President Hu Jintao yesterday pledged to the world China will undertake a set of reforms to become a more open, prospering market.
    Addressing a who's who of multinational CEOs, government leaders, and innovative business thinkers, Hu said they will enjoy a win-win result through closer economic and trade ties with the nation.
   "China will revamp foreign economic management, step up protection of intellectual property rights and work harder to help foreign investors, and create an even better environment for trade and economic co-operation between China and the rest of the world," Hu said during a 15-minute keynote speech to mark the opening of the 2005 FORTUNE Global Forum.
    The forum, themed "China and the New Asian Century," is regarded as a flagship event in global business circles. It has brought together about 850 business tycoons and government officials - a record high in the forum's history.

     The president told delegates that with surging economic globalization, China and Asia are quickly becoming a new growth engine for the world while the global boom is also generating more important opportunities for the region.
   Hu sketched a rosy picture for China's development in the next 15 years, saying that China will quadruple its year 2000 GDP to approximately US$4,000 billion with a per capita level of some US$3,000 in 2020.
   "To realize the goal, we must uphold the scientific approach in achieving economic and social development of the country," he said.
   "We must put the people first, making the fundamental interests of the broadest masses of people as our point of departure, and endeavour to satisfy their growing material and cultural needs to pursue the comprehensive development," he added.
   The president said the country will continue to open its market, find new ways of using foreign capital, and improve on legislation and regulations for encouraging and protecting foreign investors.
   "All of you are important corporate leaders participating in and promoting international economic activities. Many of you and the companies you represent have been vigorously involved for years in pushing economic and technological co-operation with China, and have made significant contribution to China's sustained economic growth and technological upgrading in certain industries," said Hu, adding that the Chinese looks forward to continued expansion of their investment.
   "As China becomes more developed, its co-operation with other countries and their corporations of various types is bound to increase in scale," Hu said.
   The president promised the country will stick to the direction of reform for a socialist market economy and participate more broadly in international economic and technological co-operation, and competition with "wider and higher dimensions," said the president.
   Before yesterday's ceremony, Hu also met board members of AOL Time Warner Inc, a group of world-known international entrepreneurs and representatives from business communities of the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan.
   Richard D. Parsons, chairman of the board and CEO of Time Warner Inc, told Hu that the presence of the delegates from the FORTUNE Global Top 500 has improved the vibrancy of China's economy and its key role in global economic development.
   The participants are expected to hold extensive discussions today and tomorrow on such topics as understanding China's capital markets, the global impact of the falling US dollar, perspectives on doing business in Asia and opportunities and challenges for Chinese companies.
   This is the third Fortune Global Forum to be held in China.

By Duan Ruolan
The Mawei Port of fuzhou,capital fujian Province.Yang E'NA

    The minister made the promise during a speech he delivered to the Fortune Global Forum held in Beijing on May 18.
    Bo predicted that trade volume between China and countries in Europe and North America would exceed US$400 billion by 2010. China¡¯s trade with South Korea and Japan would also increase to more than US$550 billion by then, he remarked.
    Bo stressed that an increasing number of investors would be drawn to China for the following reasons:
    The continued opening of China's market. The country has adjusted its economic system significantly since being admitted to the World Trade Organization three years ago.
    China¡¯s overall tariff rate has dropped to less than 10 per cent. In addition, 62 per cent of the country¡¯s trade service sectors are now open to foreign investment, only slightly below the 67 per cent average of other industrialized nations. China also abolished all non-tariff barriers making the market fairer and more transparent.
    China is becoming the world¡¯s largest market and is currently the world's No. 1 consumer of televisions, refrigerators and mobile phones. The per capita GDP of the 500 million residents of its eastern coastal areas is more than US$2,000.
    The latest Gallup survey indicates that wealthy Chinese households, which comprise 140 million people, have an average annual income ofUS$6,100, while residents' savings deposits total more than US$1,500 billion.
      China is yielding an increasingly highly educated and qualified workforce. Long known for its abundance of manual labour, the country is also rich in white-collar talent. Three million college students will graduate this year alone. 
      China is improving infrastructure facilities at a steady rate, ranking first in miles of expressways and railways. No country has more telephone users than China either. The country is second in the world for Internet use, providing service to over 94 million people. State of the art communications systems link the country with the rest of globe.
      In conjunction with Chinese business partners, foreign investors have been able to establish a well co-ordinated network of logistics firms, financial organizations and manufacturers, making the way smoother for future investors.

