Xi Calls for Open World Economy

CIIE 2019
CIIE 2019

Published Nov 5, 2019 7:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

China's President Xi Jinping gave an address during the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Tuesday, calling for an open world economy.

“Distances between countries are getting shorter, and interactions among countries are growing, hence the probability of differences and frictions,” he said. “We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism. We need to continually bring down trade barriers, optimize global value and supply chains, and jointly foster market demand.”

This is the second CIIE, and it had the theme “New Era, Shared Future.”

Xi says China will continue to open up its market. China has a population of 1.4 billion, and its middle-income population is the biggest in the world. “The huge Chinese market points to a potential that is simply unlimited,” he said. “We will continue to lower tariffs and institutional transaction costs, develop demonstration zones to promote import trade by creative means, and import more high-quality goods and services from around the world.”

China will also quicken the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port and continue to implement integrated regional development strategies for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

On October 24, the World Bank released its Doing Business Report 2020, which ranked China 31st, up by15 places from last year's ranking of 46th. Last month, China issued a regulation on optimizing the business environment, and Xi says China will continue to foster an enabling business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards. “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.”

China will continue to advance its Belt and Road initiative. To date, China has signed 197 documents on Belt and Road cooperation with 137 countries and 30 international organizations. 

Xi also noted progress on China's goals set at last year's event including that the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone now has a Lingang special area, and six other new pilot free trade zones have been set up in other provinces of the country. In the Yangtze River Delta area, a plan for integrated development of the region has been introduced as a national strategy. At the national level, a Foreign Investment Law will enter into force on January 1 next year.