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Hu Jintao Attends APEC Meeting and Deliver an Important Speech

2005/11/18

On November 18, 2005, the 13th Informal Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) opened in Busan, a southern port of South Korea. Chinese President Hu Jintao attended the first session of the meeting and delivered an important speech. Later Hu participated in the dialogue between APEC leaders and representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

In early winter, with gentle sea breeze Busan boasts charming scenery. The first session of the 13th AELM opened in Busan Exhibition & Convention Center. From 1:30 p.m. local time, leaders of APEC member economies started arriving and were received at the gate of the center by President Roh Moo-hyun of the host country South Korea, shaking hand with and extending greetings to them.

The AELM is the highest-level meeting of APEC and is held annually since 1993. The theme of the first session of the 13th AELM is economic and trade cooperation. At the invitation of Roh Moo-hyun, Hu Jintao delivered an introductory speech, raising important suggestions on how to deepen cooperation among APEC members so as to jointly build a harmonious future for Asia and Pacific and the world at large.

Hu pointed out that since the beginning of this year the world economy has maintained a sound development momentum with a particularly strong growth in Asia and Pacific. Meanwhile, the global and regional economic growth faces some uncertainties which require us to address together. Hu suggested that member economies give priority to cooperation in the following three areas.

First, joining hands to effectively cope with the unbalanced development of world economy. In the process of economic globalization a fairly large number of developing countries face the danger of being marginalized and increasing difficulties to develop their economy. To solve the unbalanced economic growth, it is necessary for all parties concerned to abide by the rule of sharing responsibilities, strengthen policy dialogue and coordination and take joint actions. The developed members should help the developing ones and support them in quickening development. To address the unbalanced economic growth, it is important for all parties concerned to create a fair, harmonious and open international economic environment. We should follow the widely recognized international rules to solve our differences in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation and through dialogue and consultations.

Second, consolidating consensus and jointly promoting the healthy development of multilateral trade system. The development of multilateral trade system is in a critical stage. We should demonstrate sincerity and take a flexible and pragmatic attitude to expand consensus, fulfill commitment, narrow down differences and ensure the success of the upcoming 6th WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, China. We should encourage those free trade agreements complying with the WTO rules and boost bilateral and regional economic cooperation and coordinated development of multilateral trade system.

Third, strengthening coordination and taking joint actions to tackle hot spot issues. The increasing international oil price exerts negative impact on the world economy, especially the developing economies. Natural disasters including tsunamis and hurricanes still cause huge losses in disaster-hit countries. The cropping up of bird flu epidemic has seriously handicapped related countries of this region. The causes and influence of those problems go beyond national boundary and need effective joint actions of all parties concerned. China is ready to cooperate with related parties to raise capacity of preventing and coping with risks in the region.

Hu pointed out that the Bogor Goals of APEC set up in 1994 are a major landmark in the development of the Asian and Pacific family. To reach the Bogor Goals as scheduled is of great significance to narrowing down economic gap between members and realizing common development and prosperity and has direct bearing on the future of APEC. Therefore, three relationships should be handled properly: firstly, the relationship between opening market and deepening economic and technological cooperation. Both market opening and economic and technological cooperation are major ways to promote regional economic progress and should complement each other; secondly, the relationship between strengthening economic cooperation and conducting security cooperation. We support APEC in taking necessary anti-terrorism measures in response to the real needs of maintaining economic and trade security in Asia and Pacific. Meanwhile we believe that related cooperation should support and supplement instead of interfering in or undermining the mainstream of economic cooperation, take into full consideration the concerns of all parties and properly handle sensitive issues; thirdly, the relationship between implementing existing consensus and exploring new cooperation areas. The existing commitment must be fulfilled first and unswerving efforts should be made to realize the Bogor Goals. At the same time, faced with changes in the international and regional economic environment, cooperation in such fields as disaster alleviation, health and anti-corruption should be carried out and new channels and areas of trade and investment cooperation should be explored.

APEC decided to take a series of reform measures this year, which will have a positive influence on the future development of the organization, said Hu. He expressed hope that all members adhere to the principles of reaching consensus through consultations and willingness to deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation and inject dynamism and energy into the growth of APEC.

Hu's speech received positive comments from leaders present at the meeting.

Leaders of other APEC members also delivered speeches at the AELM.

After attending the first session, Hu participated in the dialogue between leaders of APEC members and representatives of the ABAC and answered questions of the business community on such issues as the direction of free trade, China-Chile free trade agreement, trade facilitation and bird flu.

On the evening, Hu attended the welcome dinner for APEC leaders hosted by Roh Moo-hyun.



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