BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- China will seek further opening-up and upgrade of foreign trade and investment, the hardest-hit sectors amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, to offset its economic shock, according to Zhong Shan, the country's commerce minister.
Despite the pandemic, China, instead of closing its door, will open wider to the outside world, which would translate into strong support for the two sectors, Zhong wrote in an article published on Qiushi Journal, a flagship magazine of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Disrupted global supply chain, volatility in global capital markets and a massive oil price tumble has fueled risk of a global economic crisis, weighing on both the supply and demand side of China's foreign trade and investment, which plays a significant role in ensuring supplies and creating new jobs, said the minister.
In the face of the stress, China would work to streamline clearance procedures, improve logistic service and advance free trade agreement negotiations to strengthen trade, Zhong said.
He also underscored innovation and upgrade in the foreign trade sector, pledging to nurture new business models, including cross-border e-commerce and market procurement trade, as well as expedite transformation and upgrading of service outsourcing.
The import and export value of cross-border e-commerce in the first two months surged 36.7 percent to 17.4 billion yuan (about 2.45 billion U.S. dollars), unleashing great potential amid the epidemic, he said.
To facilitate foreign investment, China will shorten the negative list on foreign investment, further open up the service sector including the financial industry, and improve China's business environment, Zhong said.
He also called for sound preparation for the China International Import Expo and China Import and Export Fair to improve the international marketing network.
Zhong said the downward pressure may only be short-lived and controllable, and China is confident in and capable of managing the COVID-19 impact and stabilizing the foreign trade and investment, which would contribute to building an open world economy and a community with a shared future for humanity.