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Responding to Globalization: Facilitating the Integration of Developing Countries into the World Economy in the Twenty-first Century--Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the Second High-level Dialogue on Strengthening International Economic Cooperation for Development through Partnership
(20 September 2001)


Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation thanks you for presiding over today's meeting. We sincerely hope that positive results will come out of this high-level dialogue.

Globalization has enhanced the development of world economy but it has also caused imbalances in it. Developing countries, which account for the majority of the world population, have not been able to fully participate in global economic activities. While having benefited much less from globalization in contrast to developed countries, developing countries are bearing the brunt of globalization's negative impact. Many of them have even been further marginalized.

It is a serious question for the international community as to how to facilitate the integration of developing countries into the world economy in the twenty-first century. Efforts by developing countries on their own are indispensable, but influence of the international environment is also not to be neglected. In this regard, global governance is critical. The current international financial and trade system represents mostly the interests of the rich countries. The poor countries have little say in its decision-making process and their interests are often neglected. If this kind of inequality in global governance goes on unchecked, the polarization brought out by globalization will become even worse rather than better. In our view, developed countries, those heavy-weight players in the global economy, should take into consideration the long-term objectives of global prosperity as well as their own long-term interests, correct the inequalities in global governance, attach importance to the voice of developing countries and support the latter's full participation in the formulation of international rules of games so that their interests in the international economic system will be abundantly represented.

Mr. President,

Providing sufficient funding for the development of developing countries is a major means by which to facilitate the integration of developing countries into the world economy. In this regard, the International Conference on Financing for Development has its important tasks.

For a long time, ODA is a major source of funding for helping developing countries to realize their sustainable development, especially for those who do not easily attract private capital flows. Regrettably, however, for many years, the overall level of ODA has been continuously decreasing and there have been more and more conditions and requirements attached. We hope that developed countries can reach their goal of 0.7% of their GNP as ODA as soon as possible. At the same time, the conditions they attach to ODA should conform to realities in the recipient countries and relevant procedures should be streamlined to lessen burdens on the recipients and to enable ODA to achieve the best results.

Large volumes of private capital flows are flowing internationally in the form of foreign direct investment. If these funds are well used, they can play an important part in enhancing the economic development of developing countries. Developing countries should make necessary reforms to attract more private capital flows. The international community, developed countries in particular, should take necessary measures to channel more private capital flows into developing countries. With globalization going on, the volume and pace of the flow of international capital are accelerating and in turn facilitating the process of globalization. However, due to the imperfections in the international financial system and financial supervision capacity, the negative impact of financial globalization on developing countries has become salient, bringing huge pressures on their financial markets and even giving rise to serious economic and political crises. We hope that in the discussions of relevant reforms of the international financial system, high importance can be attached to the prevention of financial risks and stabilization of the financial order in developing countries.

Trade is an important channel for mobilizing financial resources. In the current situation, products from developing countries continue to face significant impediments in developed countries' markets. Some of their products with competitive advantages are exactly those that enjoy heavy protection in developed countries. This has seriously obstructed developing countries' efforts to mobilize necessary development resources through trade. The international community, especially developed countries, should take concrete action to address the issue of opening markets to products of developing countries.

Mr. President,

ICT can greatly enhance economic and social development in developing countries. However, without being checked effectively, the digital divide, which has already drawn people's attention, may become even bigger and further widen the gap between developing and developed countries. The international community should give assistance to developing countries, including providing financing resources, transferring relevant technology on preferential and concessional terms and helping the latter to build up their infrastructural facilities and capacities and strengthen their own capacities of utilizing ICT.

Countries should formulate their own ICT development strategies as suitable to their respective national conditions. At the same time, we should be aware that the development of ICT is not an isolated matter. It should work hand in hand with the development of human resources and infrastructural facilities. The United Nations should play an important role in helping developing countries to integrate themselves into the world economy through utilizing ICT. We hope that the UN ICT task force will make contributions in this regard.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the development of ICT and international cooperation in this regard. In the first of half of this year, the Chinese Government, in collaboration with the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), conducted three important conferences related to ICT in China, with the purpose of assisting developing countries and countries with economies in transition in improving their capacities for taking advantage of ICT and in integrating into the global knowledge-based economy. Relevant conclusions and recommendations have been distributed as official document (A/56/211) of the UN and hopefully they can be a useful input into our discussions in this aspect.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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