|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses the opening ceremony of the fourth Summer Davos forum, or the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, held at Tianjin Meijiang Convention Center in north China's Tianjin Municipality, Sept. 13, 2010. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)
TIANJIN, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Monday delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, or the Summer Davos, in north China's port city of Tianjin.
The following is the translated version of the full text of his speech:
Consolidate the Upward Momentum and Promote Sustained Growth
Address by H.E. Wen Jiabao
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010
Tianjin, 13 September 2010
Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by extending congratulations on the opening of the fourth Annual Meeting of the New Champions, the Summer Davos, and a welcome to you all. At the crucial juncture when the world economy is slowly recovering, the meeting will explore the way forward for future development under the theme of "Driving Growth Through Sustainability". This is highly relevant and significant, and I wish the meeting full success!
The past two years have seen China emerge as one of the first countries to achieve an economic rebound and maintain steady and relatively fast economic development under extremely difficult and complex circumstances. We owe our achievements to the comprehensive implementation of the stimulus package. At the height of the international financial crisis, China's economic growth rate dropped by a big margin. Many enterprises completely or partially suspended operations, and some even closed down. Many workers lost their jobs and a large number of rural migrant workers had to return to their home villages. In view of this, we acted immediately to introduce a stimulus package. From the second quarter of 2009, the downward trend in economic growth was quickly reversed. The economy grew by 9.1% in 2009 and 11.1% in the first half of 2010. Urban employment has kept expanding, people's income has been increasing, and social stability and harmony has been maintained. As a Chinese saying goes, one would never fully appreciate the difficulty unless he has experienced it in person. For a country like China with 1.3 billion people, without a certain rate of economic growth, full employment and people's well-being can only be empty talk. The stimulus package has enabled us to not only maintain the current economic growth and social stability, but also, and more importantly, secure the sound momentum of economic development. The severe external shock did not cause a big fluctuation in China's modernization process. This is of major and far-reaching significance.
In tackling the international financial crisis, we have always given top priority to transforming the economic development pattern and restructuring the economy. In the past two years, domestic demand, consumption in particular, has played an increasingly strong role in driving economic growth. Total retail sales in 2009 rose by 16.9 percent in real terms, the fastest since 1986. This good momentum is continuing and retail sales in the first half of this year grew at roughly the same rate as the same period of last year. The upgrading of the industrial structure has been accelerated. In the first seven months of this year, the value added of high-tech industries increased by 17.7 percent year on year, 0.7 percentage point higher than that of the industries above a designated level. Infrastructure development has been strengthened. On 1 August 2008, the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, China's first top-class high-speed rail with full intellectual property, was put into operation, shortening the travel time between Beijing and Tianjin to only 30 minutes and binding the two major municipalities as one. The Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway that went into operation on 26 December 2009 set the world record of the longest and fastest high-speed railway completed on an uninterrupted basis. Solid progress has been made in energy conservation, emissions reduction and environmental protection. Last year, we shut down small thermal power plants with a total capacity of 26.17 million kilowatts and phased out inefficient production capacity of 16.91 million tons of steel, 21.13 million tons of iron and 74.16 million tons of cement. By the end of this month, we will have eliminated an additional amount of inefficient production capacity, including 8.25 million tons of steel, 30 million tons of iron and 91.55 million tons of cement. Energy consumption per unit of GDP has been reduced by 15.6 percent in the first four years of the 11th five-year plan period. Regional development has been more coordinated. In 2009, the growth rates of value added of industries above a designated scale in the central and western regions were 1.1 and 4.5 percentage points higher than the national average respectively. In the first half of this year, such growth in the central region was 3.1 percentage points higher than the national average, and that in the western region on a par with the national average. Also in the first half of this year, the central and western regions' contribution to the value added of industries above a designated level in the national total increased to 38.8 percent from 38.1 percent of the same period in 2008. What is more important is that we have made all-round arrangements for accelerating the transformation of economic development pattern and economic restructuring from a macro and strategic perspective. All these will give a strong boost to the stable and healthy development of China's economy in the long run.