|Spokesman of the Chinese Delegation Talks about the19th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting|
On November 13, 2011, the19th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting was held in Honolulu, capital of Hawaii, the United States. Ma Zhaoxu, spokesman of the Chinese delegation introduced to the media China's evaluation on the outcome of the meeting.
He said that the19th APEC informal leaders' meeting was held in the context that the world economic situation was going through complex and profound changes, the international financial market was in turmoil, the instability and uncertainty of world economic recovery was on the rise, and the global challenges became increasingly prominent. The meeting focused its discussions on a number of issues including driving economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, deepening regional economic integration, expanding trade, promoting green growth, strengthening regulatory cooperation and regulatory convergence, and energy security and issued the " Declaration of Honolulu - Toward a Seamless Regional Economy " and its four annexes, which respectively covered innovation policy, SMEs, environmental goods and services, and regulatory cooperation. Members worked together through equal consultations and achieved pragmatic and balanced outcome for the meeting and the principle of consensus followed by APEC was also reflected.
President Hu Jintao attended the meeting and delivered an important speech titled "Transforming Development Mode and Realizing Economic Growth", making propositions on advancing trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in an all-round manner, deepening cooperation in green growth in Asia Pacific , strengthening economic structural reform and regulatory cooperation. The meeting achieved the following results:
First, deepening regional economic integration and expanding trade. Economic globalization is conducive to the rational international division of labor and the optimal allocation of production factors. Trade and investment liberalization has a key role in ensuring economic recovery. The meeting adopted a series of documents including the statement of the APEC leaders on the policies to promote effective, non-discriminatory, and market-driven innovation policy and the document on enhancing small and medium-sized enterprises participation in global production chains in next generation trade agreements. A lot of consensus was reached on innovation policy and SME development and agreements were reached to oppose trade protectionism. In addition, the leaders also reached broad consensus on improving the supply chain, reducing logistics costs, launching the APEC travel facilitation initiatives, implementing the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform, Implementing the Niigata Declaration on Food Security, and pursuing liberalization of air cargo services.
Second, promoting green growth. Green growth is the core content in the APEC Leaders' Growth Strategy and the trend of economic and social development. The meeting adopted the statement on trade and investment in environmental goods and services and agreed to work to develop an APEC list of environmental goods that directly and positively contribute to the green growth and sustainable development objectives, on which APEC members are resolved to reduce by the end of 2015 the applied tariff rates to 5% or less, taking into account economies' economic circumstances, without prejudice to APEC economies' positions in the WTO. This reflects the ambition of APEC in the liberalization of environmental goods and services and also takes into account the differences of member economies. It is the outcome based on the consensus of member economies. The meeting also calls for promoting the spread of environmental technologies to contribute to APEC's goals of sustainable development.
Third, energy security. Maintaining global energy security is of great significance to the full recovery and long-term development of world economy. The meeting agreed to aspire to reduce APEC's aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035, which not only reflects members' political will of being committed to green growth and sustainable development, but also emphasizes members' difference in economic structure and other aspects, reflecting the independent, voluntary, non-binding and common but differentiated responsibilities principles. The meeting also achieved positive results on phasing out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, supporting energy-smart low-carbon communities, developing low-emissions development strategies, promoting APEC low-carbon model town project, and prohibiting trade in illegally harvested forest.
Fourth, regulatory cooperation and convergence. The meeting adopted the document of APEC on strengthening implementation of good regulatory practices, encouraged members to undertake actions by 2013 to implement good regulatory practices across APEC economies and agreed to work to ensure internal coordination of regulatory work, assess regulatory impacts; and conduct public consultation. The members also agreed to enhance regulatory cooperation in smart grid, green building, solar technology, food safety, anti-corruption, open governance and other areas.
The APEC leaders' informal meeting also achieved positive results in strengthening economic and technical cooperation, enhancing women's participation in economic development, encouraging the private sector to play a greater role in APEC, and disaster prevention and mitigation.
Ma Zhaoxu said that APEC is an important mechanism for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its establishment 20 years ago, APEC has played an important role in promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation of the region, deepening regional economic integration, strengthening economic and technical cooperation and realizing common development. Though members had differences on some issues before the meeting, members managed to achieve balanced and pragmatic results in a spirit of voluntarism and consensus, through consultation, and taking into account the different levels of development and concerns of member economies. It is an embodiment of equality, with members, big and small, living in the big family of APEC. This is very important for the continuous progress of APEC cooperation.
Ma Zhaoxu said that China always attaches importance to and actively participates in APEC cooperation in various fields. Chinese presidents took part in all the APEC informal leaders' meeting. China also hosted a number of important meetings of APEC in recent years. In 2010 and 2011, China respectively organized the Fifth APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting and the First APEC Forestry Ministerial Meeting. President Hu Jintao attended opening ceremonies and delivered speeches at both meetings and he also raised many important suggestions on human resource development and forestry cooperation and making important contributions to the inclusive and sustainable growth of the region. In the meantime, China also established over 10 cooperation mechanisms under the framework of APEC and set up a "China-APEC Cooperation Fund", providing financial support for APEC economic and technical cooperation. These have promoted economic cooperation and social development of the Asia-Pacific region and are highly appreciated by APEC members. While advancing China's foreign cooperation, they also demonstrated the image of a responsible big country. China is willing to make joint efforts with other members to further promote regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation process and make positive contributions to the balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth of the regional and global economy.