China's further opening-up shot in arm for multilateral trade system

Updated 2018-04-25 13:50:02 Xinhua

On the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening-up this year, China will inject more vigor into global growth by opening up further as it enters a new stage of development.

This comes at a crucial moment for globalization, with trade protectionism rising in the West.

The new policy, outlined by President Xi Jinping earlier this month at the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, the continent's top economic forum, highlights more measures for free trade and investment, including lower tariffs for automobiles and other imports.

In a following inspection tour of Hainan, a southern Chinese island province that is host to the Boao forum, Xi said it will be developed into a pilot free trade zone, gradually becoming a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.

China's annual contribution to global growth surpassed 30 percent in the past five years. The new moves are expected to generate new market demands and create new growth points.

This momentum comes with changes in both the size and structure of domestic consumption, signaled by a 15.2-percent year-on-year growth in goods imports in January and February combined.

Notably, 177,000 vehicles were imported in this period, marking a 14.3-percent increase in value.

The first China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai in November, providing a significant opportunity for more foreign goods and services. Over 1,600 enterprises from more than 120 countries and regions confirmed their participation by the end of March, indicating the worldwide interest in China's huge market.

Already the world's second largest investment destination, China anticipates more foreign capital, especially in the manufacturing sector. The progress made in listing China A shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets and world indexes is expected to open a new channel for global investors.

With more quality "Made in China" products being exported, the first two months of this year saw a year-on-year increase of 18 percent in exports. Chinese exports today range from raw materials and clothing to mobile phones and more innovative products.

Since 2015, China has become a country of net capital outflows and will continue to increase its overseas investments, as Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan has said.

The investment focus will likely be on building cooperation platforms in countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative, a grand proposal put forward by Xi in 2013 and dedicated to promoting common development and prosperity.

In addition, the world is also witnessing an expanding use of the Chinese currency as a new option in international payments and settlements, which is part of the reform of global economic governance.

By further opening up, China is expected to forge closer links with global growth and contribute more to a freer, fairer and more inclusive multilateral trade system.

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