Shanghai symposium sheds light on world openness

Huang Yixuan
As a parallel session of the 6th Hongqiao International Economic Forum, an international symposium on world openness on Sunday sees international figures sharing their insights.
Huang Yixuan

As a parallel session of the 6th Hongqiao International Economic Forum, an international symposium on world openness was held on Sunday, at which international figures from various areas shared their insights.

The symposium invited dignitaries, heads of international organizations, internationally renowned experts and scholars to carry out in-depth discussions, and contribute to promoting global cooperation on openness and supporting the recovery of the world economy.

Zhou Xiaochuan, vice chairman and China's chief representative to the Boao Forum for Asia, shared his views on China's historical emphasis on openness, the contemporary importance of openness in a changing global landscape, and the future potential of open cooperation, particularly in emerging technological and green sectors.

Zhou reflected on the significance of openness in China's development over the years, with particular focus on the past 45 years of reform and opening-up.

He noted the pioneering role of economic special zones in driving reforms and highlighted the establishment of pilot free trade zones as critical incubators for innovative reforms. He asserted that "China's door of openness will not close, it will only open wider."

Cooperation urged

In the context of current global changes, Zhou discussed the adverse factors affecting global openness, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, inflation, and energy crises. He highlighted the shift from cost-efficiency to safety and resilience in supply chains and the growing demand for openness in emerging economies, stating that "openness thrives, while closure leads to decline."

The authority and effectiveness of multilateral trade systems also came under scrutiny, with Zhou stressing the need for genuine multilateralism.

Looking ahead, he saw immense opportunities for open cooperation in cutting-edge fields like the digital economy and green, low-carbon initiatives. The digital economy's inherent openness and growth potential were noted, as was the significance of open cooperation in achieving global sustainability goals.

Former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin stated that in these particularly challenging days when conflicts are erupting in various parts of the world, what is needed is increased cooperation, as opposed to escalating tensions.

Cooperation is the only means by which we can find common ground and resolutions to our differences and disputes, and economic and business cooperation are a must, he emphasized.

Raffarin also mentioned that France's largest companies are participating in the ongoing 6th China International Import Expo, showcasing their products and expanding their presence in the Chinese market, which are all quite necessary.

The World Openness Report 2023 was also released at the symposium.

The report covers many current hot issues, such as the status quo and prospects of global openness policies, global digital economy and evolution of opening-up rules, global cooperation in the opening up of green trade, stability and development of global industrial and supply chains and GVCs, global openness and national economic security, the United Nations 2030 agenda and Belt and Road Initiative, opening up of developing economies and the CIIE, high-level opening-up and Chinese modernization.

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