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Li Keqiang Attends the Opening Ceremony of the 130th Session of China Import and Export Fair and the Pearl River International Trade Forum and Stresses China Will Always Expand Opening-up and Promote Free Trade to Share Opportunities with the World for Greater Development
2021-10-15 21:29

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

Li Keqiang said that the Fair has been held non-stop amid shifting circumstances for 65 years, and has scored remarkable successes. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to this session of the Fair, and reiterated China's unwavering resolve to expand opening-up and promote free trade. The Fair's history is an epitome of China's ceaseless effort to open itself and integrate into the world economy. The Fair has also witnessed how companies from across the world shared in China's development opportunities and achieved mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.

Li Keqiang pointed out that right now, we are still seeing recurrent COVID flare-ups in the world and complicated 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 show a will of solidarity, an inclusive frame of mind, a resolve for openness and sincerity in cooperation.

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

We must pursue openness and cooperation and jointly recover the economy. We need to uphold free trade, and enhance policy coordination. We need to increase the output and supply of major commodities and key spare parts, raise the supply capacity for important goods, and facilitate unimpeded international logistics, to ensure stable and smooth operation of global industrial and supply chains.

We must embrace inclusiveness and shared benefits and promote common development. We need to tap into our respective strengths and jointly enlarge the pie of the global market, invigorate all formats of global cooperation and enrich the mechanisms for global sharing, to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

Li Keqiang said that faced with a complex and stern international environment as well as multiple shocks from the pandemic and severe flooding this year, China has risen up to the challenges and difficulties, while maintaining regular COVID-19 response. Its economy has sustained a steady recovery and major economic indicators have been running within an appropriate range. China's economy has shown strong resilience and great vibrancy, and we have the ability and confidence to meet the targets and tasks set for the year. Meanwhile, China's economic recovery is not yet firmly established and is still uneven. Challenges to keeping economic operation stable are increasing. For China, development is the foundation and key to overcoming all challenges. We will ground our efforts in the reality that China is at a new development stage, apply the new development philosophy, foster a new development paradigm and promote high-quality development. To achieve these goals, we will stay focused on managing our own affairs well, keep major economic indicators within an appropriate range and sustain the steady growth of China's economy in the long run.

We will harness our industrial and market strengths to deepen economic and trade cooperation with the wider 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 boost foreign trade in an innovative way. A number of integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce will be established before the end of the year, realizing full coverage of all cities in Guangdong and other provinces. Development of new business forms such as overseas warehouses will be accelerated and overseas smart logistics platforms will be promoted. We will step up international cooperation on trade digitization and develop a group of pacesetter zones for digitization of global trade.

We will continue to foster a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework to see that China remains a fertile ground for foreign investment. We will further shorten the negative lists on the market access of foreign investment, zero out the manufacturing items on the negative list in pilot free trade zones, and keep easing access to the services sector. We will ensure high-standard implementation of the post-establishment national treatment for foreign investors. We will support foreign investors in increasing investment in such areas as medium- and high-end manufacturing and modern services and in the central and western regions. We will encourage foreign-invested firms to undertake commissioned research and development business and projects. We will continue to earnestly implement the Foreign Investment Law and its supporting regulations, resolutely combat intellectual property violations, and foster a level playing field where all businesses, both domestic and foreign-invested ones, are treated as equals.

We will take an active part in improving international economic and trade rules, and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China is open to and welcomes all regional free trade arrangements that conform to WTO principles. We will work with all relevant parties for the early entry into force and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). We will actively promote the process of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), conclude more high-standard free trade agreements and strengthen cooperation in emerging areas such as global digital and green governance.

Li Keqiang stressed that reform and opening-up is China's fundamental state policy and an underlying force driving China's future development. China's development will always be advanced amid reform and taken forward amid opening-up. We will work with countries around the world to share development opportunities and draw up a development blueprint in pursuit of greater development.

At last, Li Keqiang declared the opening of the 130th Session of China Import and Export Fair.

The participating foreign leaders appreciated China's hosting of this session of the Canton Fair both online and offline and spoke highly of the Fair's significant role in promoting international trade and investment cooperation and boosting the post-pandemic global economic recovery. They expressed strong confidence in the prospects of China's economic development and said they will encourage companies from their countries to expand cooperation with China, so as to share more opportunities of China's development, and inject new impetus into the economic recovery of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

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

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

The Canton Fair is seen as a significant barometer of China's foreign trade. This session is held in a hybrid online-offline format for the first time. About 7,800 companies participate in the physical exhibitions, and 26,000 companies and global purchasers attend the exhibitions online.

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