Opening-up set to help boost global growth

By / China Daily / Updated: 11:32,27-December-2021

A truck loads containers at Tangshan Port, North China's Hebei province, April 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Nation to further shorten negative list for foreign investment, vice-minister says

China's efforts to make more contributions to the forming of new, high-standard international economic and trade rules, while aligning with existing rules, will create more market opportunities to benefit world economic growth, according to experts and business leaders.

As China continues to expand opening-up at a higher level, Chinese enterprises should become more active in the formation of new international economic and trade rules in order to better contribute to establishing an open world economy, they said.

Their comments came after Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce, said on Saturday that China will proactively work to deepen domestic reform and fully align with the high-standard rules of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.

"The nation will make higher-level commitments to openness regarding market entry, and by providing more market entry opportunities with commercial interests, it aims to share the dividends from the opening-up of its market with members of the free trade agreements," Wang said.

Wang made the remarks in a video speech to the APEC China CEO Forum, an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of China's accession to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The CPTPP is an 11-nation, high-standard free trade agreement covering almost all aspects of trade and investment, and DEPA is a new type of trade partnership agreement on digital trade.

China officially applied to join the two economic pacts in September and November, respectively.

Analysts said the CPTPP represents one of the highest standards in trade and market access in the world, and DEPA, apart from including the CPTPP provisions on e-commerce, has covered many new areas such as artificial intelligence, fintech, digital identity, digital inclusion, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

"Maintaining a firm stance over opening-up, China has been stepping up efforts to align with high-standard international economic and trade rules, while also trying to contribute to the establishment of new international rules based on experience accumulated in its domestic practices," said Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

"Such an open-minded and multilateral approach will bring about more market opportunities for domestic and foreign enterprises to better satisfy consumers' demand at home and abroad," Zhou said.

Over the years, China has adopted many measures to expand its opening-up and actively taken part in international economic cooperation.

Such measures include shortening the negative lists for foreign investment in order to expand market access for foreign investors in various sectors, increasing experiments in pilot free trade zones to help deepen domestic reform, and signing and updating more free trade agreements to enlarge its free trade area network.

Wang said China will further reduce items on the negative lists for foreign investment this year. It will expand market entry for foreign investors and strengthen promotion and protection of investment, he added.

"China will deepen reform and expand opening-up with concrete actions, to pursue high-quality development and make more contributions to the world economy," he said.

Sun Xiao, secretary-general of the APEC China Business Council, said that Chinese enterprises need to take on a more proactive role in the formation of international economic and trade rules, to make their voices better heard on international markets as they provide good-quality products.

The Chinese business community will strengthen efforts to promote multilateralism, as well as trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, Sun said.

The Chinese business community will also advance green transformation and actively take part in global initiatives for the creation of a more sustainable and inclusive development environment, he said.

Chinese enterprises will also accelerate digital transformation and technological innovation to pursue innovation-driven development and create more development momentum, he added.



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