2020 strategy and 5-year plan

Updated: 2010-12-03 14:21

(China Daily European Weekly)

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Europe will be amply rewarded if it makes a headstart on cooperating with China's innovation blueprint.

The rising pace of globalization has made countries more dependent on each other. This is particularly noticeable between the European Union (EU) and China, both important players on the world stage.

Trade and capital flow are two ways in which one economy exerts influence on the other, and rapid economic growth can bring about booming trade and capital inflows and outflows.

Even with the impact of the Greek debt crisis still lingering, Ireland has sunk into the mire. China, which has come to Greece's rescue, may offer to do the same for Ireland if the crisis is not resolved. The precondition is, of course, the sound economic development of China itself.

According to many economists, China's economic growth in 2011 will be as high as 10 percent, a little lower than 2010. That is to say, China's economy will maintain its strong momentum through 2011. That in turn is a blessing for a world dragging itself out of the international financial crisis and a shot in the arm to the European countries haunted by ballooning debts and uncertain prospects.

Next year will see the launch of China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), which seeks to transform its economic growth pattern including expanding domestic demand, strengthening technological innovation and pushing forward resource conservation and environmental protection.

It is worth noting that increasing domestic demand does not necessarily mean decreasing exports, but rather a more coordinated pace for the "three engines" of economic growth (domestic demand, investment and exports). China will, on the one hand, give full play to its advantages by further tapping the huge purchasing power of the European market and, on the other, continue to import various capital goods, intermediate products and consumer products from international markets including Europe.

It is not known whether the EU will recognize China's market economy status. If the negative tone of many analysts proves right, it will undoubtedly not only affect China's exports to the EU but also impair the EU's economic ties with other countries.

To some extent, a country's status on the global stage is decided by its technological edge, which largely depends on its strength of technological innovation. The capacity to innovate is underlined in the 12th Five-Year Plan, which provides a golden opportunity for the EU to redouble its export of technologies to China - a huge market for high-end technologies.

In terms of resource preservation and environmental protection, cooperation between China and the EU also has bright prospects. The EU boasts unparalleled technological advantages when it comes to cutting emissions, preserving energy and coping with climate change.

It is encouraging that at the 13th China-EU Summit held on Oct 6, leaders from both sides pledged to make joint efforts in preserving energy, improving energy efficiency and developing a green and low-carbon mode of economic growth.

Cooperation in the fields mentioned above is beneficial to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy (a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth), which focuses on the following three aspects: Developing a knowledge-based and innovation-oriented smart economy, improving energy efficiency to enhance its competitive edge and realize sustainable development, and improving the level of employment and cohesion of society. It is obvious that the Europe 2020 strategy shares some features with China's 12th Five-Year Plan.

As the saying goes, "well begun is half done". China will attach tremendous importance to the beginning of the 12th Five-Year Plan. If the EU can beat others to it by cooperating sincerely with China from the start, it will certainly be amply rewarded.

The author is the deputy director of the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


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