Open Up and Cooperate Towards a Shared Future*
November 5, 2019
Your Excellency President Emmanuel Macron,
Your Excellencies Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić,
Your Excellencies Speakers of Parliament,
Your Excellencies Heads of International Organizations,
Your Excellencies Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
In this colorful season of deep autumn, it gives me great pleasure to meet with you by the Huangpu River. I now declare the Second China International Import Expo open.
On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in my own name, I extend a hearty welcome to all of you, friends old and new, from across the world.
A year ago here, the inaugural China International Import Expo was successfully held. Today, even more friends are attending the second expo with the theme of "New Era, Shared Future". I do hope that you will all find this event a worthwhile and rewarding experience.
At last year's Expo, I announced five new initiatives to open China further and outlined three steps for Shanghai to open itself wider to the world. One year later, these initiatives and steps are generally in place. We have launched Lingang Special Area, an expansion of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and six other new pilot free trade zones across the country. The sci-tech innovation board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange has also been inaugurated, with a registration system being piloted for company listing. In the Yangtze River Delta region, a plan for promoting integrated development of the region has been adopted as a national strategy. At the national level, the Foreign Investment Law will enter into force on January 1 next year. A management system consisting of both pre-establishment national treatment and a negative list is fully operational. Major headway has been made in increasing imports to boost consumption and in bringing down tariff levels. During my meetings with foreign leaders at last year's expo, we agreed to launch 98 initiatives. Of these, 23 have been completed, 47 are making good progress, and 28 are under implementation.
Economic globalization represents the trend of history. It is just like the world's great rivers, the Yangtze, the Nile, the Amazon and the Danube: They all surge forward in great torrents, and nothing can stop their mighty flow, not the current of undertows or hidden shoals or rocks beneath the water.
None of the problems confronting the world economy can be resolved by one country alone. We must all put the common good of humanity first. No country should place its own interests above the common interests of all. We must be more open-minded and take more effective measures, and work together to make the global market bigger. We need to strengthen the mechanisms for sharing benefits with all, and explore new forms of international cooperation. The goal is to create more impetus for economic globalization and remove as many impediments as we can.
For this to happen, it is imperative that we take the following steps:
First, we need to work together to build an open global economy through cooperation. As global value and supply chains continue to develop, countries are becoming more interconnected. With shrinking distances between countries and growing interactions among them, differences and frictions are inevitable. The right solution to any problem lies in consultation and cooperation. All problems can be settled in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation. We need to promote development through opening up, and enhance exchanges and cooperation. We need to stick together rather than drifting apart. We need to tear down walls rather than erecting them. We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism. We need to continually bring down trade barriers, upgrade global value and supply chains, and jointly create market demand.
Second, we need to build an open, innovation-driven world economy. Innovation-driven development is essential to sustaining global growth. At present, a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation has reached a historic juncture, and major breakthroughs are within reach. Countries need to step up cooperation in innovation. We need to embed science and technology in growth, and share more innovation outcomes. We need to remove barriers that hamper the flow of knowledge, technology, talent and other factors of innovation, and support our businesses in carrying out technical exchanges and cooperation. This will fully unleash the potential for innovation. To enable humanity to benefit from knowledge and innovation, we need to tighten the protection of intellectual property, rather than stifling the flow of knowledge, or creating or even widening the technology divide.
Third, we need to build an open global economy for mutual benefit. We need to pursue inclusive and mutually beneficial development. We need to work together to safeguard the international order with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at its core, uphold the fundamental values and basic principles of the multilateral trading system, facilitate free trade and investment, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. We should strive to implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and increase support for the least developed countries so that the benefits of development will reach more countries and peoples.
China, which has reached a new historic starting point, will open its door wider to the world. The Communist Party of China has just concluded the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee. A decision has been made to uphold and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and modernize the country's system and capacity for governance. Many significant measures have been announced to extend reform and opening up. China will stay true to its fundamental state policy of opening up and carry out reform, development and innovation through opening up. This will raise opening up to an even higher level.
