Full text of Premier Li's speech at New Champions 2017 annual meeting opening ceremony

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, in Dalian.

The following is the full text of Li's speech:

Address by Premier Li Keqiang at the Opening Ceremony of Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017

Dalian, 27 June 2017

Professor Klaus Schwab,

Your Excellencies Heads of Government,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's a great pleasure to meet you again in this beautiful city of Dalian. On behalf of the Chinese government, let me offer our warm congratulations on the opening of the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the New Champions, and extend a sincere welcome to all guests coming from afar and to members of the media.

Yesterday evening after my meeting with Professor Schwab and some of the delegates, we went to a viewing deck and enjoyed the sceneries around us. We saw green hills in the distance shrouded in a thin mist, which sometimes hid them from view. But it was only temporary. The mist eventually cleared away, and the mountain is always there. This scenery reminded me of the current state of the global economy. On the one hand, signs of world economic and trade recovery have begun to emerge and the new round of industrial revolution has given people new hope. Economic globalization has become an irreversible trend. On the other hand, global economic recovery remains weighed down by lack of growth drivers and structural imbalances that are yet to be fundamentally addressed. Backlash against globalization has worsened, compounded by rising geopolitical risks. If the hills represent stability of the global economy and the mist uncertainty, then stability will prevail over uncertainty as long as we harden our resolve and make relentless efforts.

In his keynote speech at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum early this year, President Xi Jinping elaborated on China's firm commitment to economic globalization and free trade, which has been widely acclaimed by the international community. The theme of this annual meeting, "Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution", is highly relevant to our times.

A review of world history shows that each of the industrial revolutions has brought about leapfrogging expansion of productivity and huge progress of civilizations in general. This round of industrial revolution, fostered in the era of economic globalization, is changing our world in a way unseen before in terms of speed, scope and depth of transformation, giving a strong boost to economic growth of all countries. However, if not managed properly, this round of change may also lead to lack of inclusiveness in growth. Some people may benefit more than others, traditional industries and jobs may take a hit, and returns on capital and labor may diverge further. Addressing these issues well is of both social and economic importance. Lack of inclusiveness will render part of the workforce and resources idle, and deepen the divide within society and between regions. This would hinder the tapping of market potential, aggravate the social divide, and make growth unsustainable. In contrast, inclusive growth makes societies fairer and development more widely beneficial. Realizing inclusiveness and achieving sustainable development are therefore two sides of the same coin.

Compared with the previous times, the new industrial revolution offers greater promise in fostering inclusive growth. Driven by Internet, digital and intelligent technologies, it has created new supply and demand, greatly expanded development space and brought unprecedented opportunities for equal participation. Now, it is much easier for anyone to log on the Internet to start a business, pursue innovation and create wealth. SMEs can get on the same starting point as big companies and foster new champions through integrated innovation. Developing countries can better leverage their comparative strengths and latecomer advantage. The key is to take vigorous and effective steps to turn these possibilities into reality and help more people, businesses and nations achieve greater progress in the new industrial revolution.

Promoting inclusive growth in our times calls for upholding economic globalization, which has greatly facilitated the flow of goods, capital and people, and provided bigger markets for producers and more choices for consumers than ever before. All countries are beneficiaries in this process. At the same time, countries, both developing and developed, have encountered challenges of different forms in adapting to economic globalization. However, these problems cannot be blamed on economic globalization per se. What is important is how to adapt or respond to it. To give an analogy, one cannot blame the uneven ground for his sprained ankle and stop walking altogether. Instead, we must better adapt to and steer economic globalization forward, uphold the authority and efficacy of the multilateral system, and promote investment and trade liberalization and facilitation. In the meantime, we need to reform and improve international economic and trade rules to secure equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules for all countries in international economic cooperation.

Some people talk about the question of "fair trade". In fact, free trade, as the underlying driving force for economic globalization, is the prerequisite for fair trade. Restricting free trade will not make trade fairer. Fairness is an inherent requirement of free trade, and unfair trade will not be sustainable. When problems and trade disputes arise, it is advisable to take into account the national conditions of the other side, conduct consultation on the basis of equality and mutual accommodation, seek areas of converging and balanced interests and find win-win solutions through complementarity. All countries should be treated equally under international and multilateral rules. Imposing unilateral rules on others is much less advisable than pursuing all-win outcomes.

Promoting inclusive growth requires the hard work of countries themselves. Against the backdrop of economic globalization and new industrial revolution, a country's ability to seize the opportunities to speed up economic development and address challenges of unemployment, widening income gap and poverty is very much shaped by its own choices and actions. We should put in place better institutional arrangements incentivizing efficiency and equity, develop a model of balanced and inclusive growth, and provide opportunities for equal participation by all. We should make education future-oriented to help the workforce better adapt to industrial transformation, remove structural hindrances to employment, and give more support to vulnerable groups to enable all to benefit from development. Talking about sustainable development, one should not fail to mention responding to climate change, which is the shared responsibility of the international community. China will honor its commitments under the Paris Agreement and carry out climate response measures on the ground, as this is also required for China's green development.

Not long ago, China successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative, which follows the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, provides a wide platform for inclusive development and offers new opportunities for all countries and businesses. We look forward to the active participation of all sides for interconnected and win-win development through mutually beneficial cooperation.

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