Xi calls for free, open trade at APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting
Updated 17:58, 19-Nov-2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that free and open trade and investment are the purposes and principles of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and also the pillar for the realization of the Putrajaya Vision 2040.

The Chinese president made the remarks when he continued to attend the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, in which issues related to sustainable trade and investment were discussed. He stressed the importance of the following:

Firstly, Xi called for upholding true multilateralism and preserving the multilateral trading system. He said the rules-based multilateral trading system should be firmly preserved, and security and stability of global industrial chains and supply chains should be protected.

"We need to foster an open, fair and non-discriminatory trade and investment environment, and strive for the early realization of a comprehensive, high-standard Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific," Xi said.

Secondly, the president urged to stay committed to benefits for all and achieve mutual benefit.

The inclusiveness of development should be given priority to, he said, calling for building a regional economic cooperation architecture featuring equal consultation, joint participation and shared benefits, fostering an Asia-Pacific market that will bring benefits to all, and realizing common growth of all parties through interconnected development and win-win cooperation through leveraging their respective strengths.

"China has put forward initiatives on revitalizing rural areas, supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises that use special and sophisticated technologies to produce novel and unique products, and advancing economic inclusion through trade and investment," Xi said, adding that they are aimed at spreading the dividends of development and innovation among more people, and facilitating the inclusive and sustainable development of all in the Asia-Pacific.

Thirdly, Xi underpinned further opening-up and regional cooperation, calling for jointly promoting prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. 

It is important to take greater initiative to open up and raise the level of regional economic cooperation in all respects, Xi said, adding that China will not waver in its commitment to high-standard opening-up and will open its door still wider.

Noting that the fifth China International Import Expo held recently is yet another demonstration of China's firm resolve to support free and open trade and to open its market to the world, Xi said China will do more to import quality goods and services and create more market, growth and cooperation opportunities for the world.

During the meeting, leaders of the APEC member economies issued the 2022 Leaders' Declaration and the Bangkok Goals on the Bio-Circular-Green Economy.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: A view shows Queen Sirikit National Convention Center during the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in Bangkok, Thailand, November 17, 2022. /CFP)

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