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Speech at the Opening Ceremony(Qu Geping)


  Respected Mr. Chairman, 

  Distinguished Experts, Ladies and Gentlemen,


  In 1992, the Chinese government decided to establish a high-level international advisory body, namely the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). It has been proved that this is an original decision. Over the past 15 years, CCICED has witnessed the most glorious period in China’s socio-economic development, which is also an important phase for the cause of environmental protection. CCICED has played its unique role in this critical period when China strode forward towards modernization. 


  CCICED is a window to the outside world. It has set a good example for the international community on environmental cooperation. Bringing together the top experts and scholars worldwide, the Council has endeavored to give advice and contribute its talents, pushing forward China’s sustainable development. China’s state leaders meet with the Council Members every year, listen to their policy recommendations directly and translate these recommendations into concrete actions. This unique form of cooperation is unprecedented around the world.


  CCICED serves as a bond linking China with the world, the government with the society and all the state departments to strive for the cause of environment and development. At the same time, it is also a classroom where advanced ideas are disseminated. CCICED has spread the idea of sustainable development and advanced international experience by putting forward the policy recommendations to the decision-makers and policy-makers at all levels, thus promoting the update of idea of development in China. Its influence is felt by all fields of the Chinese society.


  The Council is a platform for domestic and international experts to exchange ideas on environment and development in an open and candid manner. Over the past years, many experts have proposed non-official policy recommendations from different perspectives, which has not only influenced the decision-making process of the Chinese government, but also provided a platform for the Chinese government to demonstrate its achievements and experience by introducing measures taken in the field of environment and development. In this way, the world is having a better understanding of China.


  In retrospect, we can see that China has made an extraordinary course in the past 15 years. It has succeeded in stepping from the initial stage of industrialization to the middle stage, and its economic system has transformed from central planning mode to market economy. The aggregate economic volume of China had increased from RMB2.6 trillion yuan in 1992 to RMB18.3 trillion yuan in 2005, an average growth rate of 9.9%. At the same time, China has also gained remarkable achievements in the drive of reform and opening up with the market-based economic system basically established, reform and opening up constantly deepened as well as the successful accession to the World Trade Organization. All these have laid a solid foundation for China’s economic development and created favorable conditions for its sustainable development.


  Looking into the future, we can find that China’s total GDP will reach RMB26 trillion yuan by 2010, registering an annual growth rate of 7.5% on average, and its GDP per capita will be USD2400 according to the Eleventh Five-year Guidelines for National Economic and Social Development of China. In addition, our attention in the next five years will be focused not only on economic growth rate, but the quality of development, and such indicators of the environment and resources are also regarded as more important than economic indicators. As per the Eleventh Five-year Plan, by 2010, China will improve the quality of the environment in major areas and cities while maintaining a stable and rapid economic development pace, basically controlling the deteriorating trend of ecology and reducing the energy consumption per unit of GDP and discharge of major pollutants by 20% and 10% respectively. To realize its set goals of coordinated development among economy, society and the environment and the establishment of a harmonious society, we still need to do more to meet the end. And the most important lies with the upgrade of the idea of development, transformation of economic growth pattern and the establishment of related laws and regulations. By this, there is tough work ahead and a long way to go. CCICED can play an important role in this aspect.


  Time flies. During the last 15 years, I have accompanied CCICED from my sixties to eighties. However, CCICED is growing much stronger, entering a period for playing an even bigger role. I’m hoping that CCICED can play a more positive role for its further contribution to China’s sustainable development cause.


  Last but not the least, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the Council Members and experts working for the past three phases.


  Thank you.


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