OF U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY JACOB J. LEW AT THE 2014 STRATEGIC AND ECONOMIC
DIALOGUE ECONOMIC TRACK OPENING SESSION
As prepared for delivery
BEIJING - On
behalf of my U.S. colleagues, I would like to thank you, Vice Premier Wang, and
your colleagues from across China’s government for hosting this year’s S&ED
Economic Track meetings.
President Obama and President Xi
have been clear that a strong U.S.-China economic relationship is their
priority. We have worked hard together to establish a close relationship
based on frank communication and exchange. And this has allowed us to
deliver tangible benefits to our people, manage frictions, and work together to
address global challenges that are important not only to our two countries but
also to the world.
Both of our countries are
confronting new challenges and seeking to grasp new opportunities.
For the United States, we are
committed to continuing and strengthening our economic recovery, creating jobs,
achieving fiscal sustainability, and making investments that promote future
income growth. I look forward to speaking with you and your colleagues
about the progress we have already made, and how we plan to build on it going
We also meet at an important moment
in China’s economic transition. You are seeking to shift to a new growth
model that is structured around household consumption – rather than on
investment and exports – and one that increasingly relies on the market to
foster new firms, industries, and technologies. In pursuit of these objectives,
China unveiled an ambitious set of economic reforms at the Third Plenum last
November, reforms that encourage competition and officially give the market a
decisive role in the economy. Strong determination in the implementation
of Third Plenum reforms will help China achieve sustainable and balanced growth
in the future.
The United States supports this
reform effort, and looks forward to your success. We are encouraged that
the reforms China has outlined in the Third Plenum reflect many of the steps we
believe are needed for China to have a prosperous future.
Measures to boost household income
and mobilize the profits of state-owned enterprises to strengthen social
welfare are a key part of the rebalancing. Greater exchange rate
flexibility and adjustment would help raise household purchasing power, shift
resources towards industries that meet domestic demand, and level the playing
Ambitious financial sector reform
and opening, along with interest rate liberalization, will channel financial
resources to the new, private enterprises of tomorrow. These reforms
will give Chinese citizens higher returns on their savings and means to provide
for old age and protect against uncertainty. Providing foreign financial
institutions with greater access will help greatly in the development of a more
developed and efficient financial services industry.
Opening the Chinese economy to
greater foreign investment and strengthening the protection of intellectual
property rights and trade secrets is also important to boost productivity
growth. These measures will help open the door to new technologies,
foster innovation, and support the entrepreneurs that will be critical to
China’s growth in the future.
A prosperous China that grows in a
way that is consistent with international rules and norms will mark the further
rise of your great nation, and will contribute to the strong, sustainable, and
balanced growth of the global economy.
It also is important that
we continue to make concrete progress on our
respective priorities and issues of concern. And I am
confident that we will.
Our discussions over the next two
days will provide an important opportunity to further the open communication we
have maintained over the course of this last year and engage in a series of
candid discussions on how we can continue to build a fair, balanced, and
mutually-beneficial economic relationship. And, the conversations that we
have will serve as a platform for many more informal discussions throughout the
Again, we thank you for welcoming
us and we look forward to a candid exchange of views.