Dear Mr. Parsons, Distinguished Guests,Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening! It is a great pleasure for meto join all of you here at the opening ceremony of the 2005 Fortune GlobalForum on this pleasant evening. Let mebegin by extending, on behalf of the Chinese government and also in my ownname, my warm welcome to all of you and my sincere congratulations to thesponsor of the Forum, the Time Warner Inc. of the United States.
The theme of the Forum, "China and the NewAsian Century", gives full expression to the widespread interest in theprospects of the development in China and Asia as a whole, as well as in theimpact of their development on global economic growth. It also shows that with the surging economicglobalization, China and Asia are quickly becoming a new driving force for theworld while the global boom is also generating more important opportunities forChina and Asia. Continued mutually beneficial economic cooperation and rising interdependenceamong the world's countries and regions will usher in an even better future forthe development of global economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen. China is an ancient civilization with ahistory dating back over 5,000 years. The Chinese people have made a majorcontribution to human progress by creating the splendid Chinese civilizationwith hard work and ingenuity. The cityof Beijing, with its history of over 3,000 years, stands testimony to thateffort. It became the nation's capital over 800 years ago. A short distancefrom the Great Hall of the People, where we are in right now, is theworld-renowned Forbidden City. First built some 600 years ago, the formerImperial Palace is the largest and most complete existing ensemble of ancientroyal architecture in the world.
From Beijing's time-honored past and thedelicately-constructed Forbidden City itself, people can learn vividly theoriginality, greatness and profound richness of the Chinese civilization andfeel for themselves the vigor, resilience and pioneering spirit of the Chinesenation.
Beginning in the mid-19th century, Chinawas reduced to dire misery as the country suffered one humiliating defeat afteranother and the people languished in poverty and starvation as a result ofbrutal foreign aggressions and the corrupt and incompetent feudal rulers.Refusing to submit to the troubles at home and aggressions from abroad, theChinese people fought back persistently and finally built up a new China underthe leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
Since the establishment of New China, andparticularly since the implementation of the reform and opening-up policypioneered by Mr. Deng Xiaoping in 1978, China has undergone a profoundtransformation never seen in the country before. In a short span of 26 years from 1978 to 2004,China's GDP increased from $147.3 billion to $1.6494 trillion with an average annualgrowth rate of 9.4%. Its foreign trade volume rose from $20.6 billion to$1.1548 trillion, averaging an annual growth rate of over 16%. China's foreignexchange reserve increased from $167 million to $609.9 billion. The number ofrural poor has dwindled from 250 million to 26 million. The overall nationalstrength of China has increased remarkably and the people's living conditionsimproved steadily. While inheriting andcarrying forward their proud past, the 1.3 billion Chinese people are writing anew chapter in history as they march of one mind on the road of buildingsocialism with Chinese characteristics.
China has identified the goal for the first20 years of this century, that is, to firmly seize the important strategicopportunities to build a moderately prosperous society of a higher standard inan all-round way for the benefits of our over one billion people. By 2020, wewill quadruple China's GDP of 2000 to approximate $4 trillion with a per capitalevel of some $3,000, and further develop the economy, improve democracy,advance science and education, enrich culture, foster greater social harmonyand upgrade the texture of life for the people.
We are deeply aware that China, for aconsiderably long period of time to come, will remain a developing country. Thepopulation figure of 1.3 billion will make the fulfillment of the above goal aformidable challenge and we must be prepared for a long and uphill journey ahead.
To realize this goal, we must uphold thescientific approach in achieving economic and social development of thecountry. We must put the people first, making the fundamental interests of thebroadest masses of people our point of departure and endeavoring to satisfy theirgrowing material and cultural needs to pursue the comprehensive development ofman.
We must focus on economic development asour central task, making development our top priority and facilitating theall-round progress in economic, political and cultural aspects and in thebuilding of a harmonious society. We must stick to the direction of reform fora socialist market economy, step up institutional innovation, deepen reformsaimed at inspiring creative vitality of society and increase the inherentdynamics for economic and social development. We must adhere to our basic policy of openingto the outside world, building a more open market place and allowing thecountry to participate more broadly in international economic and technologicalcooperation and competition with still wider and higher dimensions.
We must follow a new course ofindustrialization, endeavor to adjust the economic structure, accelerate thetransformation of the ways to achieve economic growth by improving its qualityand efficiency, vigorously develop the circular economy and build a resource-effectiveand environment-friendly society, thus blazing a trail of development characterizedby higher productivity, comfortable life for the people and a sustainable eco-system.We believe, as long as we firmly follow the path of development that is consistentwith China's national conditions, we will be able to realize our goals and playa greater and more constructive role in the promotion of world peace and commondevelopment.
Ladies and Gentlemen! China and the rest of Asia and the world atlarge are closely related when it comes to development. A developing Chinawill, as always, generate cooperation opportunities with win-win results forother countries in Asia and the world over. By the end of 2004, China hadattracted a total of $562.1 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI),approved the establishment in China of more than 500,000 foreign-fundedenterprises and created a huge import market of some $560 billion annually.
At present, most countries and regions havehad enterprises with investment in China, and over 400 firms out of the Fortune500 have invested in China. The number of R&D centers set up by foreigninvestors in China has exceeded 700. As China becomes more developed, its cooperationwith the other countries and their corporations of various types are bound to increasein scale.
China will keep opening up its market, findnew ways of attracting foreign capital, improve on legislations and regulationsfor encouraging and protecting foreign investors, revamp foreign economicmanagement, step up protection of intellectual property rights, and work stillharder to help foreign investors and create an even better environment fortrade and economic cooperation between China and the rest of the world.
For a long time, many of you and thecompanies you represent have been vigorously involved for years in pushingeconomic and technological cooperation with China and made significantcontribution to China's sustained economic growth and technological upgradingin certain industries.
Ladies and Gentlemen. All of you areimportant corporate leaders participating and promoting international economicactivities. Many of you and the companies you represent have been vigorouslyinvolved for years in pushing economic and technological cooperation with Chinaand made significant contribution to China's sustained economic growth and technologicalupgrading in certain industries.
Facts have proved that such cooperationserves our mutual interests. We look forward to continued expansion of yourinvestment in China and your still closer economic and technologicalcooperation with Chinese enterprises. Ibelieve that you will give greater scope to the advantages of your companiesand your rich managerial expertise and play a critical role in facilitatinginternational economic and technological cooperation and promoting economicdevelopment in regions and globally. Let us join hands and work together tocontribute a greater share to world peace and common development.
May I conclude my remarks by wishing the2005 Fortune Global Forum in Beijing a complete success!