China's 2023 Two Sessions: Wider opening-up to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes
Updated 13:16, 05-Mar-2023

Over the past five years, China has remained committed to opening up wider to the world, expanding international economic and trade cooperation to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes, said a government work report on Sunday. 

The report was delivered by Premier Li Keqiang during the opening meeting of the first session of China's 14th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

"We intensified policy support in terms of export tax rebates, credit insurance, and credit loans and cut the time for processing export tax rebates to less than six working days ... simplified customs clearance procedures and reduced the clearance time for imports and exports by 67 percent and 92 percent, respectively," Li said.

These efforts mirrored China's stable foreign trade, with continuously improved quality and foreign exchange services, over the past five years. 

China's overall tariff level fell from 9.8 percent to 7.4 percent during the period, according to the report. 

Trade innovation

China has developed new forms of foreign trade, building 152 new integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce and supporting the establishment of overseas warehouses, according to the report. 

Major trade events, such as the China International Import Expo and the China Import and Export Fair, have delivered positive results. 

China took proactive and effective moves to utilize foreign investment, steadily expanding market access for foreign investment, the report said. 

The country has established 21 pilot free trade zones and made strides in the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port. 

High-quality Belt and Road cooperation

To promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, China has carried out a number of projects to boost connectivity and industrial capacity cooperation.

Trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road has reached an annual increase of 13.4 percent, the report said. 

With the six free trade agreements that were newly concluded or upgraded, China's trade share with its free trade partners increased to 35 percent of its total trade volume from 26 percent. 

"We remained firm in upholding the multilateral trading regime and opposed trade protectionism," Li said. 

(Cover: Container freighter loads cargo at the fully automated terminal of the Port of Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, February 26, 2023. /CFP)

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