of the tariff items of exports to China from the least developed countries having diplomatic relations with China. We should actively promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the Asia-Pacific and deepen regional economic integration so as to create impetus for the sustainable economic recovery and growth of the Asia-Pacific region.
To build an Asia-Pacific region of peace, development, prosperity and harmony is in the interest of all parties in the region, and it is the long-term goal for regional cooperation. As the premier mechanism for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, APEC should adapt to new developments in global economy, trade and investment, enhance its cooperation agenda, take advantage of its strengths, promote institutional reform, and play a unique role in supporting APEC members in shifting the growth model and deepening regional economic integration. To do this, China proposes that we take the following steps:
First, promote in a comprehensive way trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. By conducting discussions and cooperation on "next-generation" trade and investment issues, APEC can better play its role as an incubator and lead the process of international trade and investment cooperation. We should deepen cooperation on the global supply chain, enhance infrastructural connectivity and network building in the region and eliminate barriers to the flow of goods and services in order to save time and reduce cost. We should improve the policy environment for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), give them more encouragement, support and guidance, ease their financing difficulties, and integrate them into the global industrial chain. We should bring into play the role of the government, create an environment that fosters innovation, improve the system of technological innovation, invest more in R&D, and increase technical cooperation and technology transfer so as to build up APEC members' capacity for innovation. At the same time, we should, consistent with the Bogor Goals, continue to promote all-round trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the region, deepen regional economic integration and strengthen economic and technical cooperation so that all APEC members will achieve development and enjoy prosperity.
Second, deepen cooperation on green growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Green growth is a core element of the APEC Leaders' Growth Strategy and represents the trend of economic and social development. We should, as called for by the Bogor Goals, take into account the differing situations of developed and developing members and accord them different treatments. We should steadily reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers regarding environmental goods, and promote technology dissemination of and cooperation on environmental goods and services. We should support environmental industries in developing APEC members, strive for a win-win outcome in trade, the environment and development, and avoid new green barriers. We should build on the momentum created by the First APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry to improve sustainable forest rehabilitation and management in the Asia-Pacific, address climate change and contribute to green and sustainable growth.
To ensure global energy security is important to our effort to promote the full recovery and long-term growth of the global economy. We should work together to stabilize prices of energy and other commodities and prevent excessive speculation so as to meet the energy needs of all countries and maintain order in the energy markets. We should improve the energy mix, step up R&D and dissemination of advanced energy technologies, vigorously develop clean and renewable energy, and actively conduct international cooperation in these areas. We should promote cooperation on low-carbon model town projects, and increase international cooperation on new and renewable energy, energy conservation and emissions reduction, circular economy and energy efficiency.
Third, advance economic structural reform and regulatory cooperation. Through economic structural reform and regulatory cooperation, we can improve the business environment, lower business costs, promote trade and investment facilitation and deepen regional economic integration. We should enhance cooperation in priority areas of economic structural reform under the principles of voluntarism, equality, reciprocity, incremental progress and being flexible and pragmatic and continue to increase economic competitiveness of the Asia-Pacific region. We should adopt and improve decision-making process that includes risk assessment, compliance review and collective deliberation with public participation and expert consultation. APEC should give priority to activities such as capacity building and experience sharing to help its members improve and shift the growth model, carry out administrative reform, improve decision-making mechanisms, and foster a dynamic, efficient and more open policy environment conducive to trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the 20th anniversary of China's membership in APEC. These two events are of special importance to China's efforts to participate in regional and world economic cooperation and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. Over the past 20 years, China has opened further and wider to the world, with its trade and two-way investment increasing rapidly and its open economy growing in an all-round way. China has established closer links with other countries and regions and achieved win-win progress for both itself and the world. From 1991 to 2010, China's total volume of imports and exports grew from 135.7 billion US dollars to 2,974 billion US dollars at an average annual rate of 17.6%, foreign direct investment in China grew from 4.37 billion US dollars to 105.74 billion US dollars at an average annual rate of 18.3%, and China's overall tariff level dropped from 42.5% to 9.8%. We have pushed forward economic and social progress through opening-up, improved the market economic structure and established a unified and predictable trade system in conformity with WTO rules, thus making China one of the most open markets in the world. China is a staunch supporter of global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and has actively participated in and promoted the building of a multilateral trading regime and regional trade cooperation. By signing and implementing free trade agreements with relevant countries and regional organizations, we have contributed to regional economic integration and business ties. We have provided economic and technical assistance to other developing members, especially the least developed members of APEC to the best of our ability to help them better grow their economies and take part in international cooperation.
The process of China's participation in regional and global trade shows that only by combining opening-up with domestic reform and development, and only by participating in and moving forward global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, can a country make its own development an integral part of global economic development and achieve win-win progress.
China will continue to implement a win-win strategy of opening-up and make it work even better. We will encourage both import and export and both inbound and outbound investment, and we will speed up the implementation of the "going global" strategy, improve opening-up of various regions, and expand new areas and space for opening-up. We will redouble efforts to make our legal, policy and market environment more equitable and transparent, make our institutions and mechanisms more responsive to the need of an open economy, and pursue development, reform and innovation through opening-up. China is committed to regional and international economic cooperation. We will seek our own development and at the same time fulfill international responsibilities as our ability permits, promote global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make new and greater contribution to durable peace and common prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world.