Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a symposium with entrepreneurs in Zhejiang on Sept. 28, 2018. (Photo/gov.cn)
China's opening-up should be promoted by taking advantage of local geography and building a fair business environment that treats equally domestic and foreign enterprises of all types of ownership, Premier Li Keqiang said during his two-day visit to Zhejiang Province that ended on Friday.
The economy can grow stronger in the changing international market only when deeply integrated with the global economy, the premier said on Thursday afternoon while visiting the Zhoushan Islands.
Over the past 40 years, China has learned that reform works side by side with opening-up, which in turn leads to greater reform, Li said. That supported China's development in the past four decades and also applies for the future, he said.
The Zhoushan Islands have up to 280 kilometers of deep-water coastline, accounting for about 18 percent of China's total, including 160 km yet to be developed. Li said Zhejiang should take the lead in further opening-up of coastal areas.
On Thursday, Li visited the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Zhoushan. Local people now can complete government-required paperwork for registering businesses after one visit to governmental service centers. The premier praised the progress, saying administrative reform is meant to bring more convenience to enterprises and the public.
Li also visited the 26-square-kilometer Yushan Islands, where a 173 billion yuan ($25 billion) green petrochemical project is under construction.
In 2014, Li pushed construction of the project. It has now gained fame as the largest single-industry project in the world, and also is China's largest private-investment project. Private capital accounts for 71 percent of Zhejiang Petrochemical Co, which manages the project's investment and construction work.
The premier said the project helps stabilize the market, and more policies will be promulgated to better support private businesses and ensure stable market expectations.
In 2014, the State Council said petrochemical refining and chemical integration projects would be open to private capital, spurring the enthusiasm of private investors.
Li has been working to attract foreign capital in China's new round of opening-up.
In July, the premier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel witnessed the signing of an agreement in which the German company BASF will invest 10 billion euros ($11.6 billion) in the establishment of a solely owned industrial base for fine chemical engineering in China.
This month, Li met with Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of the US petrochemical giant ExxonMobil, who was seeking to build a solely invested $10 billion petrochemical project in Guangdong Province.