Xi reassures global business leaders of China’s commitment to wider opening-up at APEC CEO Dialogues
Published: Nov 19, 2020 11:52 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Dialogues via video link, in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday reassured global businesses that China will continue to open up its market and share more opportunities for common development with other countries, despite growing risks and uncertainties brought about by rising unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices.

In a keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Dialogue via video link, Xi called on the business community to contribute to promoting openness and development and advance trade and investment liberalization to ensure the Asia-Pacific takes the lead in achieving economic recovery.

"We welcome cooperation with every other region, country, or company that wants to do so," Xi said.

"I wish to reiterate that China's commitment to opening-up is strong, and that China will open its door still wider to the world," Xi said. China will continue to advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation through negotiation, high-standard free trade agreements with more countries, and actively engage in bilateral, multilateral and regional mechanisms for trade and investment cooperation.

As a response to Western voices hyping concerns that the Chinese economy is “turning inward,” Xi stressed, “We will not reverse course or run against historical trend by ‘decoupling’ or forming a small circle to keep others out. By fostering a new development paradigm, we are not pursuing a closed-door circulation, but open and mutually reinforcing domestic and international circulations.”

During the speech, Xi also stressed the importance of close interactions and economic cooperation within the Asia Pacific region. "The Asia-Pacific is our shared home. To sustain peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region meets the interests of us all," he said.

Photo taken on Nov 3, 2020 shows a view of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue of the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai.Photo:Xinhua

Xi said that he hopes companies can contribute to promoting openness and development, explore innovation-driven growth, be partners for achieving win-win cooperation and actively fulfill their social responsibilities.

Xi's speech is a signal showing China's adherence to free trade and multilateralism, and also a commitment to the world that China, the only major economy that could possibly record positive growth this year, will not shut its door, and instead will share experiences and offer fresh opportunities to the world that's been battered by pandemic, experts said.

Against the backdrop of coronavirus-related impacts and rising external uncertainties, China's role as a responsible country that is pushing forward free trade and multilateralism will not change in APEC, as well as in other global organizations, but it's very likely that the global community will place more hopes on China as US wanes, Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday.

File photo:Xinhua

Consisting of 21 economies in the region, APEC has been a major platform for promoting regional cooperation and trade facilitation, and these directions have always been advocated by China, Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Xi said the APEC Post-2020 Vision has been formulated, which sets out ambitious goals and important guidelines for future cooperation in the region.

Bai noted that the Post-2020 Vision may also be well connected to China's next five-year plan, which charts China's development path for the next few years, and could provide opportunities for world economies who are eager to promote business and trade during post-pandemic period.

"All countries and economies may find their opportunities in China's new development model such as the dual-circulation development pattern and emphasis in opening-up," Bai added.

APEC is also a good occasion for China to send a clear signal — it is hoped that the APEC member states can strengthen cooperation in such a special context, especially in anti-pandemic efforts, Zhao said.

President Xi is also scheduled to attend and deliver a speech at the leader's summit on Friday.

Global Times