While opening its doors wider in 2018, China is injecting dynamism to high-quality economic growth and leaving another indelible mark on reform and opening-up over the last 40 years.

The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in November in Shanghai is a vivid example of the expansion of opening-up.

Themed “New Era, Shared Future”, the expo attracted worldwide attention. It is the world’s first import-themed national expo, as well as a pioneering event in the history of international trade. During the Expo, China voiced again that it will never change its determination to support free and open trade, and take the initiative to open its market to the world.

The expo showcased the confidence and responsibility of an open China. A total of 172 countries, regions and international organizations, and more than 3,600 enterprises participated in the six-day event. More than 400,000 domestic and overseas purchasers shopped at the event.

China lowered tariffs on imported cars and consumer products in July, and further slashed most-favored-nation tariffs on a total of 1,585 taxable items in November, including stones and electromechanical device. China’s overall tariff rates have been reduced to 7.5 percent following rounds of tariff cuts.

In addition, the country has elevated free trade zone construction to a higher level. In October, it rolled out a plan for establishing Hainan as a pilot free trade zone.

Different from traditional free trade zones in the mode of opening-up, the Hainan pilot free trade zone lays an emphasis on innovation of policies and systems, regulation, and management of investment and financing, taxation and finance, and exit and entry.

Free trade zones across the country have yielded fruitful results. In the first three quarters, the total imports and exports of China’s pilot free trade zones amounted to 2.4 trillion yuan, up 14.03 percent over the same period last year. The growth rate was 4.13 percentage points more than the country’s total imports and exports in the same period.

The country has accelerated the opening-up of the manufacturing and service industries. The National Development and Reform Commission clearly pledged to remove the ceiling for foreign ownership in auto joint ventures over five years.

The finance industry has been further opened up as well. Liantong (Hangzhou) Technology Services Co., Ltd. was approved to conduct clearing business., and the joint venture Credit Suisse Founder Securities Limited was approved to raise its foreign shareholding to 51 percent.

The country also steadily pushed for the opening-up of the medical industry. The authorities shortened the process of the registration of imported medical devices and drugs, and allowed foreign capital to open medical institutions.

From Boao Forum for Asia 2018, Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao to the G20 Summit, China has stuck to the stance and principles of openness, win-win cooperation, and shared benefits, so as to promote inclusive global development.

The year of 2018 marks the 5th anniversary of the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). By June, China had invested a total of $28.9 billion in economic and trade zones of countries along the route, creating 244,000 local jobs.

Five years’ achievements have proven that the BRI meets the integral requirement of the reform of the global governance system, and provides a new method to enhance the reform.

The supply-side structural reform has boosted the growth of new driving forces for economic growth. The indicators of the growth of new economic drivers were 156.7 and 210.1 respectively in 2016 and 2017, up 26.9 and 34.1 percent over the previous years, according to the November data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the first three quarters, the tertiary industry accounted for 53.1 percent of national GDP, contributing 60.8 percent to economic growth. Energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 3.1 percent, and the total energy consumption increased by 3.4 percent year on year.

Wang Chuanfu, Chairman of BYD Auto Co., said that the company gets bigger and stronger thanks to the opportunity brought by reform and opening up. For the next forty years to come, it’s believed that China will impress the world again with vitality for development.

Jin Jianmin, a senior fellow at the Fujitsu Research Institute in Japan, believes that reform and opening up has proven to be a golden key to renovate Chinese society. He added that China’s reform and opening up is ongoing and will never stop.

Source: People’s Daily

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