BEIJING, Nov. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — “As a Thai proverb goes, ‘You reap what you sow.’ We have jointly sown the seed of the Putrajaya Vision. It is time for us to cultivate, nurture and foster the blossoming flower of common development of the Asia-Pacific!” Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand on Friday.
In 2020, APEC leaders adopted the Putrajaya Vision 2040, a new long-term blueprint, to replace the “Bogor Goals” – a commitment APEC leaders made in their 1994 Bogor Declaration to achieve free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies in the Asia-Pacific.
The Bogor Goals helped APEC economies achieve pronounced progress in trade, investment, and economic integration – within 26 years, regional trade value increased by 5 times, two-way investment increased by 12 times, and nearly half of products enjoy zero tariffs.
When they were “due” in 2020, China’s trade volume with APEC economies reached $2.87 trillion, accounting for 62 percent of its total foreign trade. The country’s imports increased nearly 18 folds, the average tariff dropped from 23.6 percent to 7.5 percent, and free trade agreements amounted to 19 from zero, the Ministry of Commerce data showed.
China has also shared its vast market with the Asia-Pacific region and the world, through annual trade-promoting events, such as the China International Import Expo.
With the Putrajaya Vision 2040, APEC economies envision “an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.”
Based on the progress made in the Bogor goals, the new blueprint focuses on furthering regional free trade, fostering innovation and digitalization, and achieving “strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth.”
China’s goal of promoting high-standard opening-up has set the tone for its future contribution to the implementation of the Putrajaya Vision 2040.
In the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi said China will steadily expand institutional opening-up, accelerate its transformation into a trader of quality, foster a world-class business environment, and endeavor to preserve the diversity and stability of the international economic landscape as well as economic and trade relations.
“We will advance a broader agenda of opening up across more areas and in greater depth, follow the Chinese path to modernization, put in place new systems for a higher-standard open economy, and continue to share our development opportunities with the world, particularly with the Asia-Pacific region,” Xi said on Friday.
Speaking at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting last year, Xi said openness is the lifeline of Asia-Pacific cooperation. “We need to uphold open regionalism, follow the guidance of the APEC Vision 2040 in advancing regional economic integration, and work for the early realization of a high-standard Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).”
China, which was among the first to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement that came into effect on January 1, 2022, is seeking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The duo represents two important paths to achieving the FTAAP.
As the digital economy is of increasing importance for the region, China has applied to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) for further regional economic integration. The country’s digital economy has been the second largest in the world.
To contribute to inclusive and sustainable development, China is striving to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
The country will support developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energies, and work with partner countries to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said.