Seizing the Opportunity of a Global Economy in Transition and Accelerating Development of the Asia-Pacific
– Keynote Address at the APEC CEO Summit
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Da Nang, 10 November 2017
Chairman Vu Tien Loc,
Leaders of the APEC Business Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon! I am glad to come to Da Nang and meet all of you again.
Our region, the Asia-Pacific, has the biggest share of the global economy; and it is a major engine driving global growth. The business community is a primary contributor to growth, as it keeps exploring new ways of development. That’s why during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting over the last several years, I have always taken time to meet business leaders and discuss with you approaches and measures to address the challenges we face.
It has been 10 years since the international financial crisis broke out. Over the last decade, the international community have worked in concert to steer the global economy back to the track of recovery. Thanks to our efforts, the global economy is improving. Despite risks and uncertainties, global trade and investment are picking up, people are more optimistic about the outlook of financial markets, and confidence is growing in all sectors.
Development is a journey with no end, but with one new departure point after another. An ancient Chinese philosopher once observed, “We should focus our mind on the future, not the past.” We live in a fast-changing world, and the global economy is undergoing more profound changes. We must therefore closely follow the trend of the global economy, identify its underlying dynamics, keep to the right direction, and, on that basis, take bold action.
– We are seeing a profound change in growth drivers. Countries are turning to reform and innovation to meet challenges and achieve growth. The potential of structural reforms is being unlocked and its positive impact of boosting growth of various countries has become more evident. A new round of technological and industrial revolutions is gaining momentum. Digital economy and sharing economy have registered rapid growth. New industries as well as new forms and models of business are flourishing. As a result, new growth drivers are being created.
– We are seeing a profound change in the model of global growth. As time advances, development has taken on profoundly richer implications. The vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all is gaining increasing public support. To achieve more comprehensive, higher quality and more sustainable development has become the shared goal of the international community. To implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and adapt to climate change and other challenges of a global nature has become an important international consensus.
– We are seeing a profound change in economic globalization. Over the last few decades, economic globalization has contributed greatly to global growth. Indeed, it has become an irreversible historical trend. Against the backdrop of evolving global developments, economic globalization faces new adjustments in both form and substance. In pursuing economic globalization, we should make it more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all.
– We are seeing a profound change in the system of global economic governance. The evolving global economic environment demands more from the system of global economic governance. We should uphold multilateralism, pursue shared growth through consultation and collaboration, forge closer partnerships, and build a community with a shared future for mankind. This, I believe, is what we should do in conducting global economic governance in a new era.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Faced with the profound changes in the global economy, should we, the Asia-Pacific economies, lead reform and innovation, or just hesitate and proceed haltingly? Should we steer economic globalization, or dither and stall in the face of challenge? Should we jointly advance regional cooperation, or go our separate ways?
This is my answer: We must advance with the trend of times, live up to our responsibility and work together to deliver a bright future of development and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific.
First, we should continue to foster an open economy that benefits all. Openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind. We the Asia-Pacific economies know this too well from our own development experience. We should put in place a regional cooperation framework that ensures consultation among equals, wide participation and shared benefits, build an open Asia-Pacific economy and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. We should make economic globalization more open, inclusive and balanced so that it benefits different countries and people of different social groups. We should proactively adapt to the evolving international division of labor and actively reshape the global value chain so as to upgrade our economies and build up new strengths. We should support the multilateral trading regime and practice open regionalism to make developing members benefit more from international trade and investment.
The building of a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) is the long-cherished dream of the business community in our region. It was in response to the call of the business community that APEC leaders, for the first time, initiated the FTAAP vision in Hanoi in 2006. In 2014, the FTAAP process was launched in Beijing. We should get into action, fully implement the Beijing Roadmap, move toward the FTAAP and provide an institutional underpinning for growing an open economy in the Asia-Pacific.
Second, we should continue to pursue innovation-driven development and create new drivers of growth. The current global economic recovery is, to a large extent, the result of cyclical factors, while the lack of self-generating driving forces remains a nagging problem. To avoid the risk of the global economy entering a “new mediocre”, we must sustain growth through innovation.
The new round of technological and industrial revolutions is unfolding before us. Digital economy and sharing economy are surging worldwide, and breakthroughs have been made in new technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum science. We in the Asia-Pacific cannot afford to be just onlookers. What we should do is to seize the opportunity, increase input in innovation, change the model of development and nurture new growth areas. We should promote structural reform, remove all institutional and systemic barriers to innovation and energize the market. We should implement the APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth adopted in Beijing, deepen cooperation on the internet and digital economy and strive to be a global leader of innovative growth.
Third, we should continue to enhance connectivity and achieve interconnected development. Interconnected development is the best way to achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcome. We the Asia-Pacific economies are closely connected, and our interests are interlocked. Such an interconnected development will both open up new horizon for our own development, and create driving force for us all to achieve common development as partners. In 2014, the APEC Connectivity Blueprint was formulated. This Blueprint should guide our efforts to build a comprehensive, all-round and multi-tiered Asia-Pacific connectivity network. We should boost the real economy through the building of connectivity, break bottlenecks to development and unlock potentials. With these efforts, we can achieve coordinated and interconnected development.
In May this year, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. The Belt and Road Initiative calls for joint contribution and it has a clear focus, which is to promote infrastructure construction and connectivity, strengthen coordination on economic policies, enhance complementarity of development strategies and boost interconnected development to achieve common prosperity. This initiative is from China, but it belongs to the world. It is rooted in history, but it is oriented toward the future. It focuses on the Asian, European and African continents, but it is open to all partners. I am confident that the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative will create a broader and more dynamic platform for Asia-Pacific cooperation.
Fourth, we should continue to make economic development more inclusive and deliver its benefits to our people. The current headwinds confronting economic globalization is mostly generated by the lack of inclusiveness in development. Hard work is still needed if we are to bring the benefits of development to countries across the globe and people across our society, and thus turn our vision into reality.
Over the past few years, we have actively explored ways to promote inclusive development and have built strong consensus about it. We should deepen regional economic integration, develop an open and inclusive market and strengthen the bond of shared interests. We should make inclusiveness and sharing a part of our development strategies, improve systems and institutions to uphold efficiency and fairness, and safeguard social equity and justice. We should invest more in education, medical care, employment and other areas that are important to people’s livelihood, and address poverty and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. We should reach out to disadvantaged groups, improve business environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and enable the workforce to better adapt to industrial transformation, so that everyone will have his fair share of opportunity and benefits.