'China should explore convergence of economic interests'

'China should explore convergence of economic interests'

Sunday, 23 March 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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Beijing: China should concentrate on exploring and creating areas of common interests with other countries in its economic diplomacy, experts at a forum said Sunday.

"China needs to find mutually beneficial areas in handling economic and diplomatic relations with foreign countries," Wu Jianmin, president of China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), told an economic diplomacy forum here.

Dr. Zhang Youwen, Director of the Institute of World Economy under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that, "to create more common interests is also beneficial to China's own development and it should join hands with foreign countries to solve global concerns including resource saving, energy and environmental protection."

Zhang Yuyan, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the country should make good use of its vast market and other economic advantages to better serve its diplomatic goals.

China decided to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent by 2010. But the reduction in 2006 was only 1.23 percent, less than one-third of the average annual goal of 4 percent. However, the situation improved in 2007, when the figure was 3.27 percent.

The country vowed earlier this month that it would take more steps to save energy and cut pollution this year, including eliminating outdated iron, steel and cement production facilities, and making full use of tax, fiscal and financial policies to push forward pollution-cutting goals.

David Li, Director of the Center for China in the World Economy under Tsinghua University, said the country needs to further raise its awareness of the importance of coping with global climate change and other worldwide issues.

He held that the country should formulate more scientific energy-saving and pollution reduction standards according to its economic realities.

Against the backdrop of the increasing number of Chinese enterprises investing overseas, experts held that Chinese entrepreneurs should enhance their awareness of corporate social responsibilities and do business on the principle of good faith.

Zhou Shijian, a senior international trade expert, said that the country should have a clear understanding of its own national conditions in its economic diplomacy efforts and fulfil global obligations that are only in line with its capabilities.

"Chinese companies should not pursue short-term interests at the cost of corporate brand names and of tarnishing the country's image," said Zhu Caihua, Vice-Dean of the School of International Economy under the CFAU.

Official figures showed that Chinese foreign investments rocketed from $2.5 billion in 2002 to around $20 billion in 2007, ranking first among developing countries. The total number of Chinese-funded enterprises in operation overseas stood at 12,000 by last January.
Source: IANS
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