China pledges to balance economy
on 08/09/2012 09:02:20
Asia remains the biggest driver of global growth, despite a decline in Chinese growth to a three-year low of 7.6% in the second quarter, and Beijing is struggling to create enough jobs and cope with the adverse impact of the debt crisis on its own economy, Mr Hu acknowledged.
"The global economy has reached a critical juncture, and we face the arduous task of overcoming major difficulties standing in the way in order to achieve full recovery and ensure steady growth," Mr Hu told business leaders gathered on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in this Russian Far East seaport.
Revitalising trade and growth is an urgent priority for Apec, whose aim is to dismantle barriers and bottlenecks that slow trade and business while nurturing closer economic ties.
Both China and host Russia pledged to do what they can to support those aims.
China's own growth has slowed as the government curbed bank lending to counter a property market bubble and soaring prices, just as the deepening debt crisis in Europe slammed demand for its exports.
"Economic growth is facing notable downward pressure," Mr Hu said. "Some small and medium-sized companies are having a hard time, and exporters are facing more difficulties."
Mr Hu, who is due to step down as China's top leader following a Communist Party congress this fall, promised to "ensure the continuity and stability" of the country's economic policies.
"We will boost domestic demand and maintain steady and robust growth as well as basic price stability," he said.
China's effort to wean itself from heavy reliance on export-driven growth has helped to rebalance its trade and will generate 10 trillion in demand for imports during the five-year period from 2011-2015, Mr Hu said.
Russia's hosting of the Apec summit highlights a renewed focus on developing its neglected but resource-rich Far East.
With President Barack Obama absent from the APEC summit this election season - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attending in his place - the Russian leader has showcased his country's aspirations to play a more active role in the Pacific Rim region.
President Vladimir Putin promised regional business leaders that they can count on Russia, which has long focused mainly on supplying oil and gas to Europe, to be a reliable energy supplier.
Moscow also has ambitious plans to develop its railroads, roads, seaports and airports in the resource-rich but long neglected east of the country to provide a bridge between Asia and Europe, Mr Putin said.
"The first and main thing we're going to do is develop transport infrastructure," he told regional business leaders.