Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership
– Opening Remark at the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Beijing, 11 November 2014
I am very glad to meet you at Yanqi Lake in Beijing. Let me first extend a warm welcome to all of you.
Each year, flocks of swan geese fly here and stay at the lake in spring and autumn, hence Yanqi Lake means the lake of swan geese. We 21 member economies of APEC are just like 21 swan geese. A line from an ancient Chinese poem reads: “The wind breaks waves into thousands of flowers on the sea; flocks of swan geese fly across the blue sky with their wings spread.” We are meeting here at Yanqi Lake to enhance cooperation and embark on a new flight to shape a new vision for the development of the Asia-Pacific region.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of APEC. The past 25 years of APEC’s growth have also witnessed the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. APEC has witnessed the historic achievements of the Asia-Pacific’s development, which, in turn, has given APEC a new mission.
The world economic recovery still faces many unpredictable and destabilizing factors. The Asia-Pacific region has entered a new stage of development, facing both opportunities and challenges. How to tackle the risks of fragmentation of regional economic cooperation? How to create new growth momentum in the post-financial crisis period? How to remove the financing bottlenecks hindering connectivity? These are issues we need to consider and actively address.
In the face of new conditions, we need to intensify regional economic integration and foster an open environment that is conducive to long-term development. APEC should play a leading and coordinating role in breaking various shackles and unleash a new round of greater openness, exchange and integration at a higher level, in more areas and involving deeper structural adjustment. We need to open the closed doors within the Asia-Pacific region and open our region fully to the rest of the world. While continuing to advance the Bogor Goals, we should vigorously promote the development of the FTAAP by identifying targets and laying out directions and roadmaps. This will help realize, at an early date, the vision of completing a highly open integration arrangement that spans across the two sides of the Pacific Ocean.
In the face of new conditions, we need to vigorously promote reform and innovation, create new growth areas and driving forces, and ensure strong and sustainable growth. Where does growth momentum come from in the post-crisis period? Undoubtedly, it can only come from reform, innovation and readjustment. We need to be innovative in development approaches, pursue development through innovation and reform instead of driving it the usual way by relying on factors of production and export, and generate internal growth momentum through structural adjustment. We need to change the model of market regulations, allow the market to play a decisive role in resources allocation, and better play the role of the government. We need to advance scientific and technological innovation to facilitate energy and consumption revolution, and make the Asia-Pacific region a global leader in achieving new technological revolution. This year, we have promoted cooperation in Internet economy, urbanization and blue economy and discussed ways of leaping over the middle income trap, and a good beginning has been made in addressing all these major and urgent issues in the global economy.
In the face of new conditions, we need to speed up efforts to upgrade infrastructure and build comprehensive connectivity. Connectivity is about connecting physical structures. Our cooperation should extend to wherever roads, railways, air routes and the Internet take us. Connectivity is about connecting rules and regulations. When coordination and cooperation are enhanced and regulatory obstacles are reduced, logistics will become smoother and exchanges more convenient. Connectivity is also about connecting the hearts of people. With enhanced mutual understanding, we can achieve better communication and be more successful in our endeavors. In short, to achieve comprehensive connectivity in the Asia-Pacific, we should bring together all member economies on both sides of the Pacific by connecting physical structures, rules and regulations, and hearts of people. We should eliminate bottlenecks in accessing affordable financing, strengthen public-private partnerships, and achieve interconnected development.
We are all members of the APEC community. It meets the common interests of us all to foster an open economy in the Asia-Pacific featuring innovative development, interconnected growth and converging interests. To achieve this goal, all the economies in the region need to work together to build an Asia-Pacific partnership of mutual trust, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win progress, and this will inject new energy into the economic development of both the Asia-Pacific and the world.
First, we should jointly chart the course for future development. The future development of the Asia-Pacific is vital to the interests of every APEC member. Having reached important consensus on launching the process of FTAAP, promoting connectivity and pursuing innovative growth, what we should do now is to translate the consensus into action. We should draw the blueprint for development in the next five, ten or even 25 years and implement it step by step.
Second, we should jointly meet global challenges. In the post-financial crisis period, we need to focus on the core task of sustaining growth and enhance macro policy coordination. We should also effectively address global issues such as epidemics, food security and energy security. We should share information to understand each other better, exchange experience to share best practices, facilitate collective actions through consultation and coordination, and boost regional cooperation through mutual assistance.
Third, we should jointly build cooperation platforms. Partnership means pitching in for common goals and big initiatives. We should build APEC into an institutional platform for promoting integration, a policy platform based on experience sharing, an open platform against trade protectionism, a development platform to intensify economic and technical cooperation and a platform for boosting connectivity. A stronger and more dynamic APEC is possible only with support from all its members.
I wish to announce here that China will donate 10 million US dollars to support APEC institutional and capacity building and its practical cooperation in various fields.
Fourth, we should jointly pursue interconnected development. Partnership also means win-win cooperation and mutual learning. Some developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region now face difficulties. If they cannot achieve development, development of the whole Asia-Pacific region will not be sustainable. We need to increase financial and technical support to developing members, give full rein to the strength of diversity among the Asia-Pacific economies, draw on each other’s strength, better leverage the amplifying effects and achieve common development.
In the coming three years, the Chinese government will provide 1,500 training opportunities to APEC developing members in support of capacity-building projects in trade, investment and other fields.
Under the theme of Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership, we will discuss three important topics, namely, advancing regional economic integration, promoting innovative development, economic reform and growth, and strengthening comprehensive development in infrastructure and connectivity. I am confident that our meeting today will inject new vitality into the long-term development of the Asia-Pacific region.
A single flower does not herald spring; a lone goose cannot make a formation. Let us take Yanqi Lake as the new starting point, and lead the flying swan geese of the global economy in soaring higher in the vast and blue sky.