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China becoming new engine for world economy: Forbes

2003-09-18 00:00

       The three-day 2003 Forbes Global CEO Conference came to an end in Shanghai Thursday, focusing global attention on China's new role in the world economy.

  Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes, told the conference that when the global economy stood at a crossroads and sought a new engine for growth, China's success gave hope.

  With the theme "Energizing Global Business: The China Factor", the conference echoed the 1999 Fortune Global Forum which was also held in Shanghai with the theme "China: The Next 50 Years".

  But the different topics indicated that the whole world was also focusing on China's increasing role in promoting the global economy.

  "The great success of China's economy plays an important role in the global economy, becoming a model for the whole world," said Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, Professor of Economics of Columbia University.

  Since 1995, Chinese enterprises' on the list of Fortune Magazine's top 500 companies had changed a lot. In 1995, only three Chinese companies were listed, compared with five in 1999, and 11 in 2003. Among the top 2,000 companies selected by magazineare 13 Chinese companies.

  More overseas companies had also entered the Chinese market dueto its great business opportunities. Statistics show that in Shanghai alone, 23,000 foreign companies had invested by the end of 2002, and 270 of the top 500 had entered Shanghai.

  "The name of new opportunity is China," said Siaou-Sze Lien, senior vice-president of HP Services Asia-Pacific. As the first UShigh-technology investor in China, the company had decided to invest 200 million US dollars in China to expand its information business, and to establish a financial services center in Shanghai.

  As Chinese products were exported to more countries, worries emerged about global deflation. The debate over whether China should revalue its currency and how China should develop was a hot topic at the 2003 conference.

  Steve Forbes, president, chief executive and editor-in-chief of Forbes, said deflation in the United States should not be attributed to China, and the problem lay in US trade policy itself. Revaluation would hurt China's economy and influence the global economy.

  He also warned speculators who had brought large sums of "hot money" into China would be "greatly disappointed".

  Stiglitz agreed that China's economy would maintain its fast growth and would not "over heat", adding China still had much roomto grow in the future, so as to shorten the gap in per capita income between China and the developed countries.

  The economist also said China's accession to the WTO (World Trade Organization) brought changes to the world. China would play a "leading role" in securing the interests of the developing countries when negotiating with developed countries.

  "With China's efforts, we are pleased to see a more energetic global economy, and also a fair global economy in the future," said Stiglitz.

                 (from XINHUANEWS)

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