|Spotlight: China, OECD eye closer partnership|
China and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas ranging from macroeconomic management to green growth and beef up their two-decade-old partnership.
The world's second largest economy and the Paris-based organization reached the consensus during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the OECD headquarters, where they signed a shared vision statement and a 2015-2016 joint work program.
Also on Wednesday, China officially joined the OECD development center, a forum where countries share their experience in economic and social policy-making to help decision-makers work out measures to boost growth in developing countries and emerging economies.
OECD Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria hailed China's entry as a "historic and transformative opportunity for mutually beneficial knowledge-sharing."
In a speech delivered at the OECD headquarters, Li stressed the importance of developing the real economy against the backdrop of the global economy's slow recovery and speeding up structural reform.
"To my understanding, the most important structural reform is to inspire people's interactivity and creativity to maintain a vigorous economic growth," he told the 500-odd audience.
That is why the Chinese government is taking various steps to create an amicable environment for mass innovation and entrepreneurship to power growth and create jobs, added the premier.
Recognizing that the policy of quantitative easing is indispensable to prevent the world economy from plunging into recession, he pointed out that the approach alone is by no means enough to prompt a strong recovery.
He called for more international cooperation in production capacity, which involves bringing in facilities, equipment, technology and management expertise from other countries to effectively reduce construction costs, create jobs for local communities and promote development of domestic industries.
China, he added, is ready to carry out tripartite cooperation with a view to combining the manufacturing advantages of his country with the advanced technologies of developed countries and the huge development needs of developing countries.
"That will benefit all the three sides," Li said.
In his speech, Li also reassured that China has the confidence and ability to maintain a growth rate around 7 percent this year by restructuring its economy and shifting to a more sustainable pace of growth.
During the process China wants to get the OECD's support and help, he said, noting that for a nation with a population of 1.3 billion, development precedes everything.
Thanks to China's economic and social development over the past decades, 600 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the country in an unprecedented poverty-reduction drive for such an enormous economy.
Li reiterated that China, with a huge disparity between its rural and urban areas, remains the world's largest developing country, with its per capita GDP lagging far behind those of the developed ones.
Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversaries of the founding of the UN and the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, Li called on countries around the world to safeguard the peaceful development environment and the UN-centered post-war world order.
"China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and core interests," the premier said. "We will also advocate the establishment of a regional cooperation mechanism so that we can live in a peaceful and stable world."
Gurria, for his part, said that 20 years of cooperation with China has reinforced mutual trust, understanding and respect.
The OECD, he added, is also ready to work with China within the framework of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, whose rotating presidency goes to China next year, to ensure meaningful outcomes for the global economy.
"The OECD is ready to put its knowledge and expertise at the service of the Chinese (G20) presidency in many areas, including growth, investment, innovation, employment and inclusiveness," said Gurria, whose organization is an active partner of the G20.
In a meeting with Gurria prior to the speech, Li hailed the cooperation between China and the OECD in the past 20 years, saying that Beijing hopes for the international organization to offer more policy support and advice for China's modernization.
Gurria said that the OECD is willing to share the development experience of all sides and help with China's socioeconomic development and modernization.