Implementing the Global Development Initiative to Promote Common Development

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Wang Yiming, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, delivered a keynote speech at the 2nd “China-Cambodia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum”.

The following is the full text of the speech:

The 2nd “China-Cambodia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum”

November 23rd, 2022, 2:00 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, good afternoon!

It is a pleasure to be invited to attend the 2nd China-Cambodia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum. My thanks go to the Economic Daily for the invitation. First of all, on behalf of CCIEE, I would like to extend my warm congratulations on the convening of this forum! I would also like to take this opportunity to share some observations on the implementation of the Global Development Initiative for common development.

At present, with the COVID-19 recurrence, the world’s economic recovery is struggling; economic globalization is experiencing headwinds; global multilateral governance is under attack; the North-South development divide is widening; and global development is facing unprecedented challenges. Since the pandemic, the human development index has fallen for two consecutive years in 30 years, with over 100 million poor people added in the world, nearly 800 million people living in hunger. Food security and energy security are facing grave challenges. Employment, education, public health and other areas witness many difficulties. People in some developing countries have returned to poverty and plunged into hardship due to the pandemic. Against this backdrop, President Xi Jinping, when attending the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, proposed the Global Development Initiative to the world, calling on the international community to pay attention to the pressing issues facing global development, promote a more robust, green and healthy global development, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and jointly promote global development to a new stage of balance, coordination and inclusion. At the recent G20 Summit, President Xi Jinping once again emphasized that the Global Development Initiative is to focus on the long-term goals and practical needs of common development of the world, build international consensus for development, foster new momentum of global development, and promote common development and progress of all countries in the world, demonstrating China’s confidence, determination and sincerity in promoting this noble cause of global development.

Since its launch, GDI has received a warm response from the United Nations and other international organizations as well as many countries. More than 100 countries have expressed their support and more than 60 countries have joined the Group of Friends of GDI. All parties agree that this important initiative meets the common expectations of peoples from all countries for peaceful development, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation, and it helps create synergy for global cooperation and promote inclusive and sustainable development. China will work with countries and international organizations around the world to build consensus on development, build development platforms, exchange development experiences, enhance development synergies, and jointly implement Global Development Initiative.

GDI prioritizes development. China’s practice of reform and opening up in the past 40 plus years has led to a basic truth that development is the key to solving all problems. In the face of global changes and difficult challenges, it is equally important to take development as the master key to solve all problems. Only through development can we reduce poverty and protect people’s livelihoods; only through development can we eliminate the root causes of conflicts; only through development can we improve the ability of developing countries to cope with risks and challenges. Prioritizing development means the building of a global development partnership that is united, equal, balanced and inclusive, advancing cooperation in poverty reduction, health, education, digital connectivity and industrialization, and accelerating the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

GDI adheres to the people-centered approach. Only when development is for the people does it make sense; only when development relies on the people does it have momentum. To adhere to the people-centered approach means to protect and improve people’s livelihoods, protect and promote human rights, so that development is for the people, development relies on the people, and the fruits of development are shared by the people, and the people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness and security are constantly enhanced. This people-first development philosophy embodies the values of the Global Development Initiative.

GDI insists on inclusiveness. We live in the same global village. In the face of global crises, all countries must be in the same boat, with solidarity and cooperation to jointly address the challenges. The common development of all countries is the real development. World prosperity and stability cannot be built on the basis of the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. Adhering to the inclusive approach means paying attention to the special difficulties of developing countries, addressing the imbalance in development among countries, and enabling all countries to share development opportunities.

GDI insists on the innovation-driven approach. Innovation is the first driving force to promote development. At present, the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial change represented by big data, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence is developing rapidly, which brings new challenges while promoting the development of countries. To adhere to the innovation-driven approach is to promote countries to seize the opportunity of this new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial change, cultivate new momentum for economic recovery post the pandemic, create an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for the development of the digital economy, narrow the “digital divide” between the North and the South, and help the achievements of science and technology benefit more people.

GDI insists on the harmonious coexistence of man and nature. Protecting the ecological environment and addressing climate change are common challenges facing mankind. China will strive to achieve carbon peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, and join hands with other countries to follow the path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development. To adhere to the harmonious coexistence of man and nature is to jointly address climate change, strengthen cooperation in capital, technology and capacity building, carry out green financing cooperation, promote the transformation and upgrading of energy structure, industrial structure and consumption structure, and promote the green transformation of economic and social development.

GDI adheres to the action-oriented approach. The key to implementing GDI is action. GDI has made poverty reduction, food security, fighting against COVID and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity as key areas of cooperation, and called for greater investment in development to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China is working with various parties to create a global development and South-South cooperation fund, and will identify a list of practical cooperation and set up an open project bank to jointly promote the implementation of the Initiative.

The 20th CPC National Congress has drawn up a blueprint for China’s development and major policies for the coming five years and beyond. China will insist on promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through modernization with Chinese characteristics, unnervingly promote reform and opening-up, firmly pursue an open strategy of mutual benefit and win-win situation, continuously provide new opportunities for the world with China’s new development, and promote the building of an open world economy to better benefit all peoples. China will adhere to open regionalism, strengthen economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN, build a closer regional industrial chain and supply chain, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, steadily advance regional economic integration, implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with relevant parties in a comprehensive and high-quality manner, and will continue to promote accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results with other countries.

Cambodia is a friendly neighbor of China and an important member of ASEAN. China and Cambodia should strengthen strategic cooperation, enhance cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, public health and other fields, promote the construction of major projects along the Belt and Road, and take next year’s 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity to organize a series of activities for the “Year of Friendship between China and Cambodia” to deepen bilateral cooperation. China and Cambodia can also deepen economic and trade cooperation in the framework of cooperation between China and ASEAN, improve the quality and level of trade and investment cooperation, strengthen e-commerce cooperation, develop new business models such as cross-border e-commerce and smart logistics, build industrial cooperation parks, strengthen the construction of major projects in infrastructure, clean energy and other fields, promote deeper division of labor along the industrial chain and supply chain, and help more Cambodian enterprises to share opportunities in the Chinese market. Premier Li Keqiang made it clear at the 25th China-ASEAN Summit that China welcomes all 10 ASEAN countries to join the Group of Friends of the GDI. China and Cambodia can enhance synergy in implementing the GDI and deepen cooperation in promoting common development.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends!

A journey of a thousand miles begins at the foot. The Global Development Initiative, in line with the trend of the times and the wishes of peoples of all countries, shows broad development prospects. In the face of new changes and challenges in the international community, China and Cambodia should work together to promote the implementation of GDI, deepen cooperation in the field of development, and make joint efforts to promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and build a community of shared development future for mankind!