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Introductory Remarks at the Opening of the 2nd Meeting of CCICED Phase III(Mans Lonnroth)


  First, let me thank the secretariat for the very successful organisation of this year's side visit. I have now made four side visits out of the five years that I have been a member of the council. These side visits are very interesting, enlightening and rewarding. I recommend all foreign members to participate in these side visits.

  I will make three quick points.

  First, 8 % growth rate year after year, decade after decade, is a truly astounding achievement. It translates into two China's in 2010 compared to the year 2000 and four China's in 2020 compared to 2020.

  But this is not all. The US investment banking company Goldman Sachs recently published a report on the BRIC's: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Based on economic and demographic data, the company estimates that China's GDP will overtake Germany's around 2010 and that of Japan's around 2015.

  But China is not alone. Goldman Sachs estimates that India's GDP will overtake Germany's in some twenty years.

  Now, Germany, France, the European Union, my own country, Japan and the US can hardly be said to be on a path of sustainable development. This puts great pressures on all of us, from all countries, to move towards a less and less unsustainable path towards a more and more sustainable path.

  Second, the implication of the 8 % growth rate for China.

  This is a very rapid rate of growth. It is like riding a tiger. It leaves one with precious little time to think.

  Moreover, each sector tends to develop in its own way. Each sector is a tiger of its own, running in its own direction.

  There is an urgent need for coordination and integration in order to avoid to get locked into unsustainable paths of development both in terms of the environment and in social terms, maintaining a more or less permanent underclass.

  Let me just mention two issues that are key to avoiding being locked up

  •Transport. Only a low price, high quality public transportation system will give low income people access to a large enough labour market.

  •Social security. I will come back to this.

  The Chinese government has published a report that I urge all foreign members of the Council to study carefully: Program of action for sustainable development in China in the early 21st century.

  It is a very thoughtful report, which stresses all three dimensions. Let me just take out one sentence of this report: "Social security. Build a standardised social security net independent of enterprises and institutions and with multiple sources of income."

  I would like to emphasise one element of particular importance for coordination and integration: Regional sustainable development.

  What is perfectly rational and eminently logical from a sectorial point of view frequently turns out to be totally inconsistent as well as glaringly irrational from a regional point of view

  This is true for urban development as well as rural development, and it is particularly true for such a huge country as China with its vast and immensely varied regions.

  There is an urgent need for regional sustainable development

  My third and last point concerns the Core financing.

  I am very glad as international vice chairman that the China Council now is on a firm financial footing and that the Council now is, so to speak, master in its own house.

  I am also very glad that the secretariat is on the way to establish a core funding mechanism with appropriate mechanisms which will make it possible for donors to contribute funds directly into the secretariat. It is not there yet, but it is well on its way.

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