Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a member of the Asian family, China is closely interdependent with Asia economically. A China that is committed to scientific development, which features comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable economic and social development, will contribute to a sound and sustainable development in Asia. In recent years, China's economy has grown in line with macro-economic management. The economic growth has been fairly fast and people's lives have been improved. The fundamentals of China's economy are sound. The country has not changed its course of development and is capable of maintaining long-term, steady and fairly fast development.
We should also be mindful that China remains the largest developing country in the world. There is a serious lack of balance, coordination and sustainability in its development, and some outstanding structural problems need to be addressed gradually. At present, we will seek progress while maintaining stability as we work to promote scientific development and move faster in changing the growth model. We will address the immediate needs by ensuring steady growth, controlling price level and promoting harmony while keeping an eye on the future by ensuring fresh progress in structural adjustment, improvement in people's livelihood and continued reforms with a view to promoting a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable economic and social development in China.
A faster shift of the growth model holds the key to continued economic and social development in China. China's 12th Five-Year Plan calls for faster change of the growth model, which makes strategic adjustment of the country's economic structure a top priority. The primary task of the structural adjustment is to expand domestic demand, and the best way to do that lies in urbanization. China has a large population and vast areas. The country as a whole is in the middle of ongoing industrialization and urbanization. Last year, China's urbanization rate for the first time exceeded 50 percent. Each additional percentage point in this figure means more than 10 million rural residents becoming city dwellers, along with their enormous demand for consumption and investment. At the same time, upgrading industries and speeding up the development of service sector for its larger share in the economy can provide a strong industrial support for larger domestic demand and more employment. What is more, better food security, better protection of the ecosystem and development of a modern agriculture can lay a solid material foundation for larger domestic demand. In a word, continued industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization pushed in a balanced way is the necessary path for China's modernization. It is also a strategic move to ensure the shift of the growth model, structural adjustment and larger domestic demand. This move will help China maintain fairly rapid economic growth in the 12th Five-Year Plan period and beyond while improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of development.
Improved livelihood is the ultimate goal of continued economic and social development in China. The fundamental goal of our efforts to accelerate the transformation of the growth model and adjust structure is to ensure and improve people's livelihood. This would increase people's income, stimulate consumption and expand market demand. Our efforts to promote growth and our endeavor to improve people's lives reinforce each other. China is implementing such projects as employment support, social housing, full coverage of health care and large-scale poverty alleviation. These major projects are important to people's livelihood and China's development. Aimed at ensuring people's basic livelihood and raising the income of the low-income groups, these are also major measures to regulate income distribution. We will, with a view to raising the level and quality of people's lives, build a social security net, promote equal access to basic public services and encourage the people to go for employment or to create jobs. We will raise people's income in tandem with economic growth and expand consumption and domestic demand. Our purpose is to make steady progress in China's modernization drive and bring benefits to the entire population.
Reform and innovation provide the driving force for continued economic and social development in China. It is reform and opening-up that has delivered the remarkable progress in China's development over the past 30-odd years and its significant strides forward in modernization in the 21st century. Faced with the profound changes in international and domestic landscapes, we must let reform and opening-up continue to lead the way in removing the institutional obstacles that hamper the shift of the growth model. China has entered the critical stage of reform. We will deepen reform of the fiscal sector, taxation, finance, pricing, income distribution and enterprises, endeavor to make breakthroughs in the key areas and key links, bring into better play the market's fundamental role in resource allocation and advance institutional, technological and management innovation in an all-round way so as to increase the internal driving force and dynamism of development. China's efforts to expand domestic demand are made in the context of continued opening-up. Going forward, we will adopt an even more proactive opening-up strategy, attach equal importance to export and import, continue to welcome foreign investment while promoting investment overseas, increase import with priorities, promote balanced development of foreign trade and endeavor to raise the level of an open economy. China gives equal treatment to domestic and foreign-invested enterprises. China is dedicated to creating an open, transparent, fair, competitive and predictable marketplace and legal environment. China will step up IPR protection and promote the common development of all types of enterprises through innovation and shift of the growth model.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China makes greater openness to Asia the strategic priority in its opening-up policy. China is now Asia's largest importer, the largest trading partner of many Asian economies and an important source of investment for Asia. China enjoys highly frequent exchanges in various fields with the rest of Asia. We are ready to work with relevant countries to improve such regional cooperation mechanisms as China-ASEAN cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the China-Japan-ROK cooperation, ASEAN plus Three and APEC, advance the building of bilateral and multilateral free trade areas and expand cooperation in emerging industries, infrastructure, finance, science and technology and other areas. We are ready to expand personnel exchanges, particularly youth and non-governmental exchanges, promote contacts and dialogues between different cultures and civilizations and enhance the friendship among peoples.
China will be unswerving in following the path of peaceful development. It will remain dedicated to the cultivation of a peaceful and harmonious international and neighboring environment and it will never seek hegemony. Going for peaceful development is a firm strategic decision China has made in light of its national conditions and cultural tradition, its fundamental and long-term interests as well as the prevailing trend and law of world development. China is committed to the policy of building good-neighborliness and friendship and will be a good friend and good partner of Asian countries forever. We will join your tireless efforts to promote the prosperity, development, harmony and progress in Asia and the world.
We are confident that the vast continent of Asia will provide ample space for the development of all countries. Facing an ever-changing world, we the Asians are fully capable of seizing the opportunities, achieving Asia's sound and sustainable development and creating a better future for mankind!
In conclusion, I wish this Forum full success and I wish you all enjoy good health, happiness and a prosperous career!