Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Shaping Asia-Pacific's future

By Wang Yi (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-03 07:22

With expectations comes pressure, and more importantly, impetus. Over the past year, in close communication with other APEC members, China has made meticulous plans for the theme, topics and outcomes of the meetings. "Shaping the Future Through Asia-Pacific Partnership" is the theme and "Advancing Regional Economic Integration", "Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth" and "Strengthening Comprehensive Development in Infrastructure and Connectivity" are the three major topics. Such designs are in line with the trend of economic development in the Asia-Pacific and the wider world.

President Xi and the Chinese government attach great importance to the APEC meeting in Beijing. We look forward to having in-depth exchanges and positive interactions with other APEC members during the meeting, thus adding new impetus to the APEC process. With the concerted efforts of all parties, the APEC meeting in Beijing is expected to produce a long list of outcomes and make new breakthroughs in the following three priority areas:

First, APEC members will launch the process for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and take a new step forward in achieving regional economic integration. The realization of the FTAAP is a long-standing consensus and vision of APEC economic leaders. It will help consolidate the various bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms in the region, and minimize the risks caused by overlapping and fragmented free trade arrangements. Through coordination and cooperation with APEC members, an important consensus will be reached on the launch of the FTAAP process during the meeting in Beijing, sending a clear signal of enhanced regional integration and turning this long-standing vision into concrete actions.

Second, APEC members will identify five pillar areas of cooperation and unleash new impetus for Asia-Pacific economic development: transforming growth models, restructuring economies, fostering steady growth and promoting reform are the common tasks of APEC members. The APEC meeting in Beijing will feature in-depth discussions on economic reform, the new economy, innovative growth, urbanization and inclusive support in order to deepen cooperation in such frontier areas as the Internet economy, urbanization and blue economy. The "APEC Accord on Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth", which is expected to be formulated and adopted at the meeting, will have a far-reaching impact on the future of the Asia-Pacific.

Third, APEC members will focus their efforts on promoting interconnected development and draw up a new blueprint for establishing comprehensive connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region. With a view to benefiting members across the Pacific, we will work for the formulation of the APEC Blueprint on Connectivity, which involves hardware, software and people-to-people exchanges, in order to provide strong support for the long-term development of the Asia-Pacific.

Today, 25 years after its founding, APEC is at a new historic starting point where it can build on past achievements and make new progress for the future. At this year's APEC meeting, we hope three goals will be achieved. First, shaping the future through Asia-Pacific partnership. Second, building an open Asia-Pacific economy. And third, charting the course for APEC development.

The author is the Chinese foreign minister. The article is an excerpt from his speech at the Lanting Forum in Beijing on Oct 29, 2014.

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