Business leaders to promote trust

Updated: 2015-11-14 08:07

By Cai Hong in Tokyo(China Daily)

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Chinese and Japanese business heavyweights and former high-ranking officials agreed in Tokyo on Friday to help promote political mutual trust and economic reciprocity between the two countries.

In a joint statement, they committed to promoting dialogue between the two governments by developing non-government exchanges.

Fifty-four Chinese businesspeople and former senior officials, led by former vice-premier Zeng Peiyan, got together with their Japanese counterparts on Friday for the first round of their dialogue.

They resolved to help China, the world's second-largest economy, and Japan, the third-largest, improve their system for reciprocal cooperation.

In his opening remarks, Zeng, who is now chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, noted that the two countries are at different stages of development. China is trying to avoid the middle-income trap, which occurs when a country's growth plateaus and eventually stagnates after reaching middle-income levels, while Japan is working hard for high-quality growth, he said.

The two countries are complementary as both adjust their industrial structures, Zeng said, and trade ties are the bedrock of their relations.

He told his Japanese audience that the scale of China's reform and opening-up will expand, which will mean more opportunities for foreign businesspeople.

The two countries need to support each other while China's development is in transition and Japan is reviving its economy, he added.

The two countries should not wait to see where the political and trade ties will head, Zeng said, but should reap the gains and build confidence.

He said Japanese business-people can find a niche in China, especially in urbanization, energy conservation, environmental protection, infrastructure facilities and high-end consumption. He proposed that the countries strengthen cooperation in facilitating the China-Japan and China-Japan-Republic of Korea free trade agreements, in building the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative and in global economic governance.

Japan's former prime minister Yasuo Fukuda called the dialogue between the two countries' businesspeople and former senior officials "epoch-making".

He said the relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations for the two countries.

(China Daily 11/14/2015 page1)