Economies 'must adjust'
Updated: 2011-11-15 07:55
By Wu Jiao and Wei Tian (China Daily)
President tells APEC leaders that growth models have to change
HONOLULU / BEIJING - President Hu Jintao pledged on Sunday that China will boost both imports and domestic demand as the world's second-largest economy embraces a more balanced economic structure.
Hu made the remarks as he addressed Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders who were attending a summit in Hawaii. He called on regional countries to change their growth model to better meet the challenge of a struggling global economy.
Analysts said that Hu's speech sent a clear message that China is committed to economic cooperation, both regionally and further afield.
"We should speed up the shifting of the growth model and adjust the economic structure".
Hu said that developed countries should adopt responsible macroeconomic policies and properly handle sovereign debt and fiscal risks. Emerging markets, he added, should boost domestic demand and promote growth through the combined forces of consumption, investment and exports.
Wu Jinglian, a leading economist with the State Council's Development Research Center, said low savings and high consumption in developed countries were key factors behind the current global financial crisis. The opposite scenario was at play in developing economies and this worsened the global economic situation, he said.
Both developed and emerging economies should adjust their structures, Wu said.
Emerging economies could emerge stronger from the crisis by maintaining high growth levels but developed countries will have to refocus and identify new sources of growth, Wei Liang, a researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said.
"To that end, the US and Europe should place greater emphasis on technological innovation and hopefully that will lead to another industrial revolution to boost the global economy," Wei said.
In this respect, there is potential for China and Western countries to cooperate, he said.
China, the world's biggest exporter, has seen its trade surplus declining sharply over the past several years while imports have increased. Incomes have also risen and spending on construction has surged.
Increasing domestic demand has boosted global production.
China's imports are expected to reach $8 trillion in five years, Hu said at a G20 summit in France earlier this month.
In the first three quarters of 2011, China's imports have already reached nearly $1.29 trillion, up 26.7 percent.
Officials said that this demonstrates how China implemented measures to stimulate domestic demand.
Besides high-tech imports, China should also encourage imports of consumer goods, such as food, which only contributes a small part of the total import volume, Wang Haifeng, director of the International Cooperation Center affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission, said.
"More competition from abroad would urge domestic producers to enhance the quality of their products," Wang said.
Hu said in his APEC speech that China will unwaveringly put equal importance on imports and exports as well as inbound and outbound investment.
Hu also said that China will continue to implement a win-win strategy of opening up new regions.
China will redouble efforts to increase transparency and to make sure that its institutions and mechanisms are more responsive to the needs of an open economy, Hu said.
"We will seek our own development and at the same time fulfill international responsibilities as our ability permits," Hu said.