2018 APEC China CEO Fo­rum: Deepen Co­op­er­a­tion in the Asia-pacfic Re­gion

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Special Report - By Qi Li

The 2018 APEC China CEO Fo­rum, or­ga­nized by the CCPIT, the CCOIC and the APEC China Busi­ness Coun­cil, was held in Bei­jing on July 7, and hun­dreds of busi­ness del­e­gates within the in­dus­try at­tended the fo­rum. The fo­rum was themed with “global econ­omy and new cy­cle of Chi­nese de­vel­op­ment” and pre­sented top­ics of APEC and in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment, the fu­ture of fi­nance, smart travel, tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion, tran­si­tion of dig­i­tal econ­omy, the 40-year an­niver­sary of the Chi­nese open­ing-up and homage to en­trepreneur­ship. This fo­rum rep­re­sented a di­a­logue or­ga­nized by Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to en­hance trade, eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tions within the Asia-pa­cific re­gion, and show­cases Chi­nese com­mit­ment, re­spon­si­bil­ity and wis­dom. It is also a co­op­er­a­tion plat­form for in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tiv­ity and ex­changes.

APEC is one of the most in­flu­en­tial fo­rums in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion and also an im­por­tant plat­form for the Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to be in­volved in re­gional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. APEC is the world’s largest eco­nomic or­ga­ni­za­tion in terms of in­cluded coun­tries’ pop­u­la­tion, GDP and trade vol­ume com­bined. The re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion un­der the APEC frame­work is con­nected with lo­cal eco­nomic growth and pros­per­ity and also has deep im­pact on the global eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Busi­ness lead­ers and econ­o­mists at­tend­ing the fo­rum reached a con­sen­sus to pro­mote free trade and fight against trade pro­tec­tion­ism. They gave pos­i­tive com­ments about APEC con­tri­bu­tions and talked about the new trends of world eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, to ad­vance busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion un­der the APEC frame­work.

“The world is see­ing the rise of trade pro­tec­tion­ism. The CCOIC and the APEC China Busi­ness Coun­cil shall stick to their po­si­tion and pro­mote Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to em­brace and de­fend glob­al­iza­tion and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, and op­pose trade pro­tec­tion­ism,” said Yu Jian­long, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the CCOIC at the open­ing cer­e­mony speech.

Yu said that APEC is one of the most in­flu­en­tial eco­nomic fo­rums in the Asia Pa­cific re­gion and that it is an im­por­tant plat­form for the Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to be in­volved in re­gional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. The APEC China Busi­ness Coun­cil was founded in 2013 to fur­ther ad­vance co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try and the world. It or­ga­nized the APEC China CEO Fo­rum in both 2012 and 2013. The fo­rum at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion from APEC mem­bers and re­ceived a good re­sponse.

Yu said that this year marks the fifth an­niver­sary of the foun­da­tion of the APEC China Busi­ness coun­cil, and that this year’s fo­rum was in­tended to pro­mote the Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to be in­volved in eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, and make new con­tri­bu­tions to global gov­er­nance. He sug­gested that the CCOIC and the APEC China Busi­ness Coun­cil shall fol­low its com­mit­ment, pro­mote Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to em­brace glob­al­iza­tion and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, fight against trade pro­tec­tion­ism, and ad­vance eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion. It also en­cour­ages the Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to be in­volved in eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and gov­er­nance of the Asia-pa­cific re­gion. The CCOIC and busi­ness coun­cil shall use their own re­sources to or­ga­nize the Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try to com­mu­ni­cate with the world busi­ness in­dus­try, and ex­press the Chi­nese in­dus­try’s po­si­tions and needs in the for­mu­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional rules and reg­u­la­tions, pro­mo­tion of Chi­nese eco­nomic model and de­vel­op­ment of new tech­nol­ogy. They shall co­or­di­nate ac­tiv­i­ties well and play an im­por­tant role of mul­ti­lat­eral plat­form.

