Global experts have gathered in Hainan, China's biggest special economic zone, over the weekend, looking into the past and future of China's opening-up and reform.
Participants at the International Forum on China Reform say while growth has been tremendous, more needs to be done - especially for the private sector.
Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Reform and Development, said the past forty years have seen "historic growth," but there is no time to lie back and relax.
Chi told CGTN that " We are at the next stage of opening up and reform. And it's just as complex and important as what we experienced 40 years ago."
Chi said the complexities today ask for ramped-up measures. He said China is shifting into a new development stage in industrialization. "The manufacturing sector is going through a critical upgrade." As the economy turns to rely on consumption, how to best reform the service sector would be among the biggest challenges to tackle.
Special economic zones, like Hainan, were first established to experiment new ways to boost growth. Participants at the forum say the SEZs will continue to be the first to find answers to today's challenges, by way of boosting the private sector.
Shen Danyang, vice governor of the province, said at the forum that Hainan would "work on lowering the transaction costs for companies."
"We will also focus on creating better business environments," he stressed.
These measures were viewed to come in the same vein as the reforms that started in 1978.
Richard Herd, former chief economic on China with OECD, said China's next steps would be a continuation of its successful policies in the last few decades.
"The private sector has been a backbone to growth, and at the next stage, we should see even more market-based solutions for small businesses."
The forum closed Sunday in Haikou, Hainan Province.