Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-05 (http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-11/05/c_137583815.htm)
SHANGHAI, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Monday.
Topic: Work Together for an Open Global Economy That is Innovative and Inclusive
The CIIE is the world’s first import expo held at the national level, an innovation in the history of global trade. It is an important decision made by China to pursue a new round of high-level opening-up, and is China’s major initiative to still widen market access to the rest of the world. It demonstrates China’s consistent position of supporting the multilateral trading system and promoting free trade. It is a concrete action by China to advance an open world economy and support economic globalization.
Under the theme of “New Era, Shared Future”, the CIIE will help friends from around the world to seize opportunities presented by China’s development in the new era and offer a platform to deepen international business cooperation for shared prosperity and progress. Attending the event are 172 countries, regions and international organizations, more than 3,600 companies with a total exhibition area of 300,000 square meters, and more than 400,000 Chinese and foreign buyers who are here to explore business deals.
Given the profound shifts in the international economic landscape, the vision for a better world calls on countries to act with greater courage and actively champion openness and cooperation in order to secure shared development.
-- It is important for all countries to open wider and expand the space for mutually beneficial cooperation.
-- It is important for all countries to pursue innovative growth and speed up the transformation of growth drivers.
-- It is important for all countries to pursue inclusive development for the benefit of all.
To broaden its opening-up, China will step up efforts in the following aspects:
First, we will stimulate the potential for increased imports.
It is a future-oriented step taken to embrace the world and promote common development. To meet the trend of consumption upgrading, we will take more proactive measures to increase people’s income and spending power, foster new growth areas of medium-high-end consumption, continue to unleash the potential of the domestic market and expand the scope for imports. We will take further steps to lower tariffs, facilitate customs clearance, reduce institutional costs in import, and step up cross-border e-commerce and other new forms and models of business. China has a big market of over 1.3 billion people, and it is our sincere commitment to open the Chinese market. The CIIE, an event to be held on an annual basis, will feature go-od performance, good results and continued success in the years to come.
Second, we will continue to broaden market access.
China has shortened the negative list on foreign investment to reduce investment restrictions and promote investment liberalization. We are steadily increasing the openness of the financial sector, continuing to open up the service sector, and working toward greater openness in the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors. We are accelerating opening in such areas as telecommunications, education, medical service and culture. In particular, the foreign equity caps are going to be raised in the education and medical service sectors, where there is both huge interest among foreign investors and shortage in domestic supply. In the coming 15 years, China’s import of goods and services are expected to exceed US$30 trillion and US$10 trillion respectively.
Third, we will foster a world-class business environment.
China will introduce the law on foreign investment at a faster pace, and institute an open and transparent system of foreign-related laws. We will implement, across the board, the management system based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list. We respect international business rules and practice, and provide equal treatment to all types of businesses registered in China. We protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign companies, and are resolute in meting out, in a law-binding manner, punishment for violations of the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors, particularly IPR infringements. We will enhance the credibility and efficiency of IP examination, and put in place a punitive compensation system to significantly raise the cost for offenders. Improvement of the business environment is an on-going process, and there is always room for things to become better.
Fourth, we will explore new horizons of opening-up.
China will support its pilot free trade zones (FTZ) to deepen reform and innovation, make continued explorations based on their differentiated conditions and step up stress tests, so as to give full play to their role as a pilot ground for reform and opening-up. China will be quick to put forward policies and institutions for building a free trade port in Hainan in a step-by-step and phased manner, so as to speed up exploration of the development of free trade ports with distinct Chinese features. This is a significant move by China to open wider to the world. It will set a new model and open up new prospects for reform and opening-up at a higher level.
Fifth, we will promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels.
China believes that rules of the WTO should be upheld firmly, its necessary reforms should be supported, and the multilateral trading system should be defended. China will strive for the early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement and a China-Japan-ROK free trade area. China will earnestly implement the eight major initiatives announced at this year’s Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). China supports mechanisms such as the G20, APEC, the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and BRICS in playing greater roles in building a fairer and more equitable global economic governance system. China will continue to advance the Belt and Road Initiative through international cooperation in the spirit of consultation and collaboration for shared benefits. We will work with the participating countries on major projects, set up more trade promotion platforms and encourage more well-established and capable Chinese companies to invest in countries along the routes to enhance cooperation in areas of ecology, science and technology, culture and people’s livelihood.
The Chinese economy is now on the whole stable and making good progress. For the first three quarters of this year, China’s GDP grew by 6.7%, including a 6.5% growth registered for the third quarter, meeting our targeted goal for growth. Grain output for the whole year is projected to surpass 1.2 trillion jin (or 600 million tons). Some 11.07 million new jobs have been created in towns and cities, hitting our annual goal ahead of schedule. Judged by the main economic indexes, from GDP growth, job creation, consumer prices and international balance of payment to companies’ profit margins, government fiscal revenue and productivity, China’s economy is truly performing well within the reasonable range. This has given us a solid foundation for delivering the development goals for the whole year. And, compared with other major economies, China still ranks among the world’s top in terms of GDP growth.
China’s capacity for macro-economic regulation is growing, as efforts to deepen reform across the board have unleashed new drivers of growth. With the Belt and Road Initiative being further implemented, two-way investment and trade between China and the BRI partner countries have continued to gather pace. All in all, the favorable conditions are in place for the long-term, healthy and steady growth of the Chinese economy.
To capitalize on the important role of Shanghai and other areas in China’s opening-up, we have made the following decisions:
First, we will expand the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone to include a new section, and will encourage and support bold and creative steps by Shanghai to advance investment and trade liberalization and facilitation so that more of its successful practices may be replicated in other parts of China.
Second, we will launch a science and technology innovation board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and experiment with a registration system for listed companies. We will also support Shanghai in cementing its position as an international financial center and a hub of science and innovation, and steadily improve the fundamental institutions of its capital market.
Third, we will support integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region. We will make it a national strategy and implement our new development philosophy in real earnest. We will build a modern economic system, and adopt higher standards for reform and opening-up. The region will develop in tandem with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development area, the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and will help improve the overall layout of China’s reform and opening-up.
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