Commentary: China bangs drum for open economy

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-18 14:21:56|Editor: Chengcheng
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by Xinhua writers Zhang Ning, Mao Pengfei

PORT MORESBY, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Against the backdrop of rising protectionism and unilateralism that threaten world economic growth, China has banged the drum for open economy, with both words and deeds.

"We should focus on openness to create more space for development," Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Saturday in his keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit.

As one of the engines driving the global economy, the APEC region is upholding free trade thanks to efforts of its members in pursuit of open economy and trade facilitation.

"China has released a new negative list on foreign investment, and will further open up finance, automobiles, aircraft, ships and other sectors," Xi said at the summit.

In the first half of 2018, Beijing completed revision of the negative list for foreign investment and further widened market access.

In order to reduce costs and improve trade efficiency, China has taken measures to largely shorten the time for customs clearance, one of the earnest efforts that demonstrate China's resolve in implementing the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Echoing Xi's views, David Morris, trade commissioner at Pacific Islands Trade and Invest, an agency under the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, said that openness and cooperation are the only way to ensure inclusive and sustainable development.

"The achievements of APEC and the WTO prove the two way benefits of free trade and more open economies, so we should all recommit to further opening up," Morris said.

In a bid to promote free trade, China has been expanding a "single-window" system that enables faster and cheaper clearance for international trade.

The one-stop system simplifies import and export procedures, helping create a more business-friendly environment at the port.

"China has demonstrated its commitment to trade liberalization and opening-up of its market," Xi said at the summit. "I am confident that the large market of China, with a population of close to 1.4 billion, will be a source of dynamic growth for the global economy."

Measures of trade facilitation will surely be a sound display of China's determination in carrying forward its reform and opening-up policy.

The world has noticed that China has been striving to reform its financial sector, further open up the services sector, and deepen the opening-up of agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors.

Given concerns over rising protectionism in the world, closer and deeper cooperation in trade and investment will inject vigor and vitality into global economy.

"Let us keep the steering wheel steady and paddle in the right direction so that the ship of the global economy will brave winds, break waves and sail to a brighter future," Xi said.

That is the call from China for the world including APEC economies to sail along the right path.

At the end of the day, "we are all indeed fellow passengers in the same boat."