Waterfront Pavilion Gets the Moonlight First

Recently China’s economy has become focus of world attention. Observers have kept wondering, after 3 decades of high speed growth, what is going to happen to China’s economy? Some predict a sharp decline or a hard landing. The doubt is not totally unfounded.

It is true that China’s economic growth went down from double-digit figures in the past to 9.3% in 2011, 7.7% in 2012 and then to 7.5% in the second quarter of this year. However as we see it, this is the result of both natural economics and our readjustment initiatives.

China’s economic size is considerably larger than before. The downturn and uncertainty of the global economy has unavoidably impacted China’s economic growth. Even though, the growth rate could still have been bigger, had we continued with the past development model. Yet we have chosen to transform the development model. We will push through the readjusting and optimizing the structure with emphasis on transformation and upgrading. The most important aspect is to expand domestic demand, and a major task is to pursue a balanced development between urban and rural areas and among different regions. We will invest more in energy conservation and environmental protection. We will implement the strategy of innovation-driven development and promote aggressively technological innovation.

The fast growth of the Chinese economy over the past 30 years is a miracle. Now China’s economy finds itself at a crucial stage of transformation and upgrading. Though lower than before, a growth of around 7.5% is still considered high for any major economy in the world. Looking ahead we see bright prospects for China’s development. China has enormous demand, a vast market, rich human resources, fast-advancing technological development, as well as stable policies and a strong government. China’s economy is well placed to sustain a healthy growth in the long run.

Estimates show that in the next five years, China is expected to import $10 trillion of goods, invest $500 billion overseas and its outbound tourists will total over 400 million. All these will generate positive spill-over effects and provide massive opportunities for rest of the world. As a major engine of the regional economic growth, Chinese economic upgrading and relocation will definitely create new growth space for our region.

We are pleased to see the Philippine economy is one of the best performed economies in our region. The growth of GDP in 2012 and in the first half of this year has been very impressive, and the fundamentals at the economy are quite sound. The Philippine economy has been attached with high expectations both at home and by international community.

An ancient Chinese poem goes, "A waterfront pavilion gets the moonlight first". Our close neighbour, ASEAN is China's top investment destinations, second largest trading partner and major tourist destination. China has proposed to upgrade the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and to raise two-way trade to one trillion US dollars by 2020. China is also ready to promote connectivity in road, railway, waterway, aviation, telecommunication and energy, as well as to enhance financial cooperation with ASEAN. We believe China and ASEAN countries, the Philippines included, will benefit from each other's future economic development through win-win cooperation.

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