It is im­por­tant to stick to glob­al­iza­tion and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, and fight against trade pro­tec­tion­ism.

“The Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try shall get in­volved in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion,” CCPIT Vice chair­man Chen Zhou said in his speech. He said that the growth of the Asia-pa­cific econ­omy is due to the de­vel­op­ment of glob­al­iza­tion and the mul­ti­lat­eral trade sys­tem. As the world is fac­ing rise of trade pro­tec­tion­ism, Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try shall en­hance co­op­er­a­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions in green sup­ply chain, gen­eral trade pref­er­ence and SME de­vel­op­ment to fur­ther ad­vance eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion. APEC lead­ers set the es­tab­lish­ment of Asia-pa­cific free trade zone as a far-sight goal, in hopes of play­ing to the strength of Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try, sup­port­ing the ad­vo­cate of build­ing Asia-pa­cific free trade zone and pro­mot­ing free trade zone es­tab­lish­ment. It shall en­hance con­nec­tiv­ity and con­struct a com­mu­nity of com­mon des­tiny. Chi­nese busi­ness in­dus­try has taken ad­van­tage of APEC plat­form to en­hance mu­tual com­mu­ni­ca­tions, cre­ate more de­vel­op­ment space, in­ject de­vel­op­ment mo­men­tum and pro­vide more de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the whole in­dus­try. It is im­por­tant to seek in­no­va­tion-driven growth and de­velop new co­op­er­a­tion points for Asia Pa­cific busi­nesses.

The APEC China CEO Fo­rum works un­der the APEC frame­work. Its pur­pose is ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for world eco­nomic growth and Chi­nese de­vel­op­ment, and con­struct­ing a plat­form for eco­nomic, fi­nan­cial and tech­no­log­i­cal di­a­logue and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Mean­while, it is also cre­at­ing an in­ter­na­tional plat­form for in­no­va­tion and co­op­er­a­tion.

and re­gions. China has been con­tribut­ing al­most 30% of world eco­nomic growth and be­come the pow­er­house of world eco­nomic re­cov­ery and growth.

Now the Chi­nese econ­omy is tran­si­tion­ing from the phase of high-speed growth to that of high-qual­ity growth. Yu Bin, direc­tor of gen­eral of­fice and party lead­er­ship group mem­ber of the State Coun­cil De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter, said that eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment has tran­si­tioned from quan­tity to qual­ity. It is a tran­si­tion from suf­fi­ciency of sup­ply to qual­ity of sup­ply. Yu Bin be­lieves that in the next 10 years, Chi­nese GDP in terms of the ex­change rate will sur­pass the U.S. and the in­come per capita will en­ter a high range. Mean­while, eco­nomic growth is mainly driven by the ser­vice in­dus­try, and China is trans­form­ing from the world’s fac­tory to the world’s mar­ket.

As an im­por­tant part of com­pre­hen­sive deep­en­ing of re­form, the Na­tional Mar­ket Su­per­vi­sion and Man­age­ment Bureau was formed this March. The deputy direc­tor of the bureau Gan Lin said in the open­ing speech that in the fu­ture Chi­nese mar­ket su­per­vi­sion would add new mo­men­tum to the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. As the eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion is un­der­go­ing deep changes, it is deeply con­nected with world trade and econ­omy, and also the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket rules and reg­u­la­tions. This will bring new op­por­tu­ni­ties to the Chi­nese econ­omy and pose higher re­quire­ments on the mar­ket en­vi­ron­ment. The mar­ket needs bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for in­vest­ment and start-up and fairer competition en­vi­ron­ment. Also, the rapid growth of in­no­va­tion start-up re­quires bet­ter pro­tec­tions on in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights.

