CGTN: China will continue to drive implementation of Putrajaya Vision 2040

BEIJING, Nov. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — “As a Thai proverb goes, ‘You reap what you sow.’ We have jointly sown the seed of the Putrajaya Vision. It is time for us to cultivate, nurture and foster the blossoming flower of common development of the Asia-Pacific!” Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand on Friday.

In 2020, APEC leaders adopted the Putrajaya Vision 2040, a new long-term blueprint, to replace the “Bogor Goals” – a commitment APEC leaders made in their 1994 Bogor Declaration to achieve free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies in the Asia-Pacific.

The Bogor Goals helped APEC economies achieve pronounced progress in trade, investment, and economic integration – within 26 years, regional trade value increased by 5 times, two-way investment increased by 12 times, and nearly half of products enjoy zero tariffs.

When they were “due” in 2020, China’s trade volume with APEC economies reached $2.87 trillion, accounting for 62 percent of its total foreign trade. The country’s imports increased nearly 18 folds, the average tariff dropped from 23.6 percent to 7.5 percent, and free trade agreements amounted to 19 from zero, the Ministry of Commerce data showed.

China has also shared its vast market with the Asia-Pacific region and the world, through annual trade-promoting events, such as the China International Import Expo.

New chapter

With the Putrajaya Vision 2040, APEC economies envision “an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.”

Based on the progress made in the Bogor goals, the new blueprint focuses on furthering regional free trade, fostering innovation and digitalization, and achieving “strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth.”

China’s goal of promoting high-standard opening-up has set the tone for its future contribution to the implementation of the Putrajaya Vision 2040.

In the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi said China will steadily expand institutional opening-up, accelerate its transformation into a trader of quality, foster a world-class business environment, and endeavor to preserve the diversity and stability of the international economic landscape as well as economic and trade relations.

“We will advance a broader agenda of opening up across more areas and in greater depth, follow the Chinese path to modernization, put in place new systems for a higher-standard open economy, and continue to share our development opportunities with the world, particularly with the Asia-Pacific region,” Xi said on Friday.

Speaking at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting last year, Xi said openness is the lifeline of Asia-Pacific cooperation. “We need to uphold open regionalism, follow the guidance of the APEC Vision 2040 in advancing regional economic integration, and work for the early realization of a high-standard Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).”

China, which was among the first to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement that came into effect on January 1, 2022, is seeking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The duo represents two important paths to achieving the FTAAP.

As the digital economy is of increasing importance for the region, China has applied to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) for further regional economic integration. The country’s digital economy has been the second largest in the world.

To contribute to inclusive and sustainable development, China is striving to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

The country will support developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energies, and work with partner countries to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said.

CGTN: China highlights role of Asia-Pacific community in addressing global challenges

BEIJING, Nov. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With the theme of “Open, Connect, Balance,” the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting kicked off on Friday, in Bangkok, which is the first such in-person meeting since 2018.

The voice of China is in the limelight as the country’s membership of APEC has not only boosted its own development but also greatly contributed to the regional and world economies.

Highlighting that the Asia-Pacific is “our home as well as the powerhouse of global economic growth,” Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future when delivering a speech during Friday’s meeting.

Asia-Pacific community with a shared future

“Today the world has come to another historical crossroads, and this has made the Asia-Pacific region even more important and prominent in its standing and role,” Xi said.

Calling for joint efforts in building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future, he stressed several aspects — peace and stability, prosperity for all, cleanliness and beauty, and a shared future.

He also underlined upholding international fairness and justice, adhering to openness and inclusiveness, seeking green and low-carbon development, and being committed to cooperation so as to reach the goal.

The region’s status is of great significance in the world. With a combined population of 2.9 billion, the 21 APEC economies account for over 60 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product (GDP) and about half of world trade.

APEC is working on areas such as trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation, aiming to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the latest Regional Economic Outlook Report for Asia and Pacific, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its growth forecasts for the Asia-Pacific region to 4 percent this year and 4.3 percent next year, by 0.9 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively, from its April forecasts.

Despite the growth cut, Asia remains a relatively bright spot in an increasingly dimming global economy, said Krishna Srinivasan, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.

China committed to regional partnerships

Since joining APEC 31 years ago, China has been firmly committed to regional partnerships and free trade and investment, making significant contributions to a multilateral trading system and an open world economy.

