Guests from all around the world have gathered together in Urumqi in this golden season of autumn. On the morning of September 1, 2011, the first China-Eurasia Economic Development and Cooperation Forum kicked off in Xinjiang International Exhibition Center. Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council attended the Forum where he delivered a speech titled Deepening Inland Opening and Development and Promoting Asia-Europe Cooperation.
Li said that China and Eurasian countries are all located on the same continent and have played an important role in the progress of human civilization. The Eurasian hinterland has always been the land passage linking the east with the west and was once one of the most vigorous regions in the world economic landscape. The ancient Silk Road witnessed its historical prosperity and glory. He pointed out that the deepening economic globalization, rapid progress of science and technology and development of modern transportation system have all brought new opportunities of opening up and development to the Eurasian hinterland which combines the east with the west and boasts abundant resources and vast markets.
He introduced China's 12th Five-Year Plan and described China's growth in the 12th Five-Year Plan period. He stressed that China will uphold scientific development, accelerate change of economic growth pattern, try to solve the unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development problems, keep stable and relatively fast economic growth, improve people's livelihood and enhance social harmony and stability. While continuing with opening up, China will work hard to expand domestic demand, stimulate the internal vigor and turn the huge consumption potential into endogenous driving force of growth.
He emphasized that western development tops the agenda of China's overall strategy on the growth of different regions. To open up in the western direction is a major measure of China's all-round opening up efforts. We will deeply implement the western development strategy to expand the opening of the inland and border areas and in the western direction while raising the level of opening up of the coastal areas and in the eastern direction. Xinjiang is a key area of western development and the bridgehead of opening to the west. The Chinese government has formulated and is implementing a series of preferential policies to support Xinjiang's growth, accelerate its opening up, enhance its development capacity and promote its development by leaps and bounds and long-term stability.
The world today is experiencing major adjustments and changes at a quicker pace. The recent turbulences in the international financial market have resulted in more uncertainties and instability of the world economy. Asia and Europe are the important forces of the world economy. To deepen the pragmatic cooperation between Asian and European countries serves not only their own needs but also the need of the world. We should work together, broaden our mind and build innovative mechanisms to promote Eurasian cooperation with a long perspective. He raised three key proposals to that end:
First, deepen pragmatic cooperation on trade and investment which is the engine of economic growth. Countries should further open their markets, make their policies more transparent, improve laws and regulations, integrate relevant technical standards, facilitate customs clearance, build a more stable, visible and predictable market environment and oppose various forms of protectionism. At the same time, countries should improve the regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms and accelerate regional economic integration.
Second, advance the interconnectivity of infrastructure. Many Eurasian countries are located in the inland and to improve infrastructure is critical for them to expand economic cooperation. Related countries should strengthen coordination of their planning and build major infrastructure networks, especially the cross-region roads, railways, civil aviation routes, pipelines and telecommunication networks. China is willing to work with all relevant parties to fully tap the transport potential of the new Eurasia continental bridge, promote the construction of cross-nation passages and sign the Shanghai Cooperation Organization international road transport facilitation agreement.
Third, enhance the mutually beneficial cooperation between industries and businesses. Eurasian countries have strong economic complementarities and enjoy promising prospects of cooperation between industries and businesses. Governments should strengthen the policy support, forge a safe and stable environment for businesses to play their role, deepen cooperation on energy and resources development and actively explore cooperation on agriculture and animal husbandry, tourism, manufacturing, environmental protection and finance.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, Azerbaijani Vice Prime Minister Abid Sharifov, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Aset Issekeshev and former Hungarian Prime Minister Medgyessy attended and addressed the Forum. They spoke highly of China's economic and social development achievements and noted that to strengthen economic and trade cooperation with China is important not only to the bilateral economic relations but also to promoting the regional economic cooperation in Eurasia. They are willing to continue to deepen the bilateral and multilateral cooperation for mutual benefit.
Prior to attending the Forum, Li met with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and exchanged opinions on strengthening China's cooperation with the UNCTAD.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Donald Tsang and Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region Chui Sai On attended the Forum.
The theme of the first China-Eurasia Economic Development and Cooperation Forum is "achieving win-win cooperation and promoting sustainable development". During the first China-Eurasia Expo, besides this forum, other events will also be held, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Business Day, China-Eurasia Tourism Cooperation and Development Forum, Agricultural Cooperation and Development Forum, Financial Cooperation Forum, Science and Technology Cooperation Forum, Forum of Ministers Responsible for Information, Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs and Xinjiang Development Forum, Week of Chinese and Foreign Cultures and the Hong Kong Booth Day.