Af­ter this year’s NPC and CPCCC, the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Co­op­er­a­tion Bureau was formed on April 18. The deputy direc­tor of the bureau Deng Bo­qing said in his speech that the world to­day is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing big de­vel­op­ment, big trans­for­ma­tion and big ad­just­ment. The fu­ture trend will in­clude peace and co­op­er­a­tion, open­ing-up and con­nec­tiv­ity, as well as re­form and in­no­va­tion. The Asia-pa­cific re­gion is the largest part of the world econ­omy and one of the most im­por­tant en­gines of world eco­nomic growth. “The busi­ness in­dus­try is a ma­jor player to ad­vance eco­nomic growth and also the ex­plorer of de­vel­op­ing con­cepts. Faced with the nu­mer­ous changes in the world, the Asia Pa­cific busi­ness in­dus­try is lead­ing the way in re­form as well as in­no­va­tion, and work­ing with in­ter­na­tional busi­ness in­dus­try to cre­ate a new sit­u­a­tion.” He said that in the past years, China has been ac­tively in­volved into in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment and co­op­er­a­tion and help­ing other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and un­der-de­vel­oped coun­tries. Many en­ter­prises of Asia Pa­cific re­gion have been im­ple­ment­ing so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, re­turn­ing to so­ci­ety and solv­ing the is­sue of re­source in­ad­e­quacy.

The In­ter­net- driven dig­i­tal econ­omy will be­come the im­pe­tus for China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the fu­ture. The pres­i­dent of Tmall (a plat­form af­fil­i­ated to the Alibaba Group) Jing Jie pointed out at the fo­rum that all en­ter­prises have re­al­ized that dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is the only way, and the best mar­ket, the best stage for dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is in China. He said that now Chi­nese cus­tomers can enjoy fresh durian from Malaysia, salmon from Nor­way, and cher­ries from Chile through Tmall. Prod­ucts from more than twenty coun­tries along the route of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive can be found on Tmall, which can cre­ate more con­ve­nient con­di­tions for global mer­chants to do busi­ness in China and share the op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the up­grad­ing of China’s con­sump­tion. “To con­nect global sup­ply chains to­gether, the busi­ness pat­tern should be re­built, and the co­op­er­a­tion among coun­tries should also reach the re­quired level,” added Jing.

“Aus­tralia will be a strong part­ner of China in the course of lib­er­al­iza­tion of econ­omy, trade and in­vest­ment.” Aus­tralian Am­bas­sador to China Jan Adams said in her speech that within the frame­work of APEC, China and Aus­tralia share the same goal that is com­mit­ted to build­ing a free trade area in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion, en­hanc­ing dig­i­tal trade and achiev­ing the lib­er­al­iza­tion of ser­vices. She said that the WTO and the mul­ti­lat­eral trad­ing sys­tem are be­ing chal­lenged un­der­scores the im­por­tance of APEC. Sim­i­larly, the high-qual­ity free trade agree­ment be­tween China and Aus­tralia, which is very com­pre­hen­sive and open, has be­come a model of in­ter­na­tional

co­op­er­a­tion. By build­ing real-time con­nec­tion be­tween gov­ern­ment and en­ter­prises, APEC pro­motes co­op­er­a­tion, mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and pros­per­ity while re­duc­ing bar­ri­ers. An ap­pre­ci­ated the con­tri­bu­tion made by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and en­ter­prises for this.

An said that from the beginning of its es­tab­lish­ment, APEC has been an in­cu­ba­tor for new meth­ods of trade pros­per­ity. At the same time, the trade growth of APEC economies has ex­ceeded that of global trade. Be­sides, APEC mem­bers’ av­er­age tar­iff has fallen from 17% in 1987 to 5.5%, and eco­nomic costs have al­most halved through­out the past decade. She praised the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and en­ter­prises’ for their ef­forts, and pointed out that Aus­tralia will play a lead­ing role in the lib­er­al­iza­tion of econ­omy, trade and in­vest­ment, and will be­ing com­mit­ted to help­ing APEC achieve fur­ther suc­cess as a strong part­ner.

