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BEIJING, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (25 October 2008) – Senior officials, eminent scholars, and representatives of the international community, nongovernment organizations, and private sector began today two days of dialogue to review development achievements made by the People's Republic of China (PRC) over the last thirty years.

Three decades after the launch of the PRC's dramatic reforms and opening-up, this High-level International Forum on ”Thirty Years of Reform and Development in the PRC: Retrospect and Prospects” will assess progress made, challenges ahead, and implications and lessons from the PRC's experience for development in the region and globally.

The Forum is co-organized and co-sponsored by the PRC Ministry of Finance, Asian Development Bank (ADB), China Center for Economic Research (CCER) of Peking University, and Stockholm School of Economics.  It is being held at CCER on 25-26 October.

“The PRC's achievements in growth and development are truly remarkable,” says Klaus Gerhaeusser, Director General of ADB's East Asia Department. 

The three decades following the launch of reforms under Deng Xiaoping have witnessed sustained growth in the PRC's gross domestic product, averaging nearly ten percent annually.  Rapid growth has been accompanied by important progress in poverty reduction, social development, and achievement of Millennium Development Goal targets.

Mr. Gerhaeusser notes that “The PRC's record of economic growth and social development is even more remarkable when we look back at the huge constraints the country overcame.”  He adds that, “In 1978, the PRC had one of the world's most closed economies. Today, it has become one of the most open, with the world's largest foreign exchange reserves.”

“China's remarkable achievements in the last thirty years demonstrate that a poor country can achieve tremendous growth in a relatively short period of time,” says Professor Yang Yao, Deputy Director of CCER.  “The Chinese experience offers precious lessons for other developing countries,” he adds.

Forum discussants will review key facets of this experience, including how incremental reform in the PRC succeeded, how the PRC achieved fast growth in parallel with market strengthening, and how the Government maintained effective economic management alongside the shift to a market economy.

Discussions at the Forum will also look forward to remaining development challenges for the PRC and identify recommendations for the continued reform agenda in areas ranging from macroeconomic policy, to industrial modernization, social development, and enhancing the inclusiveness and environmental sustainability of growth.

The Forum's final Roundtable session will also assess what lessons the PRC's experience holds for reform in other developing countries, as well as broader implications for cooperation and development globally.

ADB has been a proud development partner for the PRC since it joined ADB in 1986. 

Based in Manila, ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and Pacific through pro-poor sustainable economic growth, social development, and good governance. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. 

CCER was founded at Peking University in August 1994 with the aim of mobilizing domestic and international resources to bring together leading economists to promote economic and management education and research at Peking University, foster economic reform and development in the PRC, and contribute to the development of modern economic and management theories.