Commerce minister: Promoting high quality business development is a must
Updated 15:59, 16-Jan-2019
At the end of 2018, the Chinese government convened the Central Economic Work Conference to review the economic work of 2018, analyze the current economic situation and outline the economic plans for 2019. The complex and ever-changing international atmosphere has made issues on China's continuous FDI expansion and specific measures to stabilize foreign trade and promote consumption the focus of the world's attention.
Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, pointed out that there would be three major areas for “stabilizing foreign investment” in 2019. First, we will ease market access and continue to reduce the “negative list” from both the state and pilot free trade zones, opening more areas to wholly foreign-owned enterprises. In the expansion of the service industry, more comprehensive pilot projects will be launched or expanded.
A Chinese flag flies in front of the People's Bank of China headquarters in Beijing, China, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. /VCG Photo‍

A Chinese flag flies in front of the People's Bank of China headquarters in Beijing, China, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. /VCG Photo‍

Second, we will optimize the structure of foreign capital, encouraging foreign investment in manufacturing, high-tech industries and the central and western China. Difficult problems can be solved through coordination so as to promote the launching of major foreign investment projects.
Third, we will perfect the business environment, expedite the introduction of the Foreign Investment Law, strengthen the central and local foreign investment complaint handling mechanisms, and strive to create a first-class pro-business environment.
Looking back on 2018, under the extremely complicated and severe external environment, China's foreign trade still witnessed a rapid growth. In 2019, facing a complex and ever-changing international environment, we must conscientiously implement the action plan of building a powerful trading nation and enhance “foreign trade quality while ensuring stability.” First, we will advance the “five-optimization measures”.
We will optimize the layout of the international market by expanding around 30 key markets, upgrading markets of developed countries, and exploring markets of developing countries. We will optimize China's regional market layout and increase the proportion of foreign trade in central and western China.
Besides, we will optimize the commodity structure and support the export of high quality, high-tech and high-value-added products such as equipment manufacturing. We will optimize business entities by supporting the development of private enterprises, and cultivating a group of leading and influential large enterprises and multinationals.
Meanwhile, we will optimize the mode of trade by strengthening general trade, upgrading processing trade, developing other trades, and advancing the development of 35 cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zones and 14 pilot programs of trade mode of market procurement.
Second, we will solidly step up the "three-aspect development" by building foreign trade transformation and upgrading bases, supporting the construction of the international marketing service network, and promoting the construction of trade promotion platforms such as overseas brand exhibitions.
Third, we will develop service trade, promote 29 experiences in the innovation and development of service trade, and build special service export bases such as digital services and traditional Chinese medicine to improve the level of service trade development.
Chinese commerce minister Zhong Shan talks with the media on China's Two Session, March 5, 2018. /VCG Photo‍

Chinese commerce minister Zhong Shan talks with the media on China's Two Session, March 5, 2018. /VCG Photo‍

In addition, in promoting consumption, Zhong Shan pointed out that the Ministry of Commerce will continue to implement the consumption upgrade action plan from the supply side. First, we will upgrade urban consumption by accelerating the renovation of the first 11 pedestrian streets, promoting the development of convenience store chains and brands, and transforming community business centers such as vegetable market, which will enhance the consumption upgrading in cities.
Second, we will expand rural consumption. We will promote the presence of e-commerce in rural areas, the construction of special commercial and trade towns, and the transformation and upgrading of farmers' market. We will enlarge the "sales of industrial products to the countryside and sales of agricultural produce to cities." We will strengthen measures of “commerce poverty alleviation” in five aspects, namely, e-commerce, housekeeping services, foreign labor, industries and border trade, which will increase farmers' income and drive rural consumption.
Third, we will innovative the mode of circulation. We will optimize and upgrade the commodity trading markets with sales over RMB 100 million, cultivate modern supply chains, promote the online and offline integration of circulation enterprises, and facilitate the effective connection between supply and demand.
Fourth, we will develop service consumption. A number of urban and rural convenience consumption service centers will be established to promote the standardization of housekeeping services, catering and other services. We will perfect the credit system and product traceability system so that the people can be confident about and assured of their food, clothes and daily products, thus meeting people's needs for a better life.
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