Celebrating achievements since joining WTO, looking to future
China will continue to expand opening up, safeguard the multilateral trading system, and spare no efforts in promoting openness and cooperation around the world, Vice President Wang Qishan has said.
He was addressing the high-level session on the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO, Mutual Benefit, Shared Future, a key event held on Friday as part of this year's Hongqiao Forum, which is an important section of the ongoing China International Import Expo.
The remarks by President Xi Jinping as he addressed the opening ceremony of the 4th CIIE not only summarized China's achievements over the past 20 years since its accession to the World Trade Organization, but also put forward the country's propositions on the maintenance of true multilateralism and unveiled its next round of plans to further expand high-level opening up, Wang said.
China will continue to create a market environment where domestic and foreign companies are treated equally, and fair competition is promoted, push forward the reform of the World Trade Organization in a constructive manner, support WTO's active role in international economic governance, work hard to deepen regional and bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and negotiate and sign more high-standard free trade agreements, the vice president said.
The country will also try its utmost to help the international community overcome the epidemic and restore the economy as soon as possible, by providing assistance in epidemic prevention materials and vaccines, according to Wang.
Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang also delivered a speech during the session as he shared more details with the audience about the impact of the milestone event on the city's development over the past two decades.
"China's entry into the WTO in 2001 has left a profound impact on Shanghai, which is well known for its open economy, as it has greatly accelerated the gathering of global resources into the city," Li said.
By the end of 2020, the city had registered an accumulated US$280 billion in actual use of foreign capital while the number of regional headquarters of multinational enterprises and foreign-invested R&D centers in Shanghai totaled around 800 and 500, respectively.
Meanwhile, more than 4,000 domestic companies have expanded their footprint overseas with business presence extended to around 190 countries and regions.
A number of distinguished guest speakers, which included WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan, and senior officials from major international organizations such as the World Bank Group and the New Development Bank, also addressed the session either via video or on site.