First, China will continue to open up its market. China has a population of close to 1.4 billion, with its middle-income population being the biggest in the world. The huge Chinese market has unlimited potential. There is a popular saying among us Chinese: "The world is a big place, and I want to see more of it." And this is what I want to say to you today: The Chinese market is so big that you should all come and see what it has to offer. China will better leverage the fundamental role of domestic consumption in fueling economic development and foster a more robust domestic market to boost growth at home and create more impetus for global growth. China will increase its imports. We will continue to lower tariffs and government-imposed transaction costs, develop demonstration zones to promote imports by innovative means, and import more high-quality goods and services from other countries. We will take steps to promote balanced growth of imports and exports, of trade in goods and services, of two-way trade and investment, and of trade and industry. By these means we will ensure a free yet orderly flow of both international and domestic factors of production, improve efficient allocation of resources, and boost market integration.
Second, China will continue to upgrade its opening up. China's opening up is pursued in multi-sectors. A new framework of all-round opening up is being put in place in our country. China will continue to encourage bold trials and experiments in pilot free trade zones and speed up the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port as the pace-setters of opening up in China. China will continue to promote the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, and the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. We will draw up a new national strategy for environmental protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin. All these steps will boost opening up among different parts of the country.
Third, China will continue to improve its business environment. A sound business environment provides the necessary conditions for enterprises to survive and thrive. On October 24, the World Bank released its Doing Business Report 2020, which ranks China 31st, up 15 places from last year's ranking of 46th. Last month, China issued a set of regulations on improving its business environment. Going forward, China will continue to resolve major problems hindering economic development, speed up targeted reforms in key respects and fields, and modernize its system and capacity for governance to provide institutional support for pursuing high-standard opening up and high-quality development. China will continue to foster an enabling business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law, and aligned with international standards. We will give foreign investors greater market access, further cut the negative list, and improve institutions for promoting and protecting investments and for reporting information. With regard to IP protection, we will cultivate an environment that appreciates the value of knowledge, improve the legal framework, step up law enforcement, and enhance protection through both civil and criminal justice systems.
Fourth, China will continue to enhance multilateral and bilateral cooperation. China remains committed to international cooperation and multilateralism. China supports necessary reform of the WTO so as to enable it to play a bigger role in promoting openness and development and make the multilateral trade regime more authoritative and effective. Later this afternoon, China will host an Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting. We look forward to candid exchanges that will lead to joint actions to improve global economic governance. I am happy to note that yesterday, 15 countries taking part in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership concluded negotiations on the text, and I hope the agreement will be signed and enter into force at an early date. China is ready to conclude high-standard free trade agreements with more countries. We will speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement, China-Japan-ROK FTA, and China-Gulf Cooperation Council FTA. We will stay actively engaged in cooperation within the United Nations, the G20, APEC, and BRICS to advance economic globalization.
Fifth, China will continue to pursue Belt and Road cooperation. China has now signed 197 documents on Belt and Road cooperation with 137 countries and 30 international organizations. China will follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, pursue open, green and clean cooperation, and ensure high-quality Belt and Road cooperation that is high-standard, people-centered and sustainable.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Looking forward, China will pursue a new development philosophy and the strategy of innovation-driven development. We will redouble efforts to foster new growth drivers and create new growth momentum by shifting the growth model and improving the economic structure. We believe such efforts will bring high-quality development opportunities not only to China but to the whole of the global economy.
I have every confidence in the prospects of China's economic development. China's development, viewed through the lens of history, is an integral part of the lofty cause of human progress. China will reach out to other countries with open arms and offer them more opportunities in markets, investment and growth. Together, we can surely achieve development for all.
The Chinese civilization has always valued universal peace and harmony among nations. Let us join hands to build an open global economy and a global community of shared future.
* Keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second China International Import Expo.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)