Free Trade Zones

Li Keqiang Attends Opening Ceremony of 130th Session of China Import and Export Fair and Pearl River International Trade Forum, Stresses China Will Always Expand Openness and Promote Free Trade in order to share opportunities with the world for greater development


On the afternoon of October 14, 2021, Premier Li Keqiang attended the opening ceremony of the 130th session of the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) and the Pearl River International Trade and delivered a keynote address in Guangzhou. Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi and Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Rebeca Grynspan delivered speeches via video link. More than 100 representatives of foreign governments and international organizations and heads of multinational companies attended the event online.

Li Keqiang said the Fair has been held continuously under changing circumstances for 65 years and has achieved remarkable success. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to this session of the Fair and reiterated China’s steadfast determination to expand openness and promote free trade. The story of the Fair is an example of China’s relentless efforts to open up and integrate into the global economy. The fair also witnessed how companies around the world shared China’s development opportunities and achieved mutual benefits and win-win results.

Li Keqiang pointed out that at this time, we are still seeing recurring outbreaks of COVID around the world and complex and profound changes in the international environment. Countries around the world live in the same global village, and our safety and security are closely interconnected. In the face of difficulties and challenges, we must demonstrate a will for solidarity, an inclusive mindset, a will for openness and sincerity in cooperation.

We must put life first and together overcome the pandemic. We must act in the spirit of science, follow its laws and step up international cooperation on vaccines and drugs to defeat the coronavirus, a common enemy of humanity.

We must seek openness and cooperation and jointly revive the economy. We must defend free trade and improve policy coordination. We must increase the production and supply of major commodities and key spare parts, increase the supply capacity for important products and facilitate unhindered international logistics, to ensure stable and smooth operation of chains industrial and global supply chain.

We must embrace inclusion and shared benefits and promote common development. We must draw on our respective strengths and jointly expand the global market cake, energize all formats of global cooperation and enrich global sharing mechanisms, to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

Li Keqiang said that in the face of a complex and severe international environment as well as the multiple shocks of the pandemic and severe flooding this year, China has risen to the challenges and difficulties, while maintaining a steady response to COVID-19. Its economy has experienced a steady recovery and the main economic indicators are in an appropriate range. The Chinese economy has shown great resilience and dynamism, and we have the capacity and confidence to achieve the goals and tasks set for the year. Meanwhile, China’s economic recovery is not yet firmly established and remains uneven. The challenges of maintaining the stability of economic operations are increasing. For China, development is the foundation and the key to overcoming all challenges. We will base our efforts on the reality that China is at a new stage of development, apply the new development philosophy, promote a new development paradigm, and promote high-quality development. To achieve these goals, we will remain focused on running our own business well, keeping key economic indicators within an appropriate range, and maintaining the steady growth of the Chinese economy in the long term.

We will use our industrial and commercial strengths to deepen economic and commercial cooperation with the rest of the world. We will keep our foreign trade policies consistent and stable, and continue to import more quality products and services. We will work faster to stimulate foreign trade in innovative ways. A number of integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce will be established before the end of the year, allowing full coverage of all cities in Guangdong and other provinces. The development of new business forms such as warehouses abroad will be accelerated and intelligent logistics platforms abroad will be promoted. We will intensify international cooperation on the digitization of trade and develop a group of pioneer areas for the digitization of world trade.

We will continue to foster a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a strong legal framework to ensure that China remains a fertile ground for foreign investment. We will further shorten the negative lists on market access for foreign investment, eliminate manufactures from the negative list in the pilot free trade zones and continue to facilitate access to the services sector. We will ensure high-level implementation of post-establishment national treatment for foreign investors. We will support foreign investors in increasing investment in areas such as mid- and high-end manufacturing and modern services, as well as in the central and western regions. We will encourage foreign-invested enterprises to undertake commissioned research and development activities and projects. We will continue to implement the Foreign Investment Law and its implementing regulations, resolutely fight intellectual property violations, and promote a level playing field where all businesses, domestic and foreign, are treated on the safe side. an equal footing.

We will actively participate in improving international economic and trade rules and advance the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment. China is open to and welcomes all regional free trade agreements consistent with WTO principles. We will work with all parties concerned for the early entry into force and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). We will actively promote the process of accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), conclude more demanding free trade agreements and strengthen cooperation in emerging areas such as digital and global green governance.

Li Keqiang stressed that reform and opening-up is China’s fundamental state policy and an underlying force in China’s future development. China’s development will always be advanced within the framework of reform and continued within the framework of opening up. We will work with countries around the world to share development opportunities and draw up a development plan in pursuit of greater development.

Finally, Li Keqiang declared the opening of the 130th session of the China Import and Export Fair.

The participating foreign leaders appreciated China’s hosting of this Canton Fair session both online and offline, and highly appreciated the Fair’s important role in promoting international trade and cooperation in the field. investment and in reviving the post-pandemic global economic recovery. They expressed strong confidence in China’s economic development prospects, and said that they will encourage enterprises in their countries to expand cooperation with China, so as to share more of China’s development opportunities and give a new impetus for the economic recovery of the Asia-Pacific region. and the world.

Li Keqiang visited the Canton Fair History Exhibition Hall before the opening ceremony.

Hu Chunhua presided over the opening ceremony. Li Xi, Xiao Jie and others attended the above activities.

Canton Fair is considered an important barometer of China’s foreign trade. This session is taking place for the first time in a hybrid online and offline format. About 7,800 companies attend the physical exhibitions, and 26,000 global companies and buyers attend the online exhibitions.