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Chinese president attends APEC meeting, calls for growth model shift to sustain economic development

HONOLULU, United States, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and leaders of other Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members met in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday to explore ways to speed up regional economic integration, free trade and investment, and economic and technological cooperation.

The annual meeting, hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama in his home state, is being convened at the JW Marriott Ihilani, Honolulu to boost regional economic integration, trade, green growth, job creation, energy security and regulatory cooperation.

President Hu delivered a speech titled "Shift Growth Model to Sustain Economic Development" at the meeting.

Hu said 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, the president noted.

"Our goal is to achieve sustained, steady and fairly fast economic growth and social harmony and stability in our region," Hu said.

To meet this goal, Hu made a third-point proposal.

First, APEC members should step up coordination to improve global economic governance, Hu said, adding that 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, aid by the principles of mutual respect and collective decision-making, and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries," Hu said.

"We should make financial regulation more targeted and effective, enhance supervision over credit rating agencies and cross-border capital flows, 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," he said.

Second, APEC members should make unremitting efforts to speed up the shift of the growth model, Hu said.

"We should speed up the shifting of the growth model and adjust the economic structure," Hu said, adding that developed countries should follow responsible macroeconomic policies and properly handle sovereign debt and fiscal risks, while 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," he said.

Third, APEC members should build consensus and continue to promote economic globalization and regional economic integration, Hu said.

"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 lest 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 percent of the tariff items of exports to China from the least developed countries having diplomatic relations with China, Hu said.

"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."

The Chinese president also proposed the following three steps to build an Asia-Pacific region of peace, development, prosperity and harmony.

First, promote in a comprehensive way trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

"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," said Hu.

He also highlighted the necessity to "improve the policy environment for th e growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, give them more encouragement, support and guidance, ease their financing difficulties, and integrate them into the global industrial chain.

Second, deepen cooperation on green growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We should steadily reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers regarding environmental goods, and promote technology dissemination of and cooperation on environmental goods and services," Hu said.

Asia-Pacific economies need to support environmental industries in developing APEC members, strive for a win-win outcome in trade, the environment and development, and avoid new green barriers.

Third, advance economic structural reform and regulatory cooperation.

"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," Hu said.

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.

Ten years after its entry into the World Trade Organization and 20 years into the APEC, 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, Hu said.

China has established closer links with other countries and regions and achieved win-win progress for both itself and the world, Hu said.

"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," the Chinese president said.

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, he said.

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, he said.

China will continue to implement a win-win strategy of opening-up and make it work even better, Hu declared.

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