China to expand opening up and boost trade
China is to place further emphasis on expanding opening up and boosting trade and investment during the period of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan.
On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping stressed in his keynote speech at the opening of the third China International Import Expo that despite the the instability and uncertainty facing the world economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, "the overwhelming trend for countries to move toward openness and cooperation remains unchanged."
Xi added: ”All countries need to come together to jointly tackle risks and challenges, strengthen cooperation and communication, and embrace greater openness.”
The Ministry of Commerce, in accordance with the strategy of further opening up and the targets set in the plan, pledged to make efforts to promote foreign investment development, especially in five major aspects — expanding opening up; optimizing management mechanism for foreign investment; enhancing the construction of open platforms; protecting legal rights of overseas enterprises; and improving the business environment.
For instance, the ministry is committed to granting the pilot free trade zones greater autonomy in reform and opening up, steadily advancing the construction of Hainan free trade port, and building a new high ground for opening up.
"We will also redouble efforts to empower the state-level economic and technological development zones and give full play to their principal role in open economy," said Zong Changqing, director of foreign investment department at the ministry.
Meanwhile, as President Xi highlighted in his speech the significance of building "a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other", the ministry is attaching more importance to further opening up to the outside world.
The ministry pledged to continuously cut the negative list of foreign investment and deepen institutional opening up, including openness in rules and standards.
As the president said in his speech: “Our aim is to turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all," it said.