President Xi Jinping and foreign leaders enter the hall for the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday. (LI XUEREN / XINHUA)
President calls for countries' joint efforts in building Belt, Road in forum speech
President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday to take strong measures such as easing market access for foreign capital and increasing imports to promote the higher-level opening-up of the country.
While delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Xi said that the purpose of building the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.
China will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale, and it will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.
Noting that China has the world's biggest middle-income population, Xi said that China would open up its market continuously and welcome quality products from around the world.
China does not pursue a trade surplus intentionally, and it would like to import more competitive farm products, finished products and services to promote the balance of trade, Xi said.
China will promote greater openness in modern services, manufacturing and agriculture, allow foreign capital to hold the controlling share in more areas and build some new free trade pilot zones to further ease market access for foreign capital, he said.
China will speed up making relevant rules and regulations and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, Xi said, adding that the country will push forward supply-side structural reform through fair competition and international cooperation.
Xi said China's moves to boost opening-up follow from an independent choice based on the objective need of the country's reform and development.
This is helpful in promoting high-quality growth, meeting the people's needs for a better life and promoting peace, stability and development of the world, he said.
China also hopes that other countries will create a good investment environment, treat Chinese enterprises, students and scholars equally and create a friendly environment for their normal international exchange activities, Xi said.
Xi pledged to take stronger measures to promote international cooperation in protecting intellectual property, which he said is not only crucial to protecting the legal rights of companies but also to promoting high-quality growth.
China will enhance policy coordination with the world's major economic entities and jointly promote the robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the global economy, he said.
Xi stressed the importance of fulfilling bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, saying that Chinese people value a promise as much as tons of gold.
China pays close attention to building a law-based government, abolishing improper rules, subsidies and activities that undermine fair competition and treating all enterprises equally, Xi said.
The president highlighted building infrastructure of high quality, sustainability, risk resilience, reasonable pricing, inclusiveness and accessibility under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Infrastructure is a bottleneck in the development of many nations, Xi said, and building infrastructure can help countries give full play to their advantages in resources and better integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains.
Xi called on countries to uphold multilateralism, promote green development and fight corruption with zero tolerance in the process of building the Belt and Road.
China welcomes financial institutions around the world to participate in financing Belt and Road projects, Xi said, adding that multiple participants will bring common benefits.
Xi announced that China will support 5,000 people from innovative sectors in Belt and Road countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research in the next five years.
Xi called for joint efforts to facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectionism, saying that the flow of products, funds, technology and people can propel forces for economic growth.
According to Xi, more than 150 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation documents to jointly build the Belt and Road.
The BRI has opened new space for global economic growth and built a new platform for international trade and investment, Xi said.