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  2. About BFA

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  6. BFA Academy

  7. Areas of Focus

  8. Regional Cooperation

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Closing Remarks by Amb. Zhou Wenzhong at the Bali Seminar
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2013-10-03 19:45:00    Views:370521

 Chairman Jusuf WANANDI,

Fellow delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The half-day discussions are coming to an end. Time is short, but contents are rich. I am impressed by the width and depth of speeches, presentations and debates in the just concluded 5 sessions. Many of the comments and suggestions are valuable and thought-provoking. Consensus was reached in many areas though delegates may still disagree in some others, and will definitely help move Asia and the Pacific towards integration and inclusiveness through greater levels of connectivity.

In actual fact, this seminar itself, through intensive and candid interactions among panelists and delegates, makes a very good example of people-to-people connectivity.

Fellow delegates,

Many APEC economies are faced with the dilemma of growth and structural reform. Without painstaking structural reforms, growth will be unsustainable. However, without a decent growth rate, structural reforms might be too painful to carry on.

One way out might be infrastructure, which is the soft belly of many. An ADB report estimates that 8 trillion dollars are needed in infrastructure to sustain Asia’s growth momentum. Infrastructure building generates jobs, fuels growth and lays foundation for structural reforms. The question is, how to do it?

Many of your ideas are inspiring

-            There should be smarter and greater level of regional cooperation in infrastructure planning. Connectivity goes beyond a country’s boundary. So does the planning.

-            There should be public-private partnership to channel more resources into the infrastructure

-            There should be innovative thinking on the financing challenge. Setting up a regional infrastructure platform sounds like a good one.

Chairman Wanandi told me that the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council which he heads will pool together these ideas and report to the APEC Business Advisory Council so that your wisdom will not be wasted.

The Boao Forum for Asia, for its part, will host a session on connectivity in its flagship annual conference next April. By then, many of your suggestions will hopefully be translated into policies and actions, and pave the way for greater levels of regional economic cooperation. I look forward to having you with us at that time.

Thanks again for your contribution.