The region is critical to addressing nearly every international challenge that we face today.”
In a recent speech at the Goldman Sachs Macro Conference in Hong Kong, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke discussed the complex and important economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies and the Asia Pacific region.
“The Asia-Pacific is home to more than 4 billion people, three of the world’s four largest economies, and . . . accounts for almost 60 percent of the world’s GDP,” Ambassador Locke said. “The region is critical to addressing nearly every international challenge that we face today.”
As a gateway to China, Hong Kong is playing a strategic role in China’s regional and global trade.
Last year almost half of the $112 billion of foreign direct investment in China was conducted through Hong Kong, a 33 percent increase over the year before. American exports to China are growing at a rate one and a half times faster than exports to the rest of the world, and exports to Pacific Rim countries support more than 5 million jobs in the United States.
“These numbers reflect how closely America’s future is linked to Hong Kong, China and the Asia-Pacific . . . and the . . . future of the Asia-Pacific is no doubt linked to the future of America,” Ambassador Locke said. “While the U.S. economy and those in the Asia-Pacific are well positioned to grow together, our continued progress will be determined by how we respond to current challenges.”
While extolling the benefits of this ever growing economic relationship, Ambassador Locke signaled that continued reforms are needed. To continue on the path of economic prosperity, rigorous reforms must be implemented by all nations.
“One key element that will ensure stable and continued progress for any society is the rule of law, where the application of laws. . . are not subject to the self-serving interests of select individuals or groups,” Ambassador Locke said. “A transparent rules-based society is not only good for social development and stability, but it’s also necessary for sustainable economic development.”
“The spirit of entrepreneurship and the drive to innovate are by no means innate or unique to the United States,” Ambassador Locke said. “Rather they are activated by our society which we work hard to keep open, free and transparent.”