APEC urbanization forum releases Ningbo Initiative

Updated: 2016-06-02 18:14

By Shi Xiaofeng(chinadaily.com.cn)

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APEC urbanization forum releases Ningbo Initiative

Xu Shaoshi, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commision, delivers the keynote speech on the opening ceremony of the APEC High-level Urbanization Forum 2016 in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, on June 2, 2016. [Photo/China Daily]

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High-Level Urbanization Forum 2016 opened in the coastal city of Ningbo on Thursday, with the 21 member economies releasing the Ningbo Initiative focusing on urbanization and inclusive growth.

According to the initiative, the high-level officials acknowledge that "urbanization is a necessary path toward modernization as well as a key engine for sustainable economic growth."

The APEC Economic leaders endorsed the APEC Cooperation Initiative for Jointly Establishing an Asia-Pacific Urbanization Partnership at the 2014 Beijing Summit, where Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to host the high-level forum to discuss urbanization cooperation in this region last year.

The 21 member economies gathered in Ningbo for the two-day meeting. They put forward eight proposals - promoting inclusive and dynamic urban growth, improving urban infrastructure, building smart cities, developing green cities, encouraging urban regeneration and retrofit, driving innovative urban development, advocating for good urban governance, and boosting APEC cooperation on sustainable urban development.

"In 2014, the urban population of APEC member economies hit 1.77 billion, 61 percent of the whole population in the region. According to estimates of the World Bank, global urban population is expected to reach 2.38 billion in 2050, 77 percent of the total. Urbanization has been recognized as a frontier for regional cooperation," the initiative noted.

Xu Shaoshi, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission - the country's economic planner, stressed in his keynote speech that APEC member economies are on different stages in terms of urbanization, which offers massive space and potential for cooperation within the organization.

"China is urbanizing rapidly. All APEC member economies are sincerely welcomed to participate in China's new urbanization process, cooperate in the field of urban infrastructure construction, smart and green city building, urban regeneration and retrofit, and innovative urban development, and sharing the benefit."

Juan Carlos Capunay, the Ambassador of Peru Embassy to China said that Peru will host the 2016 APEC Summit in Lima, the capital city. "We are trying to propose some initiatives in Peru, enhance the infrastructure cooperation between the Latin American countries and other Asia-Pacific economies, promote the bilateral trade and culture development, and share the experience on urbanization construction."