Vice premier's opening speech for Lujiazui Forum 2020

Leo Zhang
In a written speech issued for the forum, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He outlines major goals for the country's economy and financial system.
Leo Zhang

The two-day Lujiazui Forum 2020 opened on Thursday in Shanghai under the theme of “Shanghai International Financial Center 2020: New Starting Point, New Mission, New Vision.”

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He sent a written speech. Here is the full text:

Dear Party Secretary Li Qiang, Acting Mayor Gong Zheng, Chairman Huiman, distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen and friends,

I am very glad to be invited by the city of Shanghai to speak a few words at the 12th Lujiazui Forum. First of all, on behalf of the State Council, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the forum and welcome all guests from home and abroad. The theme of this year’s forum is “New Starting Point, New Mission, New Vision.” I hope that at this very special moment of the year, we can gather more wisdom, work out better plans for the future, and hold a unique and successful forum.

As we face the once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve always put people first and made joint efforts across the entire country. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, we’ve achieved major results from the current stage in the overall prevention and control of the epidemic and resumption of work and production. Various economic indicators have shown marginal improvement. 

In May, the value-added of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 4.4 percent year on year, of which the manufacturing industry increased by 5.2 percent. Total fixed-asset investment increased by 5.87 percent month on month. Some consumer and retail indicators also showed positive changes. Both the automobile market and property market are picking up. Although we still face great pressure from an economic downturn, the situation is gradually turning better. A new dual-cycle pattern, which is dominated by the domestic economic cycle and facilitated by the cycle between China and overseas countries, is taking shape.

The once-in-a-century pandemic has made us fully aware that we must prioritize human life and health as we foster economic and social development and technology innovation. We must respect the relationship between man and nature. We must give priority to global collaboration and strive to protect the integrity and stability of the industry chain. We must pay more attention to the long-term sustainable development of the economy and society. People in the world live in a community of common destiny. The international community should and must pull together in times of trouble, and collaborate to seek development. We will continue to work hard toward this.

We are entering a crucial period when the 13th Five-Year Plan is going to be completed and the grand 14th Five-Year Plan is being formulated. The national Two Sessions have successfully concluded, and the priorities for the whole year have been identified. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the country’s financial system must strive to deliver on the following key tasks.

First, we should make the prudent monetary policy more flexible and appropriate. Based on the reality of economic development, we should strengthen counter-cyclical adjustments, keep an appropriate policy stance, maintain reasonable and sufficient liquidity, promote a virtuous cycle of finance and the real economy, and concentrate on ensuring stability on the “six fronts” and security in the “six areas.”

Second, we should serve the real economy and promote economic transformation and upgrading. We must focus on high-quality development, and deepen structural reforms on the supply side. To meet the needs of various market players, we must focus on eliminating barriers to facilitate money flows, create more innovative financial products, optimize the financial structure, and increase the proportions of loans to small and micro enterprises, credit loans and loans to the manufacturing sector.

Third, we should insist on “system-building, non-intervention and zero tolerance” to accelerate the development of capital markets. We must adhere to market-based principles and rule of law, and improve basic systems of information disclosure, issuance and delisting. We must focus on enhancing transaction convenience, market liquidity and market vitality. We must improve the system of encouraging mid- and long-term funds to pursue value investment. We must better supervise market intermediaries, and step up efforts to crack down on financial fraud and other violations. We must accelerate the implementation of a litigation mechanism targeting securities representatives to better protect the interests of investors.

Fourth, we should make risk responses ahead of the market curve. Under downward pressure on the economy and various uncertain conditions, it is essential to take preemptive measures, understand market sentiment, and strike an effective balance between ensuring growth and preventing risks. We must improve the effectiveness of the mechanisms with regard to financial supervision and financial institution governance. We are fully confident that we are able to cope with any internal and external shocks and achieve stable operation of the financial system.

Fifth, we should deepen reform and opening-up. China will unswervingly deepen reform and opening-up, accelerate the issuance and implementation of financial reform and opening-up measures, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign-funded enterprises in China. We must create the conditions and atmosphere and eliminate interference so as to jointly implement the phase-1 China-US economic and trade agreement. The central government will adhere to “one country, two systems,” support Hong Kong to play an important role as an international financial center, effectively protect the rights and interests of enterprises and investors in Hong Kong, and maintain Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.

Shanghai is an important driver and source of momentum for China’s economic growth. In the new stage of development, Shanghai’s potential in finance, technology and industry is huge. Shanghai is making great efforts to build a new highland for expanding financial opening-up. I sincerely hope that Shanghai will build on its own advantages, boldly explore and constantly innovate, seek new ways to foster the virtuous cycle and interaction between finance, technology and industry, and play a greater role in leading the future.

I sincerely wish the forum a grand success. Thank you.

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