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Xi: China will steadfastly advance high-level opening-up

President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the fourth China International Import Expo and the Hongqiao International Economic Forum on Nov 4, 2021. (XINHUA)

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping said Thursday China will steadfastly advance high-level opening-up.

Xi made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the fourth China International Import Expo via video.

Pledging further efforts to shorten the negative list for foreign investment, Xi said that China will expand the opening up of the service sectors, such as telecommunications and medical care, in an orderly manner.

READ MORE: China says opening-up policy will not waver at any time

In his speech, president Xi announced that China will develop "Silk Road e-commerce" as part of the country's efforts to share market opportunities with the rest of the world

China will revise and broaden the catalog of industries where foreign investment is encouraged, channeling more foreign investment into areas including advanced manufacturing, modern services, new- and high-tech, and energy conservation and environmental protection, and directing foreign investment to the central, western and northeastern regions of China, Xi said.

China will also open more demonstration zones for creative promotion of import trade and optimize the catalogue of retail imports via cross-border e-commerce, the president said.

Xi said opening-up measures unveiled at the third China International Import Expo have been basically implemented. 

The president listed several measures China has taken to expand opening-up, including releasing a negative list for cross-border trade in services in the Hainan Free Trade Port, promoting the reform and innovation of pilot free trade zones, continuously broadening the access of foreign investment to the Chinese market and improving the business environment.

ALSO READ: Keeping up with opening-up

China and the European Union have concluded negotiations on an investment agreement, and China has completed the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, Xi added.  

A statue of Jinbao, the panda mascot of the China International Import Expo, stands in front of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), which serves as the venue of the CIIE. (XINHUA)

In his speech, Xi announced that China will develop "Silk Road e-commerce" as part of the country's efforts to share market opportunities with the rest of the world.

China's overall tariff level has dropped to 7.4 percent from 15.3 percent in 2001, lower than the 9.8 percent the country promised when entering the World Trade Organization, President Xi said

China will promote the integration of domestic and foreign trade, and accelerate the building of designated cities into international consumption centers, Xi said.

The country will also establish a modern logistics system and boost its cross-border logistics capabilities, Xi noted.  

Commitments to WTO fulfilled

Xi said China has fully fulfilled the commitments it made when entering the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Since 2001, more than 2,300 laws and regulations have been abolished by the Chinese central government, and over 190,000 by local governments, Xi said, adding that the move has injected vitality into the Chinese market and society.  

China's overall tariff level has dropped to 7.4 percent from 15.3 percent in 2001, lower than the 9.8 percent the country promised when entering the World Trade Organization, the president noted.

Equitable distribution of vaccines

In combating COVID-19, China supports the equitable distribution and smooth trading of critical medical supplies, including vaccines, around the world, Xi said.

The nation will unswervingly safeguard the common interests of all countries, he added.

In his speech, the president expressed concerns over the decline of an index on world openness and the weakening global consensus on opening-up in the past decade.

He said economic globalization is faced with headwinds amid global changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, as well as rising unilateralism and protectionism.

The president called for grasping the prevailing development trend of economic globalization, supporting all countries in further opening up, opposing unilateralism and protectionism and pushing for a brighter future for humankind.