Premier Li arrives in Switzerland for Davos forum, working visit

 

 

 


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (1st from righ) arrives in Zurich, Switzerland, on on January 20, 2015.

Li arrived here Tuesday to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos

and pay a working visit to Switzerland.   Photo by Rao Aimin

 


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (1st from right) arrives in Zurich, Switzerland, on January 20, 2015.

Photo by Rao Aimin

 


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Zurich, Switzerland, on January 20, 2015.  

Photo by Liu Weibing

 

 

 

 

ZURICH  |   2015-01-20 23:18:28

 

Premier Li

arrives in Switzerland

for Davos forum, working visit

 

 

By Gui Tao

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here on Tuesday of January 20 to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos and pay a working visit to Switzerland.

Li is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the annual meeting, meet representatives of the International Business Council of the forum and hold talks with Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, during his three-day trip.

He will also meet President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga.

Upon his arrival, Li said that the WEF, which is dedicated to promoting international dialogue and communication, building consensus and discussing how to address global challenges, has been playing an important role in pushing forward the development of the global governance system.

The Chinese premier expected to have an in-depth exchange of views with participants on the topics of world economy, international and regional situations, China’s reform, opening up and economic development, as well as other hot issues of common concern.

“We can make joint efforts in maintaining world peace and stability and promoting the world economy to grow in a strong, sustainable and balanced manner,” Li said.

The premier’s visit came as China and Switzerland are set to celebrate the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

Bilateral trade grew by 126 percent year-on-year to hit nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, when they inked a free trade agreement (FTA), the first such pact signed between China and a country in continental Europe.

Under the trade agreement, almost all Chinese exports to Switzerland are immediately exempt from tariffs, while nearly 85 percent of Swiss exports to China will eventually be duty-free.

Li said he is expecting to exchange views with Swiss leaders on bilateral ties and issues of common concern to consolidate the traditional friendship, expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and make their FTA more fruitful to benefit the two peoples, adding that financial cooperation should become the new highlight of overall bilateral cooperation.

The two countries are set to sign a series of cooperation deals in finance, people-to-people exchanges and scientific research during Li’s stay in Switzerland, China’s fifth-largest trade partner in Europe.

This year’s WEF winter meeting, which will take place from Wednesday to Saturday in Davos, is to convene under the theme “The New Global Context.”

Over 2,500 participants from more than 140 countries, regions, international organizations, academia, civil society and the media are expected to attend the annual gathering and exchange views on a wide range of issues like global economy, environmental protection and non-traditional security, in the Swiss mountain resort.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2015-01-20 14:25:21

 

China better at setting global agenda

with high-profile presence at Davos

 

 

By Li Li

 

 

An 80-plus-strong Chinese delegation comprising high-ranking government officials, business elites and prominent academicians is set to attend the upcoming Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF) to share “Chinese wisdom” with the world.

The WEF meeting, scheduled for Jan. 21-24 at Davos in northeastern Switzerland, will explore solutions to major global challenges under the theme “The New Global Context”.

It is expected to draw a record-breaking 2,500 participants from more than 140 countries and regions, including over 40 heads of state and governments, who will attend some 280 sessions and workshops to exchange views on a wide range of issues.

In a recent post on WEF’s official page on Wechat, organizers used ten numbers to epitomize the key features of this year’s meeting, and the “participation of over 80 Chinese” was one of them.

Representatives from the Asian economic heavyweight include government delegates led by Premier Li Keqiang, the country’s most influential business leaders such as Alibaba founder & chairman Jack Ma and Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, as well as internationally renowned scholars such as former World Bank chief economist Justin Lin Yifu.

It will be the first time for a Chinese leader to attend a WEF annual meeting in Davos in five years. Li attended the 2010 annual meeting in his capacity of vice premier.

At the upcoming meeting, Li is expected to deliver a key-note speech to send the world a clear message of confidence in the prospects of the Chinese economy and other emerging economies in face of the unabated global economic headwind.

He will also share his views on how to address the current global economic situation to generate strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

Such a high-profile Chinese presence at the Davos meeting is an indication of the Asian giant’s growing engagement with the world and its strong initiative to help set the global economic agenda.

In recent years, China has demonstrably and significantly extended its global outreach to contribute Chinese wisdom not just to the development of the global economy, but also to global governance.

By raising new concepts such as “the Chinese Dream”, “the community of common destiny,” and taking such initiatives as “a new type of major-country relationship” and “One Belt and One Road,” China is trying to help shape a new world.

Experts believe China will continue generating opportunities to the world economy, and speak highly of its constructive role in global governance.

In an interview with Xinhua, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, said China is attracting more and more global attention given its growing weight in global matters.

“The interest in the country (China)’s political path, economic development and the evolution of its social model is growing around the world as well,” he said.

