Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development
– Remarks at the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Xiamen, 5 September 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning! I would like to announce that the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries now begins.
I warmly welcome you all to the Dialogue. When we BRICS leaders meet, we attach importance to communicating and interacting with other emerging market and developing countries. This year, the Chinese side has built on past practices and tried something new by inviting representative countries from different regions to today’s dialogue. I believe such kind of dialogue will help strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among emerging market and developing countries and contribute to the development of the BRICS mechanism.
It is indeed not easy for us to get together today. Many colleagues have traveled long distances, and some have even rescheduled their program to attend the dialogue. I extend my appreciation to you all. I look forward to our discussion on the important issue of development cooperation under the theme of “Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development”, which I believe will lend a strong impetus to deepening South-South cooperation and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Since we entered the 21st century, the collective rise of emerging market and developing countries has become an irreversible trend of our times. In recent years, these countries have made more contribution to global economic growth than others. Accounting for 80% of the global growth in 2016, they are worthy of the reputation as the primary engine of the world economy. As the latest developments suggest, the global economy is looking up and international trade and investment are picking up. A new round of technological and industrial revolution is gathering momentum. New industries, new technologies and new business models are emerging. In this context, emerging market and developing countries face a rare opportunity of development.
That said, we should not lose sight of the growing risks of downward pressure and uncertainties in the world economy. Multilateral trade negotiations are stalled, and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is encountering resistance. Some countries have become more inward-looking and less inclined to engage in international development cooperation, and spillovers of their policy adjustment are deepening. As the world economy enters a crucial stage where new drivers of growth are replacing traditional ones at a quicker pace, there is mounting competition focused on interests and rules. This makes the external environment for emerging market and developing countries more complex and challenging.
A boat sailing against the currents has to forge ahead or risks falling behind. Given the new circumstances, emerging market and developing countries need to pull together and work hand in hand more confidently to foster a favorable environment for greater development, and make bigger contribution to global growth.
First, we need to work more closely to build an open world economy. In an increasingly interdependent and integrated world where countries form a community of shared interests, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation are the only viable option. The beggar-thy-neighbor practice or zero-sum game will not help world economic growth, but will undermine, first and foremost, the interests of emerging market and developing countries. We need to advocate an open world economy, firmly support the multilateral trading regime, oppose protectionism, and rebalance economic globalization to make it more inclusive and equitable. We need to strengthen coordination on positions, work toward a positive outcome at the upcoming 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, make progress on the remaining items of the Doha Development Round, and provide direction to the multilateral trading regime. We need to promote greater representation and voice of emerging market and developing countries in global economic governance, and foster an international economic order that is fairer and more equitable.
Second, we need to work more closely to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Development remains the top priority for emerging market and developing countries. We need to implement our national development strategies in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda and in light of our respective national conditions. This will help us find a path of sustainable development featuring coordinated economic, social and ecological progress. We need to call on the international community to place development high on the agenda of macro-policy coordination, better leverage the role of the United Nations, make good use of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda. We need to urge developed countries to honor their commitments, to observe such principles as common but differentiated responsibilities, and to increase support to developing countries. As the United Nations is considering reform of its development system, we need to ensure that the reform will focus on development and bring more input to truly serve the need of developing countries.
Third, we need to work more closely to seize the historic opportunities of world economic restructuring. A new round of technological and industrial revolution has generated new growth drivers and brought to us development opportunities like never before. Seizing the opportunities, emerging market and developing countries may even get ahead in development. If the opportunities are missed, the North-South gap and development imbalance will grow even wider. We must take bold steps of innovation and reform, press ahead with economic structural adjustment, and invigorate domestic drivers for growth. At the same time, we must formulate our social policy in a way that meets people’s basic needs and work all out to ensure a better life for our people. We need to enhance complementarity of our development strategies, particularly in such areas as infrastructure development, science and technology, education and industry. We also need to strengthen cooperation in best practices sharing and capacity-building as a way to support each other’s pursuit of economic development.
Fourth, we need to work more closely to build extensive development partnerships. As a Chinese saying goes, “A single flower does not herald spring; a single wild goose cannot make a formation.” Emerging market and developing countries face similar development tasks. By deepening practical cooperation and tapping into complementarity, we can multiply the impact. We need to make good use of BRICS, G77 and other similar mechanisms, broaden South-South cooperation on a larger scale, and jointly address global challenges. We also need to forge chains of interconnected development and seek strength through unity. The purpose of inviting some representative developing countries from different regions to this Dialogue is to foster a network of partnerships and to build a community of common development and shared future.
China sets great store by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We have developed a national program to implement the Agenda and set up innovation demonstration zones on sustainable development. Thanks to these efforts, we have attained early harvests on economic, social, environmental and many other fronts. Internationally, China will work through such mechanisms as the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, China-UN Peace and Development Fund and South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to boost cooperation on development and help fellow developing countries in implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda.
Here, I wish to announce that China will provide 500 million US dollars to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation. The money will be used to help fellow developing countries tackle famine, refugee, climate change, public health and other challenges. China will enhance development experience-sharing and capacity-building cooperation with other countries through such platforms as the Center for International Knowledge on Development and the Academy of South-South Cooperation and Development. We will provide other developing countries with 40,000 training opportunities in China in the coming year.
Four years ago, I put forward the idea of building a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The initiative received warm response from the international community. In May this year, China hosted a successful Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Together with the participating countries and international organizations, we outlined a vision of future cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and proposed concrete measures to support countries along the Belt and Road in pursuing sustainable development. It was widely agreed that the philosophy and vision of the Belt and Road Initiative and its focus on policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity have much in common with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the two can very well complement and reinforce each other.
The Belt and Road is as much a path of cooperation as one of hope and mutual benefit. As a follow-up to the outcomes of the Belt and Road Forum, China will develop cooperation with interested countries in infrastructure connectivity, production capacity, technological innovation and other fields.
A Chinese writer over two hundred years ago once observed, “Is there anything too hard in the world? With determined efforts, a hard task becomes easy; otherwise, an easy job may become difficult.” Emerging market and developing countries represent the future of world development. It is our duty to promote international cooperation on development and implement the Sustainable Development Agenda. Let us work together to blaze a new path to development that is fair, open, comprehensive and innovative.