    The newly-launched Economic Zone along the WesternCoast of the Taiwan Straits will be conducive to the peaceful reunifi cation of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, officials said.
   ¡°The achievements of the zone will go beyond promoting economic co-operation between Fujian and Taiwan provinces,¡± they said.
    Business planners in East China¡¯s FujianProvince, situated opposite Taiwan, launched a strategy to set up the economic zone last January, in a bid to speed up local economic development.

East China's Fujian Province lays opposite To Taiwan across the Taiwan Straits.

   ¡°It is a strategical plan to build the economic zone, which is helpful in the peaceful reunifi cation of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan and regional economic development,¡± said Lu Zhangong, Secretary of Fujian Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Lu Zhanggong,Secretary of Fujian Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China

The Haicang Bridage links the mainland and island city in East China's Fujian Province.LI LUANHAN

    With Fuzhou and Xiamen at the centres, the zone is expected to expand along the coastal areas in the province facing Taiwan.
   ¡°Because the zone links the mainland and Taiwan, as well as the Pearl River and Yangtze River deltas - two of thee mainland¡¯s important economic engines, it will help Fujian strengthen its importance as an industrial base and attract overseas investment,¡± said Lu.

    On March 14, the Third Plenary Meeting of the 10th National People¡¯s Congress, the highest legislative body of China, passed the Anti-Secession Law, showing the nation¡¯s determination to safeguard territorial integrity and promote the peaceful reunifi cation of the mainland and Taiwan.
   Fujian, as the closest mainland province to Taiwan, has played an important role in the nation¡¯s reunification efforts.
      Experts and officials say the zone will create a new platform for economic co-operation between
    Fujian and Taiwan. Enhanced economic partnerships are conducive to strengthening anti-secessionist forces in Taiwan. Fujian¡¯s representatives proposed during the National People¡¯s Congress session that the zone should be listed as a key development area in the State¡¯s 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010).
    In addition, local authorities said that Taiwanese enterprises can make investments in every possible industrial fi eld in the zone, except for those causing environmental problems and prohibited by State laws and regulations.
    It is predicted that the new economic zone will go further in enhancing the already intensifi ed exchanges between the two provinces, according to Lu.
    At present, Taiwan is the second largest investment source and the largest import source to Fujian.
    By the end of 2004, Taiwaneseinvested enterprises in Fujian accounted for 25 per cent of the total number of Taiwanese-funded enterprises on the mainland.
   ¡°Because of the complemtary nature of the two economies, business partnerships between the two provinces are expected to further expand,¡± said Lu.
    Lu said the initiative is also helpful for the ¡°three direct links¡± of trade, transport and postal service between Taiwan and the mainland.
    Fujian is now pioneering direct passenger and cargo transportation with Taiwan¡¯s Jinmen and Mazu areas, regarded as an experiment and preparation for the ¡°Three Direct Links.¡±
    By the end of 2004, about 3.2 million TEUs (twentyfoot equivalent units) cargo containers and 670,000 passengers moved directly between the two sides, according to official statistics.
    At the same time, a total of 5.9 million Taiwanese people arrived in Fujian via direct and indirect transport links.
    At present, about 1 million Taiwanese people live in Fujian. As more Taiwanese business people are expected to invest in the new economic zone, figures are predicted to increase substantially.
    As a result, the zone will help strengthen emotional ties between the mainland and Taiwan, said Lu.
    Fujian and Taiwan enjoy close cultural links. Many Taiwanese speak the Minnan and Hakka dialects, which have their origins in eastern and southern Fujian.
    And people from both sides have long worshipped Mazu, a goddess of marine transportation safety.

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