Sunday, December 21, 2014   

Li Keqiang nudges region to further free up trade
(04-10 12:11)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday called on Asian countries to find new drives to re-energize the region in face of new development and new challenges.
Asian countries need to build a community of shared interests, common destiny and shared responsibilities, Li said when delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (Annual Conference 2014 held in Boao, a coastal town in south China's Hainan province.
Uncertainties and destabilizing factors in the world are increasing, and the spillovers of the international financial crisis are still affecting Asia, he said.
Meanwhile, some Asian countries have been crippled by economic slowdown, rising inflation, capital withdrawal and currency depreciation. Pessimistic views about the prospects of emerging economies have resurfaced, Li said.
To sustain its development momentum under the new conditions, Asia needs to find a fresh source of development drivers, the premier said.
"Economic integration is central to achieving common development in Asia," he said.
Asian countries need to work together to further liberalizing trade and facilitating investment, as well as upgrading regional and sub-regional cooperation, he added.
The premier also highlighted the importance of a peaceful and stable regional environment to Asia's progress and development.
He urged Asian countries to build consensus, make active efforts and jointly fulfill the due responsibilities.
Li underscored again China's commitment to peaceful development and its resolution to defend its territorial sovereignty.
"We will give full support to initiatives that help strengthen maritime cooperation," Li said, "on the other hand, we will respond firmly to provocations that undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea."
An international non-governmental and non-profit organization founded in 2001, the BFA works to promote regional economic integration and bring Asian countries closer to their development goals. The theme for this year's conference is "Asia's New Future: Identifying New Growth Drivers". --Xinhua   
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