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Forbes: Keep RMB rate stable
( 2003-09-17 07:20) (China Daily)

Steve Forbes, president and editor-in-chief of Forbes, Tuesday said that China needs to keep the renminbi rate stable despite international pressure to let the currency float.

Steve Forbes(L), president and editor-in-chief of Forbes, and Zhou Yupeng(R), vice-mayor of Shanghai, prepare for a hot balloon hoist in Shanghai, September 16, 2003. A hot balloon promoting 2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference was lifted off above the Grand Hyatt in Shanghai where the three-day event opened September 16, 2003. [newsphoto]

"Changing the currency value is of little long-term benefit to the global economy,'' Forbes said at a news conference yesterday afternoon at the opening of the 2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference.

Governments should focus not on currencies but on removing barriers of economic growth trends, such as export taxes, the publisher and former US presidential candidate said.

Those who speculate a recent big revaluation of RMB will be  "very disappointed,'' he noted when commenting on the huge amounts of  "hot money'' rushing into the Chinese mainland.

 "That hot money's gonna turn cold,'' said Forbes, who is known for his accurate economic forecasts.

He also predicted that China has the potential to maintain its strong economic growth -- now about 8 per cent for this year -- in the coming years and noted that Chinese entrepreneurs, especially those from the private sector, will play an  "increasingly critical role'' in the global business arena.

The fact that Forbes has chosen Shanghai to host the event is testimony to the growing importance of the Chinese market to the global economy.

On the eve of the conference, Shanghai was recognized by Forbes as the  "most promising place in the world for entrepreneurs.''

As the economic, financial and business hub of China, Shanghai best demonstrates the achievements and prospects of China's opening policies and economic reforms,Forbes said.

His words were echoed by top Shanghai officials.

 "The gathering of all these top-level corporate leaders indicates the global business community's confidence in the future development of China and Shanghai,'' said Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng, addressing an opening session of the event yesterday evening.

The three-day conference, which is due to end on Thursday, is being held for the first time on the Chinese mainland, and has attracted more than 400 regional and global CEOs and business leaders. Almost the same number of journalists are attending from across the globe.

A number of prominent figures from China's private sector are present, including Hui Wingmau, chairman of Shimao Group and Liu Yonghao, chairman of New Hope Group, ranking No 2 and No 6 on Forbes' 100 Richest Chinese List last year.

With the theme -- Energizing Global Business: the China Factor -- the conference is to cover topics such as the Global Economy, Made in China and Exported to the World, the Mystery of Capitalism, A Conversation about Leadership, Banks and the Capital Markets in China and China's Entrepreneurs.

The event should bring participants valuable information,ideas, new friends and business opportunities,Forbes added.

This is the third time the conference has been held in Asia. In 2001 and 2002, it was staged in Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively. It will be held again in Hong Kong next year.

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