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Special> Boao Forum for Asia 2013> Background
UPDATED: May 9, 2012 NO. 19 MAY 10, 2012
Asia: Coming Together for Sound and Sustainable Development

This Forum came into being in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. In the past decade and more, Asian countries have acquired greater resilience in dealing with risks and endeavored to promote sound economic development through adjustment and reform. In the current international financial crisis, Asian economy has been the first to recover and displayed solid fundamentals. Asia now accounts for over 30 percent of global GDP. Asia's contribution to global growth also surpasses 30 percent. This region hosts more emerging economies than any other part of the world, and its late-development advantages and development potential have become more evident.

Admittedly though, the overall level of development in many Asian countries is still quite low. There are significant development gaps between different Asian countries. Resource and environmental constraints are worsening. Regional security and stability face challenges. The road toward development will not be all smooth and there will be plenty of growing pains. Meanwhile, some countries and regions must still come to grips with such problems as economic slowdown, rising prices and mounting employment pressure. These issues all call for serious attention.

We know that in Asia's development, opportunities and challenges and hopes and difficulties exist side by side. We also know that opportunities and hopes outweigh challenges and difficulties. History recalls that Asia was the cradle of several proud civilizations and the region where splendor was created profusely. In modern times, Asia has gone through trials and tribulations and worked relentlessly for development. Today, Asia is at a new starting point. The resilient and enterprising people in Asia are working together to embrace a new rise, thus bringing themselves to the world, to a better future and to modernity. In this changing world, China is ready to work with other Asian countries to jointly cope with challenges and overcome difficulties, so to push forward Asia's sound and sustainable development.

First, we should promote internal drivers of growth. Here lies Asia's unique advantage in achieving sound and sustainable development. It is also the new trend in the open economic development in Asia. Asia is home to around 45 percent of the world's population. Most Asian countries are developing countries. Development is uneven both inside individual countries and among them, which gives a huge potential in their markets of domestic demand. Asia also has the world's largest labor force and the largest pool of engineers and scientific researchers, enjoying a remarkable edge in human resources. While continuing to unleash its comparative advantages in global competition, it is important for Asia to explore and expand markets of domestic demand, and while maintaining measured investment growth and increased factors input, Asia should fully tap the potential of consumer spending, technological upgrading and improvement of labor skills. In so doing, Asia's economy will be able to achieve robust, sustainable and balanced growth.

Second, we should stay open and inclusive. Here lies the inevitable requirement for Asia's sound and sustainable development. The fast growth Asia has achieved in the past is due to its openness. Asia should stay open, both to the world and among its members. Open regionalism with mutual learning is crucial to the sustained development of Asia. Countries in Asia should enhance their mutual trust, draw on each other's strength, advocate inclusive growth, maintain communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, and get actively involved in addressing climate change, food, energy and resources security and other global challenges as well as adjustment and reform of the global governance structure and international financial system. At the same time, we welcome involvement of countries outside the region in Asia's development and a constructive role they play in this process, for this serves to promote Asia's prosperity, enhance deepened cooperation between emerging economies and developed ones and is conducive to the peace, stability and development of the world. One third of the guests to this year's forum come from European and American countries, which has reflected a more open Asia.

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