MOFCOM: China-U.S. trade, 2nd CIIE, and FTZ to be three major tasks for 2019
Updated 19:46, 17-Jan-2019
China's commerce ministry on Wednesday listed three major tasks for 2019: holding the second import expo, properly handling trade frictions with the U.S., and pushing forward pilot FTZs, said Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of China's Ministry of Commerce at a press conference.
The ministry said it will actively implement the spirit of the annual Central Economic Work Conference held in December by means of boosting consumption and promoting opening-up.

Promote a strong domestic market

China will dig into consumption potential, give full play to the basic role of consumption, and combine urban consumption with rural, said Ren.
A supermarket in Beijing. /VCG Photo

A supermarket in Beijing. /VCG Photo

In the city, the country will upgrade pedestrian streets to build pilot international consumption centers. It will also promote the introduction of industrial products to the countryside, and agricultural products to the city.
Still, China will cultivate modern supply chains and promote online and offline integration. A number of urban and rural consumer service centers will be built to upgrade the livelihood of residents.

Stabilize foreign investment and enhance opening-up

China will continue to elevate the level of trade facilitation, relax market access and better the business environment.
It will promote the introduction of the Foreign Investment Law as soon as possible, and implement the system of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list.
The second International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held this year and the ministry is going full steam ahead.
 A Mexican exhibition hall at the CIIE. /VCG Photo

 A Mexican exhibition hall at the CIIE. /VCG Photo

In addition, the construction of pilot free trade zones (FTZ) is an important measure to accelerate reform and opening-up in the new era. 
At present, 11 pilot FTZs have been completed, said Ren, and the Hainan FTZ is being actively promoted. The ministry will explore models of the FTZ with Chinese characteristics while integrating international features.

Handle China-U.S. trade frictions

China and the U.S., as the world's two largest economies, share mutual benefits. As the vice-ministerial level trade talks between China and the U.S. concluded, the negotiation teams from both sides are actively implementing the important consensus reached by the two heads of state in Argentina, said Ren.
China remains committed to building an open world economy and a community of human destiny. The country fully supports the necessary reform of the WTO, and hopes to propose more China ideas.