APEC business officials optimistic about China’s economy

Manila, Nov 17 (IANS) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business officials on Tuesday expressed optimism about China’s economy, saying the country has achieved remarkable growth in the past 30 years and its economy will continue prosperity after structural transformation.

In an interview with reporters on the sideline of APEC CEO Summit, Sir Rod Eddington AO, chairman of Australia and New Zealand JP Morgan, said he was optimistic about China’s economy, Xinhua reported.

“China is going through an important change at the moment. Their focus has moved from export-led economy to domestic consumption. All changes will take some time,” he said.

He said one of key tasks highlighted in China’s new five-year plans was to concentrate efforts on infrastructure investment.

“There are always difficulties, there are always challenges, but I am optimistic about China’s economy which has already become a very important part of APEC area.”

Suzanne M. Benoit, president-director general of AERO MONTREAL, said that economy slowdown occurs everywhere in the world, even in the US. “China is important for the world because it is world’s second largest economy. Beijing and Montreal opened a direct flight last month, I hope we will establish more linkage with China.”

She said China is growing very fast and it is a very important economic player in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hoang van Dung, first vice executive president of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that China plays an important role in world trade.

He said China is good at manufacture and infrastructure construction, especially in the area of construction of roads, seaports and airports.

He expressed hope that China can help APEC economies improve their infrastructure facilities, saying he expected China’s economy will recover very soon.

In a related development, Doris Magsaysay-Ho, chairman of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) said in a statement on Monday that new growth drivers are needed in Asia-Pacific as the region expects economic expansion to be slower than initially estimated this year and the next.

“The traditional drivers of growth are running out of steam. Export-led growth is no longer sufficient to drive economic prosperity,” said ABAC chairman.

“The major economies in the region are undergoing structural transformation toward domestic demand-led growth,” she said.

The ABAC concluded Monday its meetings ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) summit to be held during November 18 and 19.

Obama, Park arrive in Manila for APEC meeting

US President Barack Obama and South Korea President Park Geun-hye arrived here on Tuesday for the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) summit to be held on November 18-19.

Here in Manila, Obama is expected to hold a dialogue with hundreds of top business people around the region on Wednesday while Park is scheduled to attend a dialogue with the Business Advisory Council the same day, Xinhua reported.

Most heads of the 21 APEC members, except for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, have promised to attend the summit, despite Friday’s attacks in Paris, which killed at least 129 people and left over 350 people injured.

In the wake of the attacks, the Philippines government beefed up the already tightened security control, with about 20,000 policemen being mobilised to guarantee the safety of the dignitaries and delegates.

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