Deepen Exchanges and Cooperation for Inclusive Growth
--Address by President Hu Jintao At the Fifth APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting
September 16, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, friends from the APEC member economies are gathering in Beijing for the Fifth APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting. The theme of the meeting is "Developing Human Resources, Vigorously Promoting Employment and Realizing Inclusive Growth". First of all, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, warm congratulations on the opening of the meeting and sincere welcome to all delegates.
The Asia-Pacific region is among the world's most dynamic regions with the greatest development potential. It has an important place and role in the world economy, with the 21 APEC member economies making up nearly 60% of total global economic output. After 21 years of development, APEC has become an economic cooperation organization in the Asia-Pacific region that has the most full-fledged institutions and attracts the highest level of participation.
In the wake of the international financial crisis and based on our experience in dealing with the crisis, we have become more acutely aware of one thing. In an era of deepening economic globalization, if we want to ensure sustained global economic growth and effectively tackle the risks and challenges faced by the world economy, all countries and regions must strengthen exchanges and cooperation and work together to address the underlying, structural issues in economic development. The 17th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in 2009 reached consensus on inclusive growth, and highlighted the importance of seizing the opportunities brought by economic globalization to better meet the challenges of economic globalization and create job opportunities for the benefit of our people. To realize inclusive growth, to resolve the social issues emerging from economic development and to lay a solid social foundation for trade promotion, investment facilitation and long-term economic development are all major topics that we, the APEC member economies, need to work on together.
The ultimate purpose of inclusive growth is to spread the benefits of economic globalization and economic development among all countries, regions and people and to realize balanced economic and social progress through sustainable development. Our goal is greater productivity and prosperity and a better environment. To this end, we must develop the economy, transform the economic development pattern, raise the efficiency of economic development, and create more social wealth so that our people can lead a better life. We should pursue social equity and justice. To this end, we must ensure everyone equal access to development opportunities, steadily put in place a system for guaranteeing social equity with a focus on ensuring fairness in rights, opportunities, rules and distribution, and eradicate obstacles that keep our people from participating in economic development or sharing the fruits of economic development. We should put people first, ensure and improve people's livelihood, institute a social safety net that covers all, and address issues vital to people's livelihood, including education, labor and employment, health care, old-age support and housing. We should work hard to ensure that development is for the people and by the people and its fruits are shared among the people. Here, I want to make the following four proposals within the context of the theme of the meeting:
First, give priority to human resources development. Human resources development holds the key to people's full participation in economic development and to improvement of conditions for their survival and development. It also provides the basis for sustainable economic development and inclusive growth. Development of human resources can be sustainable. Among all the advantages we are endowed with, the advantage in human resources is the most reliable. It can bring out the greatest potential in us and its development calls for our utmost efforts. We should be committed to the concept that human resources are the number one resources in economic and social development, and should speed up efforts to form strategies that give priority to human resources development. We should focus on readjusting the structures of human resources and investing in human resources development. We should make institutional innovations in human resources development by building a development mechanism that is jointly invested by the government, society, employers and individuals. And we should actively plan for and make readjustments to the professional mix, level and distribution of human resources, so as to boost the innovation power of human resources of all kinds.
Second, implement the strategy of full employment. Employment is vital to people's livelihood. Full employment in society will enable more people to share the fruits of economic and social development. We should make full employment our priority goal in economic and social development and implement the strategy of expanding employment to maximize employment and development opportunities for workers and ensure full employment for our people. The government should take greater responsibility in employment promotion. We should implement a more proactive employment policy and relevant fiscal, financial and industrial policies and build a public service system for employment that covers both rural and urban areas. We need to improve the long-term employment aid system that is accessible to all people with difficulties, and enhance the interactive mechanism between employment and social security. We also need to promote decent work as well as harmonious labor relations.
Third, improve the quality and capacity of our workers. We need to improve the quality of workers and make sure that economic growth is truly driven by scientific and technological advancement, improvement of workers' quality and innovation in management. This meets the need for people's all-round development and provides a major guarantee for economic and social development. We need to improve the quality of our workers to promote transformation of the economic growth pattern, economic restructuring and upgrading and harmonious growth between the economy and society. We should offer proper guidance to our workers so that they will improve their moral and educational background, raise their working capacity, obtain new knowledge, skills and know-how and become high-quality workers to meet the needs of economic and social development in the new era. We should take steps to adapt to changes in economic growth pattern and improvement of economic structures, and build and improve a vocational training system accessible to all workers and formulate a guiding system, training system, evaluation system and incentive system to help our workers improve their professional and technical skills in an all-round manner. It is important to bring into full play the role of education in improving the quality and capacity of workers. To achieve the goal of building a study-oriented society and realizing life-long education, we need to give priority to education, make it more modernized, and ensure its non-profit and universal nature. We should protect our citizens' right to education as provided for by law and work hard to nurture high-quality workers, professional talents and leading creative talents.
Fourth, build a social security system that ensures sustainable development. A sound social security system is a major guarantee for economic and social development; it also provides a safety net for social harmony and stability. On the basis of economic development, we should build a social security system covering both urban and rural residents, and ensure its coverage is broad, basic, multi-tiered and sustainable. We should better coordinate social insurance, social assistance and social welfare, and raise the level of social security steadily. We should vigorously increase social security input in government budget, expand the coverage of social insurance, improve the social assistance system, and promote social welfare and charity endeavors so that we will better ensure our people's rights to education, employment, medical and old-age care and housing.
Practical and win-win cooperation is essential if we, APEC member economies, are to achieve common development. We should beef up economic and technical cooperation, advance regional trade and investment liberalization, and narrow the development gap among member economies to promote common prosperity. We should work more closely in employment, social security and other fields by promoting policy dialogue and experience sharing. We should broaden our cooperation in human resources development, build platforms for technical cooperation, and raise our cooperation level with the focus on helping developing members in human resources development. To this end, China has decided to launch, together with other APEC member economies, the APEC Skills Development Promotion Project.
China is a strong supporter and follower of inclusive growth, a concept that is consistent with our pursuit of scientific development and social harmony. While speeding up the transformation of economic growth pattern and maintaining stable and relatively fast economic growth, China is committed to integrating economic development with improvement of people's lives. We focus on addressing issues that directly concern people's biggest and most immediate interests, and endeavor to promote social progress designed to improve people's livelihood. In response to the international financial crisis, China has introduced the policy of ensuring economic growth, people's livelihood and stability. We adopted a proactive fiscal policy and a moderately easy monetary policy. We vigorously promoted economic development, focusing on improving efficiency, and, at the same time, increased input in social programs, intensifying our efforts to improve the social safety net and address problems concerning people's livelihood. We are keenly aware that despite the significant achievements in economic and social development, China remains the largest developing country in the world. China's basic national conditions, a huge population, weak economic foundation and imbalance in development, remain unchanged, and we face many serious challenges in economic and social development. We will stay committed to scientific development, deepen reform and opening-up, and push forward economic, political, cultural, social and ecological development in an all-round way. We will better coordinate the various links and aspects in our modernization drive, create even more social wealth, and improve people's lives to achieve all-round, balanced and sustainable economic and social development.
Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region faces unprecedented opportunities of development. We, APEC members, should work together and make the best use of this APEC cooperation platform to deepen and broaden our cooperation. Hand in hand, let's move toward the objective of enduring peace and common prosperity for the benefit of people in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large.
I wish this meeting a complete success!