Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) on Nov. 5, chartering the course for the country to continue to push forward opening-up at a higher level.
“Like the world’s great rivers, the Yangtze, the Nile, the Amazon and the Danube — they all surge forward in relentless flow, and nothing can stop their mighty movement.” “China will continue to encourage bold trials and experiments in pilot free trade zones.”
Xi’s remarks were lauded by government officials, experts and scholars, and industry insiders, who told People’s Daily that China’s resolve to expand opening-up has created unprecedented opportunities for global economic development.
“President Xi’s keynote speech reflects a deep understanding of the Chinese path and the global pattern, as well as the confidence in China’s development,” said Yuan De, executive deputy director of the Center for China and Globalizing Asia Studies with Mahidol University in Thailand.
Openness and cooperation set direction for global economic development. By holding the CIIE for the second year in a row, China has built a platform where domestic and foreign enterprises can carry out mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, Yuan said, adding that China’s opening-up measures are a rare highlight for global economy, at a time when trade protectionism is on the rise.
To expand opening-up is not just a verbal promise of China; to that end, the country has taken concrete actions, said Park Seung Chan, director of the China Business Research Institute in South Korea.
President Xi stressed that China will bring about opening-up at an even higher level, which means that the country will open more channels to strengthen economic and trade exchanges with other countries. The move bears great significance against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy, Park said.
“China has provided more opportunities of development for all participating countries of the CIIE, as well as more room for countries to conduct win-win cooperation,” said Park, adding that the CIIE is a concrete practice of expanding opening-up.
As the world has seen, China’s business environment keeps improving. In March, the country adopted the Foreign Investment Law. In June, the country rolled out new negative lists for foreign investment market access and a revised catalogue of industries that encourages foreign investment. In October, the State Council released a regulation to optimize business environment.
The country endeavors to build a market-oriented and international business environment based on the rule of law, and its market is releasing constant energy.
China has honored its commitments in building an enabling business environment, said Tang Zhimin, director of China ASEAN studies at Thailand’s Panyapiwat Institute of Management.
“At the first CIIE, the country pledged to stimulate import potential, continue to widen market access, and foster a world-class business environment. One year on, these initiatives and steps have been by and large put in place,” Tang said.
In October, the World Bank released its Doing Business Report 2020, which ranks China 31st among 190 economies, up by 15 places from last year’s ranking.
Striving to realize high-quality development, China has expanded inputs in scientific and technological research and development and upgraded industrial structure, said Claudio Puty, a member of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, pointing out that the constantly improving business environment is attracting more foreign investors, especially those in the high-tech sector, to enter the Chinese market.
“We need to ‘join hands’ with each other instead of ‘letting go’ of each other’s hands.We need to ‘tear down walls’, not to ‘erect walls’.” The words by President Xi vividly stated China’s firm support of an open global economy.
President Xi once again told the world that China supports and safeguards the multilateral trading system, and elaborated on the importance of an open global economy and free trade, said Pascal Smet, Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region.
The European Union (EU) is the largest trade partner of China and China is Belgium’s second largest non-EU trade partner. Such fruitful economic and trade cooperation outcomes are yielded in an open Chinese market, he said.
The CIIE serves as a platform for opening-up and cooperation that is able to eliminate suspicion, and it promotes mutual understanding, mutual learning and common development among countries, he pointed out.
China holds international events almost on a daily basis, said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation.
This reflects that the country is actively taking part in global affairs, and manifests the endeavors it has taken to deepen multilateral cooperation and advance globalization, he said.
As the country pursues a higher level of opening-up to deliver more opportunities for countries to have access to the Chinese market, expand investment and boost growth, it is bound to propel the building of a more open world economy.