Time for harvest and sowing for future
Updated: 2013-09-05 07:45
The second is to boost mutual connectivity. We need to speed up cooperation in boosting mutual connectivity in areas such as roads, railways, water transport, aviation, telecommunication and energy. More efforts will be made to facilitate the gradual launch and construction of Pan-Asia Railway network and effectively carry out certain key projects. China will initiate a new round of targeted loans and give full play to the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund, and work actively with various sides to establish a financing platform in Asia to fund large-scale infrastructure projects. While stepping up the "hardware link", China and the ASEAN will also beef up efforts in improving the rules of origin implementation mechanism, and boost "software connection" in standard systems such as information exchange, customs clearance and quality control, in order to create conditions for the gradual building of an infrastructure-connected Asia. The two sides should also expand investment and industrial cooperation, jointly foster a batch of green and highly efficient industrial parks to realize mutual integration.
The third is to boost financial cooperation. This is extremely crucial to safeguard financial and economic stability in the region. In recent years, China-ASEAN financial cooperation has made profound achievements and the overall scale of "Chiang Mai Initiative" multilateralization agreement has expanded to 240 billion dollars. The Chinese side is willing to continue to work with the ASEAN members to strengthen multi-layer regional financial security network, promote the substantial implementation of the bilateral local-currency swap agreement, encourage cross-border trade and investment settlements in local currencies, facilitate ASEAN institutions to invest in Chinese bond markets and constantly improve early-warning and bail-out mechanisms on regional financial risks. I believe the region's members are capable of coping with various difficulties and challenges, and by joining hands and helping each other, China and the ASEAN are sure to be able to maintain the steady economic growth and economic and financial stability in the region.
The fourth is to carry out maritime cooperation. This is a key field for the two sides to expand cooperation. The Chinese side proposes to set up "China-ASEAN maritime partnership". At the forum, the China-ASEAN harbor city cooperation network will be launched. We have input 3 billion yuan in setting up the China-ASEAN maritime cooperation fund. We are doing researches in carrying on a series of cooperation projects, giving priorities to construction of fishery bases, environmental protection for maritime ecology, seafood production and trade, navigation safety and search and rescue, and facilitation of maritime transportation. We are expecting for the active participation of the ASEAN countries.
The fifth is to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The Chinese side initiates to set the year 2014 as "China-ASEAN Friendly Exchange Year". China will offer 15,000 government scholarship seats for the ASEAN countries in the next three to five years. China will also invest in a special fund for Asian regional cooperation to deepen people-to-people and cultural cooperation. We will further make China-ASEAN Youth Society and China-ASEAN Think Tank Network play more active roles. I hope the media will continue to support the China-ASEAN development and send the messages of friendly cooperation and greater confidence to the world. To help China is to help the ASEAN countries and the vice versa, and by helping each other, we can achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Here, let me introduce the current economic situation of China. Since the beginning of this year, we have been confronted with a complicated situation with economic downward pressure and a sluggish external market. We sized up the situation and stayed calm. We stabilized macro-economic polices and timely clarified the reasonable range of the Chinese economy. We coordinated tasks of stabilizing growth, restructuring the economy and promoting reforms. We conducted our work in a systematic, comprehensive, and targeted way to unleash dividends of reform initiatives. We actively promoted the work to optimize economic structure and gave full play to the market mechanism. We firmly moved towards this orientation. Even with increasing downward pressure, we addressed problems through reforms, and we ensured that major economic indicators are above a floor level and under a ceiling through structural adjustment. These measures, which address the present issues as well as long-term problems, and draw on China's advantages and avoid disadvantages, have started to show positive effects. Chinese economy maintained steady growth in the first half of the year. Recent data showed that employment and consumer prices are stable in China, a bumper harvest is expected, and there is pickup in industrial production, foreign trade and foreign investment utilization figures. The market expectation is improving, and the confidence is increasing. Of course, we can not slack off and take the situation lightly. We are fully aware that a number of difficulties and challenges are ahead. Some are foreseeable and some are not. But we have conditions and capabilities to achieve main tasks for this year's social and economic development. We are determined to lay a good foundation for China's economic development in the next year, in the future and for the country's long-term, sustainable and healthy economic development. China's development will not only improve the well-being of the Chinese people, but also bring more development and market opportunities to other countries including ASEAN nations.
China and Southeast Asian countries had been linked by the ancient maritime Silk Road more than 2,000 years ago, and now we are relaying the historic glory. The past decade has seen the China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit grow and prosper at a fast speed, and we hope it will keep going smoothly. In Chinese, the name of the expo venue "Nanning" carried the meaning of "peace and tranquility in the south". For the 1.9 billion peace-loving, hardworking, and intelligent people in China and the ASEAN, a stable environment promises prosperity and power. I believe China and the ASEAN will see our road of cooperation become wider and our mutually beneficial outcomes more plentiful and substantial.
Finally, I wish our guests every success in your work and good health during the expo and the summit, and I wish the tenth China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit a complete success!
(China Daily 09/05/2013 page9)