HONOLULU (Reuters) - Following are quotes from leaders of Pacific Rim countries and business executive attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Saturday.
On the agenda -- promoting free trade and liberalizing regulations in order to strengthen economic growth.
CHINA: opening remarks at a bi-lateral meeting with China’s President Hu Jintao:
“We had a brief chat at Cannes. But I‘m very delighted to have this occasion today to exchange views on many issues. Bilateral ties between Japan and China are very important for the region as well as for the world. It is important to make our ties develop steadily. China’s development represents a great opportunity for our country. I believe it is necessary that both countries deepen our engagement with the region and the international community.”
Noda told reporters after the bilateral:
“Japan and China will be marking the 40th anniversary of the normalization of our ties next year, a major point in the history of our relations. In our talks today, we have agreed to work toward my visit to China by the end of this year.”
RUSSIA: Noda’s remarks on a bilateral with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev:
“We talked about promoting our cooperation in each and every field amid changing security environment in Asia-Pacific. We agreed that although our stances greatly differ when it comes to territorial issues, we will hold practical talks in a quiet environment in order to solve the problem,” Noda told a reporters.
UNITED STATES: Noda’s remarks on U.S.-Japan bilateral:
“I‘m very much encouraged by the fact that America is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and I do believe that Japan and the United States must work closely together to establish economic goals and also establish security order in this region.”
According to the White House, U.S. President Obama said of their bilateral that he has been impressed by Noda and “the boldness of his vision.” He said the U.S.-Japan relationship was a corner stone of security in the Asia-Pacific and said they would keep working together on commerce and security issues.
Transpacific PARTNERSHIP: “By and large, participating countries have shown their intention of welcoming Japan’s decision to seek to join the talks. But we cannot afford to be very optimistic. We aim to make progress slowly but steadily,” Edano told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC meeting.
“In the past few years, our Government has been aggressively expanding commercial relations with the Asia-Pacific region to create jobs and economic benefits here at home,”
“Our efforts are yielding results. We are maximizing opportunities for our entrepreneurs through innovative trade, investment, air, and science and technology agreements. We are also attracting regional investment to Canada by ensuring a speedier transport of goods through a much strengthened Asia-Pacific Gateway.”
U.S.-CHINA FX TENSIONS: ”I think it’s inevitable that currency will become a political issue. But we’ve seen that kind of behind-the-scenes discussions and negotiations have been very effective in encouraging China to strengthen their currency and in fact I think it’s strengthened between 35 and 40 percent over the past three or four years.
“So I think the worst thing we can do is encourage a process that may result in some sort of trade friction or a trade war in the two largest economies in the world. At Caterpillar we’re really encouraging continuing behind-the-scenes discussions and negotiations to move China toward a stronger currency.”
FAN GANG, DIRECTOR, CHINA‘S NATIONAL ECONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE, and a former policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China.
“If you had $3.2 trillion, where would you put it?” he said, referring to China’s foreign reserves stockpile. “If euro bonds now are in big trouble, should we put it in euro bonds?”
However, Fan said buying bonds issued by the European rescue fund was a “different story” because it is backed by the European Union, making it safer. “If you buy bonds in the market, like a commercial activity, what are you going to buy? You’re not going to buy Italian bonds now. You’re not going to buy Portugal either.”
TRADE: Why Asian economies should liberalize trade ties:
”Because they want our stuff. Trust me, they want it. If you look at the view of America in Asia -- we have excellent Hollywood films and things like that -- but we’re fundamentally the best area for research and new innovation for the industries that they care about. A simple model is that America invents the technology, it’s initially commercialized in places like Korea and Taiwan and then it’s globalized at scale in these vast manufacturing caverns of China.
“So they need what we’re doing. We obviously need access to their products and they help out with our debt. It’s in all of our countries (interests) to have these free trade agreements. It’s in their interest too. I think in many ways America’s best export is its companies, because when we operate by American rules.”
U.S. JOBS OUTLOOK: ”We have to be growing pretty well before hiring really starts. The jobless problem is much more severe as a structural problem -- by the way it’s much worse in Europe than it is in the U.S. and much worse in Japan. So for my view, the TPP and the other things are part of a much broader package that the president and businesses are pursuing that will ultimately result in job improvement.
But if you just do the math, it takes some number of years just to absorb just the terrible things that occurred in 2008 because of the financial crisis. And so I‘m worried that it’s much longer than people are talking about and I say that without humor.
“I mean it’s a very, very serious issue. and the way we need to operate as a businesses as the government, we’ve got to talk about it honestly and say we’ve got figure out a way to get these economies growing faster, and that’s done by investment in the private sector, creating new businesses and all the things we represent, and new markets, free trade etcetera.”
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; David Lawder; Emily Kaiser and Rachelle Younglai; Editing Stella Dawson