“Over the years, the Asia- Pa­cific busi­ness com­mu­nity has pro­vided suf­fi­cient power and wis­dom for co­op­er­a­tion among APEC.” Vice Min­is­ter of Min­istry of Com­merce Wang Shouwen said in his speech that it is un­der the sug­ges­tion of the busi­ness com­mu­nity that APEC mem­bers ac­cept the vi­sion of build­ing an Asia-pa­cific Free Trade Area and pos­i­tive mea­sures in­clud­ing the Bei­jing Road Map are for­mu­lated. He said that the busi­ness com­mu­nity has made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the all-round co­op­er­a­tion of APEC by ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in dig­i­tal econ­omy, in­ter­con­nec­tion, in­clu­sive growth and the work in small and medium-sized en­ter­prises. He called on the busi­ness com­mu­nity to make stronger voice, en­cour­age all mem­ber economies to ad­here to the path of glob­al­iza­tion and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, to op­pose uni­lat­er­al­ism and trade pro­tec­tion­ism, pro­mote lib­er­al­iza­tion and fa­cil­i­ta­tion of trade and in­vest­ment in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion, so as to ad­vance all-round con­nec­tiv­ity, seek in­no­va­tion and in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment, and make solid ef­forts to fur­ther deepen APEC co­op­er­a­tion.

Faced with the un­cer­tain fu­ture of the in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion, the role of the busi­ness com­mu­nity in pro­mot­ing eco­nomic pros­per­ity in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion is highly an­tic­i­pated. “In the cur­rent con­text where the Asia-pa­cific re­gion’s econ­omy is at­tacked by the resur­fac­ing trade pro­tec­tion­ism, the busi­ness com­mu­nity should play a unique ad­van­tage to ac­tively pro­mote the com­mon pros­per­ity and de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion.” The In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomics Depart­ment Coun­selor of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs Lu Mei sug­gested that a more open econ­omy is en­cour­aged so as to achieve mu­tual ben­e­fit. There­fore, it is hoped that the in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial sec­tor can ac­tively im­ple­ment the Asia-pa­cific Free Trade Zone Bei­jing Road Map and other se­ries of doc­u­ments to boost the Asia-pa­cific re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion mech­a­nism. In­no­va­tive growth is en­cour­aged to re­lease new de­vel­op­ment mo­men­tum and to cre­ate new growth points in the Asia-pa­cific econ­omy, and in­ter­con­nec­tion should be strength­ened to achieve joint de­vel­op­ment. In re­cent years, APEC has ac­tively pushed for­ward the Asia-pa­cific in­ter­con­nec­tion net­work and formed a co­or­di­nated and in­ter­ac­tive de­vel­op­ment pat­tern, which is highly com­pat­i­ble with the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. En­ter­ing a new era, China’s econ­omy will con­tinue to pro­vide strong mo­men­tum for global and Asia-pa­cific de­vel­op­ment. “The con­struc­tion of the Asia-pa­cific Free Trade Area is a dream of re­gion’s busi­ness com­mu­nity for many years,” Lu stressed.

Deng Bo­qing, deputy direc­tor of the Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Agency, pointed out that China’s in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion has dis­tinct char­ac­ter­is­tics: in­clu­sive­ness, equal­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity. In­clu­sive­ness means that the right of all par­ties to choose their own de­vel­op­men­tal path and model should be re­spected without po­lit­i­cal con­di­tions. Equal­ity refers to mu­tual re­spect, com­ple­ment­ing each other’s ad­van­tages and strength­en­ing co­or­di­na­tion, so as to achieve joint de­vel­op­ment. Sus­tain­abil­ity means fo­cus­ing on help­ing de­vel­op­ing coun­tries build the abil­i­ties to de­velop in­de­pen­dently and self-re­liantly so that a sus­tain­able econ­omy can be at­tained. This will pro­vide de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for Chi­nese in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial cir­cles; im­prove in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and peo­ple’s liv­ing stan­dards. En­hanc­ing per­son­nel train­ing is con­ducive to the im­prove­ment of the busi-

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