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'China to forge on in scale of opening-up'
( 2003-11-06 09:19) (China Daily)

China will maintain continuity and stability of its economic policy and raise the overall scale of opening to the outside world, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said Wednesday.

Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan delivers a keynote speech at the opening of BusinessWeek CEO Forum at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Wednesday. [newsphoto.com.cn]

Making a keynote speech at the opening of the two-day BusinessWeek CEO Forum, Zeng said China will fulfil its commitments to the World Trade Organization and ensure an equal status of various kinds of enterprises in business and trade.

And he vowed that the country would further improve its investment-and-development environment to attract more direct-foreign investment.

"China has the benefit of a vigorous domestic market, with improved corporate efficiency and significant growth in foreign trade and investment," Zeng told corporate leaders at the annual forum organized by Business Week.

According to Zeng, China recorded 8.5 per cent GDP growth in the first nine months of the year, while foreign trade stood at US$600 billion and overseas-direct investment amounted to US$40.2 billion.

The vice-premier said he expects foreign trade to stand at US$800 billion at the end of the year, with US$50 billion in direct investment from overseas.

He revealed that China's foreign currency reserves, second only to Japan, rose to US$401 billion last month.

The figures indicate that the mainland market has vast potential for economic development.

The sustainable and rapid domestic growth in China will provide a growth driver for Asian economies in the coming years and new opportunities for companies worldwide, he said.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, also speaking at the forum, said the territory will continue to leverage on the mainland's rapid economic growth, and strive to remain the most sophisticated and efficient platform for the world to do business with the Chinese mainland.

The city has received much needed support from the central government with the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and enhanced co-operation with the Pearl River Delta and Shanghai, he said.

Given a recent upturn in export growth, a drop in unemployment figures and improvement in property prices, Hong Kong is seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Tung said that the local government will continue to uphold the rule of law with an independent judiciary, maintain a clean and efficient administration and enhance corporate governance.

The major topic of the current CEO forum is "Leading the Borderless Corporation - Managing for Innovation and Inspiration." More than 500 world CEOs and economic experts are attending the forum.

Zeng happy with HK rebound

Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said Wednesday that Hong Kong is showing signs of a rebound, and he is confident that the administration headed by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa will lead the city in overcoming its economic woes.

Zeng feels jubilant about the recent economic recovery in the territory, most notably in sectors such as the trade, tourism and property, while Hong Kong's citizens are slowly regaining confidence.

The central government will fully back the administration of the chief executive and the SAR government in line with the law.

In the afternoon, the vice premier visited the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor project in Deep Bay, accompanied by Chief Secretary Donald Tsang.

At the site, Zeng said he hopes construction works for the tunnel will be completed on schedule in 2005.

Later in the day, he went on a tour of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, and was presented with a trader's vest with the number 3238 as a souvenir.

Its chief executive, Paul Chow, said Zeng displayed an in-depth knowledge of the local stock market.

Chow told reporters that Zeng showed interest in the new listings of a number of Chinese insurance firms, and encouraged mainland companies to acquire a Hong Kong listing.

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