Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) on Tuesday with a promise to ease market access, counter protectionism and boost economic globalization.
Openness and Cooperation for a Shared Future
Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People's Republic of China
At the Opening Ceremony of the Second China International Import Expo
Your Excellency President Emmanuel Macron,
Your Excellencies Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić,
Your Excellencies Speakers of Parliament,
Your Excellencies Heads of International Organizations,
Your Excellencies Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this lovely season tinted with deep autumn hues, it gives me great pleasure to get together with you by the Huangpu River. I now declare open the second China International Import Expo!
At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as in my own name, a hearty welcome to all the distinguished guests from afar! To the many old and new friends gathered here from across the world, I give you my warm greetings and best wishes!
A year ago in this same place, the inaugural China International Import Expo was successfully held. Today, we are happy to be joined by even more friends in the second Expo that carries on the theme of "New Era, Shared Future." I trust that you will all find your participation in the event worthwhile and rewarding!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At last year's Expo, I announced the initiatives China was to take in the five areas of further opening-up and spelled out three specific steps for Shanghai to open wider to the world. One year on, these initiatives and steps have been by and large put in place. The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone now has a Lingang special area, and six other new pilot free trade zones have been set up in other provinces of the country. The Shanghai Stock Exchange launched a sci-tech innovation board, with a registration system being piloted for the listing of companies. In the Yangtze River Delta area, a plan for integrated development of the region has been introduced as a national strategy. At the national level, a Foreign Investment Law will enter into force on January 1 next year. A management system combining pre-establishment national treatment and the negative list has been effected nationwide. Major progress is being made in increasing imports to boost consumption and in bringing down the tariff level. For last year's Expo, during my bilateral events with foreign leaders, 98 initiatives were agreed upon, of which 23 have now been completed, 47 are making good progress, and 28 are on track of steady implementation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Economic globalization represents the trend of history. 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, not the current of undertows or hidden shoals or rocks beneath the water.
Of the problems confronting the world economy, none can be resolved by a single country alone. We must all put the common good of humanity first rather than place one's own interest above the common interest of all. We must have a more open mindset and take more open steps, and work together to make the pie of the global market even bigger.
We need to strengthen the mechanisms for sharing benefits globally, and explore new ways of international cooperation. The goal is to give more impetus to economic globalization and remove impediments as much as we could.
For that to happen, I want to propose the following:
First, let us work together to build an open world economy through cooperation. As global value and supply chains continue to develop, countries are inter-connected with each other, and integration of their economy is the order of the day. Distances between countries are getting shorter, and interactions among countries are growing, hence the probability of differences and frictions. The right solution lies in consultation and cooperation. All problems could be settled in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation. We need to promote development through opening-up and deepen exchanges and cooperation among us. 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". We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism. We need to continually bring down trade barriers, optimize global value and supply chains, and jointly foster market demand.
Second, let us work together to build an open world economy with innovation. Innovation-driven development is essential to sustained growth of the world economy. What we are seeing is a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation. It has reached a historic juncture when major breakthroughs are within sight. Countries need to step up cooperation in innovation. We need to facilitate integration of science and technology with economic growth, and increase the sharing of innovation results. We need to remove barriers that hamper the flow of knowledge, technology, talents and other factors of innovation, and support our businesses in technical exchanges and cooperation on their own accord. This is a way to unleash the potential for innovation. And, to benefit mankind with the better use of knowledge, we need to tighten the protection of intellectual property. The least desirable is for us to stifle the flow of knowledge, or to create or even widen the technology divide among us.
Third, let us work together to build an open world economy for mutual benefits. We need to work toward the vision of inclusive and mutually beneficial development. We need to work together to safeguard the international order underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the core values and basic principles of the multilateral trading system, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all. We need to work in real earnest to implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and increase support for the Least Developed Countries so that the benefits of development will reach more countries and peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Standing at a new historical starting point, China will open its door only wider to the world. The Communist Party of China has just concluded the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee. A decision has been made to further uphold and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and to modernize the country's system and capacity for governance. That included a host of significant measures to deepen reform and opening-up. China will adhere to its fundamental state policy of opening-up and stay committed to opening-up to promote reform, development and innovation. This will bring about opening-up at an even higher level.