Echoing its main theme, the WEF meeting will devote a special session, dubbed “The New China Context”, to the discussion of China’s economic “new normal” and its implications for the world economy, according to a program released on the official website of the Geneva-based organization.

A latest WEF report entitled “Global Risks 2015″ highlights the creation of the new BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)development bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which reflect China’s active role in reshaping the world economy.

“Much as a retreat from global multilateralism is worrisome, stronger regional multilateralism is not necessarily a bad thing, as regional solutions to regional problems can be consistent with global governance structures,” said the report.

Amid ongoing significant and rapid changes in the world’s political, economic, social landscapes, there is a close link between China’s development and “The New Global Context”, noted Wu Hailong, China’s ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

With its recent proposals and initiatives, China, which is getting closer and closer to the world, will make positive contributions to the world’s response to “The New Global Context”, he added.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2015-01-20 11:44:36

 

Li to boost global confidence 

in China’s restructuring economy

 

 

By Shang Jun

 

 

As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang leaves for Davos on Tuesday of January 20, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that the world’s second largest economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014.

Although the pace was the slowest in 24 years, it was in line with mainstream market expectations against the general backdrop of China’s painstaking efforts in economic restructuring.

“The economy is maintaining steady operation under the new normal, with positive trends of stable growth, optimized structure, enhanced quality and improved social welfare,” noted Ma Jiantang, head of the NBS at a press conference.

On the global landscape, which is fraught with uncertainties in the developed world and fluctuations in international markets, the Chinese economy still represents a bright spot and functions as a ballast for the world economy.

At the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Li will join the movers and shakers of the world for their annual brainstorming and deliver a clear message of confidence in the Chinese economy.

When he takes the floor at a plenary session on Wednesday, all eyes will be fixed on the clues he may provide on the health of the increasingly hefty Chinese economy as the global recovery remains fragile.

Confronted with rising threat of terrorism in Europe, heightened geopolitical tension in Ukraine and a possible replay of the euro crisis, the global economy is facing strong headwind despite lower oil prices.

The World Bank cut its projections for the global economy last week, forecasting that China will see its growth rate further down from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 7.1 percent this year, the lowest in more than two decades.

The projection, echoed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday, has triggered a re-emergence of “China collapse” warnings. But as have been repeatedly proven, such theories will not hold.

“The premier is expected to reiterate confidence in the Chinese economy despite the slowdown, which remains in a reasonable range and is a natural result of deepened reforms,” a source close to the central government said. “There are downward risks, but China has enough policy room and there is no need to be pessimistic.”

“He will also give a detailed assessment of the new reform measures implemented in the drive for China’s economic transformation, rebuffing those gloomy views about the Chinese economy,” the source added.

The year of 2014 marked the beginning of a new round of comprehensive reforms in China, featuring a carefully managed slowdown from previous high-speed growth and a fundamental shift of the development mode, with more emphasis laid on efficiency and growth quality.

“The Chinese economy has entered a state of new normal. The whole world is attentive to the interpretation of the Chinese leader on the country’s future growth,” said Ding Yifan, a scholar with China’s Development Research Center of the State Council.

“The Davos forum is an appropriate place for Premier Li to expound on China’s confidence,” he said.

“The growth and stability of the Chinese economy will bring more confidence to the world as well,” he added.

Ding said that this year will see an “explosion” of economic reforms in China, which are meant to enable the Chinese economy to embark upon a path of more sustainable development.

“We will see more reform measures and more achievements,” he said.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, also sounded optimistic about the outlook of the Chinese economy in a recent interview with Xinhua.

“Even with 7 percent growth — the government’s target for 2015 — China is likely to remain the largest contributor to the global economic growth. That is impressive, considering many of China’s key trade partners, including Europe and Russia, are experiencing sluggish growth,” said Schwab.

According to the IMF, China’s contribution to the global newly-added GDP was 27.8 percent in 2014.

“China has not only been a stabilizer in the global economy, but also a main power engine since the international financial crisis,” a senior researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said.

 

 

 

 

CHINA VOICE

 

Premier’s WEF speech

to send signal of confidence to world

 

 

By Wu Chen

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing for Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday of January 20 to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the first overseas trip for Chinese leaders in 2015.

Li is scheduled to deliver an important speech at the meeting on China’s economic situation and its policies concerning comprehensive reform and opening up.

Statistics released Tuesday showed that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.4 percent in 2014, which, although in line with market expectations, was its weakest expansion in 24 years.

China has entered a “new normal”, with growth at a medium-to-high level and structural reform measures implemented to support sustainable development. Innovation has been singled out as an area that will play a more significant role in driving growth.

A new round of comprehensive reform measures began in 2014, which restructured the economy, and streamlined authoritative powers to stimulate the market. The year 2015 will see the continuation of this reform trend.

