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Guo Wenqing Attends the Opening Ceremony of the First CIIE

The First China International Import Expo opened at the National Convention and Exhibition Center (Shanghai) on the morning of November 5. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech entitled "Work Together for an Open Global Economy That Is Innovative and Inclusive". President Xi remarked, "History tells us that openness and cooperation are a major driving force behind dynamic international economic and trade activities. The current situation calls for openness and cooperation to foster steady global recovery. Looking ahead, openness and cooperation will remain essential for continued human progress." He called for countries to actively champion openness and cooperation in order to secure shared development. He stressed, "China will not stop its effort to pursue higher-quality opening-up! China will not stop its effort to pursue an open world economy! And China will not stop its effort to pursue a community with a shared future for mankind!" Mr. Guo Wenqing, China Minmetals’ President and Party Group Deputy Secretary and MCC Chairman, led a delegation to the event, attended the opening ceremony on behalf of China Minmetals, and shared Xi’s messages to the rest of his delegation afterwards.

The opening ceremony took place on a crisp early-November morning when the fall was settling on in Shanghai. Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a keynote speech amid warm applauses. He said, "The CIIE is the world’s first import expo held at the national level, an innovation in the history of global trade." "It demonstrates China’s consistent position of supporting the multilateral trading system and promoting free trade. It is a concrete action by China to advance an open world economy and support economic globalization."

He stressed that the world is going through a new round of major development, transformation and adjustment, that economic globalization is an irreversible trend of history, and that given the profound shifts in the international economic landscape, the vision for a better world for all calls on countries to act with greater courage and actively champion openness and cooperation in order to secure shared development.

—— It is important for all countries to open wider and expand the space for mutually beneficial cooperation. Countries need to pursue an open policy and build an open world economy; improve macroeconomic coordination and jointly promote global economic growth; establish a set of global economic and trade rules that is fair, reasonable and transparent, and make the global economy more open through greater exchanges and integration.

——It is important for all countries to pursue innovative growth and speed up the transformation of growth drivers. We need to promote scientific innovation and foster new growth drivers, share fruits of innovation. We need to seize the opportunities presented by the new round of technological and industrial revolution, foster new technologies, new industries, and new forms and models of business.

—— It is important for all countries to pursue inclusive development for the benefit of all. Countries need to advance opening-up, cooperation and win-win development, instead of seclusion, confrontation and monopoly. Countries need to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reduce the imbalances in global development, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. This way, people of all countries will be able to share in the benefits of economic globalization and global growth.

According to Xi, the last four decades of reform and opening-up in China has been an epic journey for the Chinese people. With determination and through self-reliance and hard work, we have forged ahead on the road to national development and progress. China has pursued development with its door open. Openness has become a trademark of China. China has grown by embracing the world, and the world has also benefited from China’s opening-up. China’s door will never be closed. It will only open still wider.

China will unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of opening-up. China will remain a strong advocate of openness at the global level, and will continue to act as a stable engine of global growth, a big market with enormous opportunities and an active supporter of global governance reform. To broaden its opening-up, China will step up efforts in the following aspects:

First, stimulate the potential for increased imports. China will take more proactive measures to increase people’s income and spending power, foster new growth areas of medium-high-end consumption, continue to unleash the potential of the domestic market and expand the scope for imports. China will take further steps to lower tariffs, facilitate customs clearance, reduce institutional costs in import, and step up cross-border e-commerce and other new forms and models of business. China has the sincere commitment to open the Chinese market. The CIIE, an event to be held on an annual basis, will feature good performance, good results and continued success in the years to come.

Second, continue to broaden market access. China has shortened the negative list on foreign investment to reduce investment restrictions and promote investment liberalization. China is steadily increasing the openness of the financial sector, continuing to open up the service sector, and working toward greater openness in the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors. China is accelerating opening in such areas as telecommunications, education, medical service and culture.

Third, foster a world-class business environment. China will introduce the law on foreign investment at a faster pace, and institute an open and transparent system of foreign-related laws. We will implement, across the board, the management system based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list. We provide equal treatment to all types of businesses registered in China. We protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign companies, and are resolute in meting out, in a law-binding manner, punishment for violations of the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors, particularly IPR infringements. We will enhance the credibility and efficiency of IP examination, and put in place a punitive compensation system to significantly raise the cost for offenders.

Fourth, explore new horizons of opening-up. China will support its pilot free trade zones (FTZ) to deepen reform and innovation, be quick to put forward policies and institutions for building a free trade port in Hainan in a step-by-step and phased manner, so as to speed up exploration of the development of free trade ports with distinct Chinese features.

Fifth, promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels. China believes that rules of the WTO should be upheld firmly, its necessary reforms should be supported and the multilateral trading system should be defended. China will strive for the early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement and a China-Japan-ROK free trade area. China will earnestly implement the eight major initiatives announced at this year’s Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). China supports mechanisms such as the G20, APEC, the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and BRICS in playing greater roles in building a fairer and more equitable global economic governance system. China will continue to advance the Belt and Road Initiative through international cooperation in the spirit of consultation and collaboration for shared benefits, and hope to set up for the whole world a platform for open cooperation.

Xi noted, the Chinese economy is now on the whole stable and making good progress. The fundamentals for sound and stable growth of the Chinese economy remain unchanged. The necessary production factors for high-quality development remain unchanged. And the overall momentum of long-term stability and progress remains unchanged. The favorable conditions are in place for the long-term, healthy and steady growth of the Chinese economy. For challenges arising in the course of development, we are taking active steps to solve them. I am convinced that as long as we have strategic confidence, deepen reform and opening-up across the board, intensify supply-side structural reforms and make greater efforts to solve outstanding problems, then the Chinese economy will surely make a quicker transition to high-quality development, the Chinese people will surely overcome all challenges coming our way, and China will surely embrace a brighter future of development.

To capitalize on the important role of Shanghai and other areas in China’s opening-up, the following decisions have been made: First, expand the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone to include a new section. Second, launch a science and technology innovation board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and experiment with a registration system for listed companies. Third, support integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region and make it a national strategy.

Xi stressed that the CIIE is not China’s solo show, but rather a chorus involving countries from around the world. He hoped that delegates will brainstorm ideas for reforming the global economic governance system, for jointly safeguarding free trade and the multilateral trading system, and for working together to foster an open global economy that is innovative and inclusive. Together, let us contribute to our common determined efforts to build a community with a shared future and usher in an even better tomorrow for mankind!

Following President Xi, some foreign state leaders and heads of international organizations also addressed the opening ceremony. They highly praised the great achievements of China's reform and opening-up and believed that China's economy would usher in a brighter future. They said that the CIIE has demonstrated China's sincere commitment to open wider to the outside world and promote global trade, and will bring more opportunities for global development and contribute to the development of bilateral relations. They agreed to take this opportunity to expand bilateral trade with China, advance economic globalization, and jointly build an open global economy.

The First CIIE took place from November 5 to 10. Its opening ceremony attracted an audience of over 1,500 including state heads, heads of international organizations, government officials, and business representatives from at home and abroad. During the event, China Minmetals inked cooperation agreements with KGHM Polska Miedz SA, VALE, and Codelco.