First, China will continue to open up its market. China has a population of 1.4 billion. Its middle-income population is the biggest in the world. The huge Chinese market points to a potential that is simply unlimited. The Chinese people often say, "The world is a big place, and I want to see just more of it." What I want to say to you today is that the Chinese market is such a big one that you should all come and see what it has to offer. China will better leverage the fundamental role of domestic consumption in economic development and foster a more robust domestic market to boost growth at home and create more room for global growth. China will give greater importance to import. We will continue to lower tariffs and institutional transaction costs, develop demonstration zones to promote import trade by creative means, and import more high-quality goods and services from around the world. We will take steps to promote balanced development of both imports and exports, of trade in goods and services, of two-way trade and investment, and of trade and industry. This way, we will ensure a free yet orderly flow of both international and domestic factors of production, improve the efficient allocation of resources, and deepen integration of markets.
Second, China will continue to optimize its opening-up structure. China's opening-up is all-dimensional and all-sectoral. A new structure of all-out opening-up is quick in the making. China will continue to encourage bold trials and experiments in pilot free trade zones and quicken the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port as pacesetters of opening-up in China. China will continue to implement integrated regional development strategies for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and draw up a new national strategy for environmental protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River basin. The purpose is to seek greater synergy of opening-up among different parts of the country.
Third, China will continue to improve the business environment. Proper business environment provides the necessary condition for enterprises to survive and thrive. On October 24, the World Bank released its Doing Business Report 2020, which ranks China 31st, up by 15 places from last year's ranking of 46th. Last month, China issued a regulation on optimizing the business environment. Going forward, China will continue to remove major constraints on economic development, gear up reforms regarding key links and areas, and modernize the system and capacity for governance as an institutional support for high-standard opening-up and high-quality development. China will continue to foster an enabling business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law, and up to international standards. We will give foreign investments greater market access to more sectors, shorten the negative list further, and improve institutions for investment promotion and protection and for information reporting. With regard to IP protection, we will cultivate an environment that appreciates the value of knowledge, improve the legal framework, step up law enforcement, and enhance protection through both civil and criminal justice systems.
Fourth, China will continue to deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation. China is a champion for international cooperation and a supporter of multilateralism. China supports necessary reforms to the WTO so that the organization can play a bigger role in promoting openness and development and the multilateral trading regime can be more authoritative and effective. Later this afternoon, the Chinese side will host an Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting. We look forward to candid exchanges that will lead to joint actions to improve global economic governance. I am happy to note that yesterday, 15 countries taking part in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) concluded text-based negotiations, and I hope the agreement will be signed and enter into force at an early date. China will be happy to conclude high-standard free trade agreements with more countries. We will speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement, a China-Japan-ROK FTA, and a China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) FTA. We will stay actively engaged in cooperation within the United Nations, the G20, APEC, and BRICS to move economic globalization forward.
Fifth, China will continue to advance Belt and Road cooperation. To date, China has signed 197 documents on Belt and Road cooperation with 137 countries and 30 international organizations. China will follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, the philosophy of open, green, and clean cooperation, and a high-standard, people-centered, and sustainable approach to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking forward, China will follow the new development approach and the strategy of innovation-driven development, and redouble our efforts to foster new growth drivers by shifting the growth model, improving the economic structure, and creating new growth momentum.
We believe such efforts will not only bring China high-quality development but also new growth opportunities for the global economy.
I have faith in the bright prospects of China's economic development.
China's development, viewed through the lens of history, is an integral part of the lofty cause of human progress. China will reach out its arms and offer countries in the world more opportunities of market, investment and growth. Together, we can achieve development for all.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Chinese civilization has always valued peace under heaven and harmony among nations. Let us all work in that spirit and contribute to an open global economy and to a community with a shared future for mankind.