“China will work with other parties on the full and high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),” Xi told the APEC meeting.

The country will continue working toward joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), he added.

The RCEP, the world’s largest free trade deal, covers 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its five free-trade agreement partners: China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand. China was among the first to ratify the RCEP agreement last year.

Both the RCEP and CPTPP are believed to be viable pathways toward the wider Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which the 21 APEC members aim to establish.

China will consider holding the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation next year to provide fresh impetus for the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world, according to the Chinese president.

Echoing the theme of the 2022 APEC, Beijing has promised a high-standard opening up with the fifth China International Import Expo in Shanghai yielding great results earlier this month.

Tentative deals with a total worth of $73.5 billion were reached during the import-themed event, a testament to China’s gigantic market and numerous business opportunities.

As the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last month set the blueprint for the country’s development for now and beyond, the president also stressed that Beijing will advance a broader agenda of opening up across more areas and in greater depth.

He underlined that following the Chinese path to modernization, the country will build new systems for “a higher-standard open economy,” and share development opportunities with the world, particularly with the Asia-Pacific region.

World Children’s Day an important occasion at SMA

SHARJAH, Children occupy an important place within the strategy of the Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA), which makes the celebration of the World Children’s Day, which falls on November 20 every year, an important occasion in which it celebrates and engages children through a range of specific activities and events.

The authority gives children a great attention in its annual plans, which derives from the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, that young people and children are the future of the nation.

The plans of the SMA are full of an integrated package of entertainment and educational activities and programmes for children, with the aim of raising their awareness of the importance of museums and their educational status, allowing them to unleash their imaginations and enhance their abilities and knowledge.

As part of its efforts to achieve its goals in the field of children’s awareness, the authority organised 4,635 comprehensive programmes for schools and families last year, in addition to 25 community programmes and a series of workshops, tours and cultural discussions in the various museums.

In addition to launching the characters of “Hamdan and Alia”, ambassadors of museums affiliated with the SMA, with the aim of connecting children and the new generation to museums, through an enjoyable educational method.

The series of stories was published in both Arabic and English in 8 museums, including the Sharjah Science Museum, Al Mahatta Museum, and Sharjah Heritage Museum.

The authority also launched its unique programme “Ambassadors of Sharjah Museums”, which targets children and adolescents, and seeks to raise students’ awareness of the importance of guidance, promote this culture, and introduce them to the importance and status of museums in societies.

It is worth noting that the SMA strives to organise entertainment and educational events and programmes that contribute to enriching children’s memory with a wealth of knowledge about the history and heritage of the Emirate of Sharjah.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE-Finland Political Consultation Committee discusses strengthening trade and economic ties

ABU DHABI, The first Political Consultation Committee between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland took place on the evening of Thursday, 17th November, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.

The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Political Affairs and UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Kai Sauer, Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Security Policy, in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

They reviewed the bilateral relationship and discussed opportunities to enhance ties through collaboration on shared interests, including economic development, technology, climate change, and international peace and mediation.

The parties agreed on specific steps to bolster and expand trade and economic relations, including opportunities to deepen business-to-business ties and foster entrepreneurship.

Both countries confirmed their shared commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change and to advancing climate security.

They discussed concrete initiatives to cooperate on those issues in the run-up to COP28, which the UAE will host in Dubai in 2023 in Expo city Dubai

The Committee reviewed the global political situation, including the latest regional developments in the Middle East and Europe.

Both countries expressed their shared commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the role that regional and international organisations can play in that regard.

They concluded by emphasising the importance of concrete, actionable outcomes to their consultations and a continual review process to ensure agreed targets are met.

Non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Finland increased 9.5 percent between 2020 and 2021. It is now USD 274.7 million in total.

The UAE has maintained diplomatic relations with Finland since 1975.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Luxor Festival of Arabic Poetry concludes its 7th edition

SHARJAH, The activities of the 7th edition of the Luxor Festival of Arabic Poetry (LFAP) concluded, being held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The closing ceremony was held at the Misr Public Library in Luxor, in the presence of Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Owais, Head of the Department of Culture in Sharjah, cultural figures, and a large number of poets, intellectuals, and those interested in poetry.

The participants in the festival expressed their gratitude to the Ruer of Sharjah, underscoring his great role in supporting the Egyptian and Arab cultural movement.

Source: Emirates News Agency