2005: Economy strong on sound track
By Jian Er

China's great energy demands to fuel its dramatic economic expansion were in the spotlight at the Seventh China Daily CEO Roundtable Conference themed "China: 2005 and beyond," which was jointly organized by China Daily and the Asia News Network (ANN).

At the conference held on Friday, keynote speaker David Li, chairman and chief executive of the Bank of East Asia, said that energy, together with currency, domestic interest rates and the cross-Straits tension, were the four major factors that would have the greatest bearing on the future development of the mainland.

Twenty-six representatives from various industries ranging from property, information and technology and academics to financiers were bullish about the economic prospects of China. They agreed that energy security is a primary issue for China, given the country's soaring energy consumption as well as its increased reliance on imported oil.

"With energy demand rising in step with China's remarkable economic growth, China now must deal with the hard truth it faces a widening energy deficit," Li said in his opening remarks.

He said China was still a net exporter of oil as recently as 1995, but the country had surpassed Japan to become the world's second largest oil importer in the past two years.

In addition, China's growth in primary energy demand among the four most energy intensive nations China, the United States, Japan and Russia has doubled over the past 18 years. The Energy Information Administration, a unit of the US Department of Energy, predicts China's demand for energy will double again by 2020.

The problem for China is not only the reality that demand for energy is far greater than the country's domestic supply, Li said, but also the fact that China is only a minor player in the international oil and gas exploration and production industry.

Furthermore, China's own oil companies are unlikely to improve the country's energy security through drilling alone, and buying proven oil reserves is an expensive way to guarantee energy security.

All the above disadvantages combined have put China in a very vulnerable position as it relies on foreign sources for an ever greater share of its energy needs, Li said.

To address the problem of energy shortages and increase sources of supply, Li said China has pursued a multi-pronged approach including turning to natural gas imports and building pipeline projects as well as developing other sources of energy such as hydro-electricity and nuclear power.

For example, China expects natural gas, an energy alternative superior to coal from an environmental point of view, will account for 10 per cent of the country's energy demand in 2020, up from the current 2.5 per cent.

The government aims to accomplish growing demand of natural gas through its own reserves and imports as well as building gas pipelines with other countries.

China Daily CEO Roundtable


China Daily CEO Roundtable (CDRT), a programme of China Daily Group, provides opportunities for senior executives from multinational companies to share, learn and probe issues with speakers in open discussions about China¡¯s economic development and the business challenges the nation faces.

It is run as an informal meeting where movers and shakers well-versed in business in China can brainstorm together.

CDRT will now be taken on the road to cities like Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The roundtable allows participants to access local government officials, companies and executives of multinationals in an interactive setting.

So far, seven CEO roundtable meetings have been held in Hong Kong, centering on China's regional economy, its reining-in of the overheating economy, the role of Hong Kong in building China's 21st century financial system, China's entertainment industry development, Chinese brands’ globalization and lifestyle in China.

Coverage on previous China Daily CEO roundtable discussions can be accessed at our website


We welcome the CEOs of blue-chip companies and industry leaders to contact us if they would like to participate in these forthcoming CEO roundtables. Pls email to ceoroundtable@chinadaily.com.cn

Asia News Network (ANN)

The Asia News Network (ANN) is a network of national daily newspapers published in Asian cities, organized to provide avenues for co-operation and to optimize coverage of major news events throughout the region.

The networking of newspapers in Asia was first discussed informally by Asian editors who participated in the first Asian-German Editors Forum organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Manila. Encouraged by warm fellowship among the editors and the success of the forum, the editors decided a more permanent professional and business relationship be pursued not only among themselves but among their respective publications with a goal of improving the coverage of Asian affairs by Asian media. In March 1999, ANN was born.

The Asia News Network is dedicated to enhance and improve news coverage of Asian affairs, provide member newspapers with reliable access to news sources in Asia and help promote the professional development of journalism in the region.

Members of ANN include: Bangladesh ¡ª The Daily Star; China ¡ª China Daily; India ¡ª The Statesman; Indonesia ¡ª The Jakarta Post; Japan ¡ª Daily Yomiuri and Yomiuri Shimbun; Malaysia ¡ª Sin Chew Daily, The Star; Philippines ¡ª The Daily Inquirer; Singapore ¡ª The Straits Times; South Korea ¡ª The Korea Herald; Sri Lanka ¡ª The Island; Thailand ¡ª The Nation; Viet Nam ¡ª Viet Nam News




Copyright 2004 by Chinadaily.com.cn
All rights reserved.

Asia News Network / China Daily CEO Roundtable
Honourary Chairman
  Dr. David, K P Li, GBS, Hon. LL.D. (Cantab), JP,
Chairman and Chief Executive
The Bank of East Asia Limited

  Mr. Alexander Wan
Advisor, China Daily Hong Kong Limited

List of Delegates
Name Campany   Title  
Ms. Pao Yin Chen
AIG Consumer Finance Group
Regional Executive, Asia Pacific Region  
Dr. Ping Lee Atos Origin
President, North Asia  
Mr. Paul Menzies
CIGNA Worldwide Insurance Company
Chief Executive Officer  
Mr. Vernon Moore

CITIC Pacific Ltd   Deputy Managing Director  
Mr. Takashi Watanabe
Consulate-General of Japan   Consul  
Ms. Singmay Chou
Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd.   General Manager - Marketing  
Mr. Tim Krause   International Finance Corporation   Senior Regional Manager, East Asia & Pacific Department  
Mr. Werner Vom Busch
Konrad Adenauer Foundation Regional Representative  
Ms. Angelika Richter-Rusli
Konrad Adenauer Foundation Programme Officer (Media)  
Mr. Olivier Arzel
Lancel Asia Pacific Limited Managing Director  
Mr. Ian Faragher
Liberty International President-Asia  
Mr. Stephen Mosely

L'Oreal President and Managing Director; Taiwan/ Hong Kong/ Vietnam  
Mr. Charles Chau MTV Networks North Asia Managing Director, North Asia  
Mr. Pana Janviroj
Nation Multimedia Group Public Co., Ltd. Editor  
Mr. Tadashi Ishihara
Nissan (China) Investment Co., Ltd.   CEO, Director of Board  
Mr. Arics Poon Oracle Systems Hong Kong Limited   Managing Director, South China and HK  
Mr. Vincent H.S. Lo, GBS, JP
Shui On Holdings Ltd.   Chairman  
Mr. Victor Koo
SOHU.com   President & COO  
Mr. Daniel Yu

Sun Microsystems of California Limited   President, Greater China  
Mr. Allen Choate

The Asia Foundation   Director of Program Development  
Mr. Alan Johnson

The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong
Mr. Andrew Burns

The Bank of East Asia Limited   Manager, Management Office  
Mr. George Yuen
The Better Hong Kong Foundation   Chief Executive  
Mr. Edmond T M Ho
The Kowloon Motor Bus Co. (1933) Ltd Deputy Managing Director  
Mr. Kevin Rollenhagen

The Swatch Group (Hong Kong) Limited   President  
Mr. Handel C.H. Lee

Three on the Bund
Mr. Zhou Li China Daily Hong Kong Limited
  Deputy Editor-in-Chief