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Cover Story Series> World
UPDATED: November 22, 2010 NO. 47 NOVEMBER 25, 2010
Emerging Economic Voices
China calls for equal, balanced and sustainable development at the G20 and APEC summits

He explained the global financial crisis took a heavy toll on developed economies, and the influence of emerging economies began to rise in its wake. "The power of making macroeconomic adjustments has transferred from the G8 to the G20, which consists of both developed and emerging economies," Mei said. "And economic decision-making rights are also transferring from developed to emerging economies."

Mei said the IMF should transfer further shares to emerging economies to meet the tendency of world economic development, thus pushing forward reforms in international monetary and economic systems. "Emerging economies shouldn't give up the right to establish a new international economic system," he said.

"The agreements at the G20 Summit came about after an economic and diplomatic power struggle," Shen Shishun, a senior expert on Asia-Pacific studies and President of the Institute of International Economy at the Haikou College of Economics, said to Beijing Review. He said the rising power of emerging economies will push us toward a more multilateral world.

"The involvement of emerging economies can better contain the unilateral and irresponsible actions of some developed economies," he added.

Eyeing free trade

Focusing on this year's theme of "change and action" in Yokohama, Japan, APEC leaders discussed regional growth strategies, economic integration, security, the Bogor Goals, the Doha Round of WTO talks and APEC's future development.

In a speech at the APEC meeting, President Hu called on member economies to promote balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth. The Chinese leader noted this year marks the deadline for industrialized APEC economies to achieve the Bogor Goals, a commitment announced at the 1994 APEC Summit in Bogor, Indonesia.

Under the commitment, APEC members agreed to realize free and open trade and investment for developed members by 2010, and for developing members by 2020. The Chinese president called on APEC members to continue the promotion of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and the acceleration of regional economic integration.

Hu's remarks were reflected in the declaration titled "The Yokohama Vision—Bogor and Beyond," which said APEC member economies "will implement the growth strategy out to 2015, focusing on the five desired attributes of balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure growth." APEC members cannot continue with "growth as usual" and "the quality of growth" needs to be improved, said the declaration.

The leaders also mapped out an action plan for the strategy, which encompasses critical elements such as structural reform, human resources and entrepreneurship development, green growth, knowledge-based economy and human security.

APEC leaders pledged to "take concrete steps" toward realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). An FTAAP should be pursued as a comprehensive free trade agreement by building on ongoing regional undertakings, such as ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea), ASEAN Plus Six (China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the declaration said.

"A developing country's development is doomed to be unsustainable if it relies only on processing primary products," said Mei, stressing changing the mode of economic growth is urgent for emerging economies.

"Changing the mode of economic growth is a worldwide trend," said Shen, adding that all APEC members should establish new development concepts and seek sustainable development.

Strengthening regional cooperation, including technological exchanges, would help to reach such a goal, said Shen. He pointed out that developed regional economies, such as Japan, are more experienced in developing clean energy, and other members can benefit from technological exchanges.

APEC leaders also agreed to make further efforts toward realizing the Bogor Goals, he said. Developed countries finally realized that helping developing countries benefits everyone, and they are trying to establish good relations with developing countries.

"Developed economies are now hitchhiking on emerging economies' and developing countries' economic development," Shen said, adding that the creation of the FTAAP could drag developed economies out of their slow economic recovery.

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