As world’s second largest economy, which, as estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), contributed 27.8 percent to the global newly-added GDP in 2014 — the most in the world, China’s economic performance is watched closely.

More than 2,500 attendees of the WEF Davos meeting have many questions: What reform measures China will take? Will they work? What new opportunities and challenges will they have on the rest of the world?

Li is expected to send a clear message of confidence in China’s economic development to boost confidence in the Chinese economy, and that of other emerging economies.

In an environment where many economies are still struggling with the aftershocks of the financial crisis, the world is still trying to find a way forward.

The WEF claimed that: “Complexity, fragility and uncertainty are all challenging at global, regional and national levels, potentially ending an era of economic integration and international partnership that began in 1989.”

This year’s theme “The New Global Context”, maybe relatively vague, but is definitely not optimistic. Besides the slowing down of economic growth in China, leaders are confronted by growing economic uncertainty worldwide, along with other political, security and environmental issues.

The world will look at how China responds to various global challenges, in particular its role in promoting and contributing to international economic cooperation.

Therefore, Li is also expected to share his views on the international situation and the current state of global economy, suggesting possible solutions to global challenges.

Problems may still remain after the five-day meeting, however, it will certainly help build confidence for the year ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

ZURICH  |  2015-01-20 22:02:34

 

Int’l media, analysts rivet 

eyes on Chinese premier’s Davos appearance

 

 

By Yuan Zhenyu

 

International media outlets and analysts have been closely watching Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s attendance this week at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting.

“China’s Li to headline Davos in ‘year of destiny,’” read a Reuters story headline.

“At least 40 heads of state and government are expected at next week’s meeting of the rich and powerful at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, where Li will give a keynote speech,” the article said.

Li will also talk with business leaders from around the world.

While China’s participation in WEF meetings is not rare, the high profile of this year’s Chinese delegation attracts global attention.

“China is planning to send its highest-level delegation to the annual Alpine meeting of business, social and political leaders in Davos since the global recession of 2009,” Bloomberg said.

 

ENHANCING CONFIDENCE

 

At a time when fears of a worldwide recession are high, it is almost impossible to neglect the voice of China, a leading contributor to global growth.

China is attracting more and more attention given its growing weight in global matters, said Klaus Schwab, WEF’s founder and executive chairman.

According to estimates of the International Monetary Fund, China’s contribution to global growth has topped the world, accounting for 27.8 percent in 2014.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday that the country’s economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, the lowest rate in 24 years.

The Chinese premier will provide information on China’s economic situation and its recent reform efforts at the Davos meeting, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Li’s message to the meeting aims at helping the international community to gain an objective understanding of China’s economy and enhancing global confidence in it.

China’s economy generally stayed on a reasonable track last year despite some hobbles, and its efforts to upgrade and optimize various industries have yielded initial positive results.

Guided by the “new normal” theory, the Chinese economy is shifting from high-speed growth to medium-to-high speed growth, with a continuously optimized economic structure and a growth model changing from investment-driven to innovation-driven.

“I applaud the efforts the Chinese leadership is undertaking in this regard,” said Schwab. “The transition from mass production to innovation-driven growth is under way, but challenges remain.”

 

 

ASSURING THE WORLD

 

Li’s speech at the Davos meeting will be a major upgrade in Chinese attendance, reflecting active Chinese foreign policy to shape global discussion, said Scott Kenney, a China expert at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, an American think tank.

The premier will explain Chinese economy’s “new normal” to boost the understanding about the country’s reform and opening-up, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China’s latest round of “comprehensive and deep reform,” announced by the Communist Party of China in November 2013, has been a global focus since then.

The general objective of the approved reforms is to improve and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and carry forward modernization of the country’s governing system and capabilities, a party communique said.

Economic reform is key, and the core solution is the proper relationship between the government and the market, leaving the market to play a decisive role in allocation of resources, the document said.

To advance reforms, China has implemented a series of specific measures, such as delegating and calling off hundreds of items of administrative examination and approval, which has sparked huge market vitality and promoted innovation.

Li called for greater transparency in government-approval procedures at a State Council meeting on Wednesday.

As to China’s opening-up efforts, its recent antitrust initiatives have been another matter of great concern for the world.

U.S. and European business groups issued reports last year expressing concern that foreign companies had faced antitrust scrutiny, and some implied the Chinese government had been “selective” in its investigations.

The Chinese premier has “repeatedly sought to counter perceptions that the government was making it tougher for foreign companies to operate in the country,” Bloomberg reported.

At a WEF summer meeting in Tianjin, China, last year, Li said his government will treat foreign and domestic companies equally.

“We will mete out stringent punishment to companies, domestic or foreign, that are involved in producing counterfeit, fake and shoddy products, engaging in fraud and deception, and stealing trade secrets,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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