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