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Celebrating 70 years of multi-lateral trade and investment

Wednesday, June 1st, 2022 00:01 | By
President Xi Jinping addresses the conference marking the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade's 70th anniversary and the Global Trade and Investment Promotion Summit via video link, on May 18, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China, the second largest economy in the world, recently hosted the 70th anniversary of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The country also hosted the Global Trade and Investment Promotion Summit. These two events have been instrumental in China's reform, opening-up and modernisation efforts. President Xi Jinping hosted the summit which was held virtually and delivered the keynote address as espoused below.

Founded in 1952 as a China-based institution with a global outlook, the CCPIT has been playing an important role in strengthening the bond of interest between Chinese and foreign businesses, promoting international economic and trade exchanges, and facilitating state-to-state relations.

In keeping with its vision of serving Chinese and foreign businesses, the Council has worked to promote trade and investment and advance China's institutional opening-up. It has explored innovations in areas such as international economic and trade arbitration, intellectual property rights services, and commercial mediation.

The CCPIT has maintained close ties with business communities across countries, provided platforms and opportunities for trade and economic cooperation between China and the rest of the world, and contributed to an economic globalisation that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. The 70-year journey of the CCPIT has been an epitome of China's ever-expanding opening-up endeavour, and an important witness of how businesses from different countries could share in development opportunities and benefit from win-win cooperation.

President Xi expressed his desire that the Council will continue to break new ground with its tradition of excellence, strengthen its service network for businesses, expand its international circle of friends, and score still greater achievements in contributing to high-quality development and a new development paradigm in China and to an open world economy.

“Our world is facing a pandemic and drastic changes both unseen in a century. Economic globalisation is experiencing headwinds, and the world is entering a new period of volatility and transformation,” noted Xi.

He noted that more than ever before, the global business community yearns for peace and development, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation. For this to happen, Xi made a few proposals in four key areas.

70 years on, CCPIT bonding Chinese and foreign businesses. PHOTO/Courtesy

First is the need to defeat COVID-19. The pandemic has made a resurgence with a faster transmission rate, posing a serious threat to people’s lives and the world economy as well. Tackling the unfolding situation requires international cooperation on vaccine research and development and distribution and bolstering global public health governance in order to build a global community of health for all.

Second is reinvigorating trade and investment. We need to balance pandemic response and economic development, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, and get the global economy out of the woods as early as possible. China has put forward a Global Development Initiative, which calls for concerted efforts to advance the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

There is also need to help the global economy upgrade its growth drivers, shift its growth model and adjust its structure so as to steer it onto a track of long-term, healthy and stable growth. This entails supporting the World Trade Organisation-centered multilateral trading regime, ensuring security and stability of the global industrial and supply chains, and making the "pie" of cooperation bigger to allow development gains to better trickle down to people of all countries.

Third, we should unleash the power of innovation in driving development. This includes tapping into the potential of innovation in spurring growth, jointly step up intellectual property protection, make rules on the basis of extensive participation and consensus building, and foster an open, fair, equitable and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological development.

Further, countries need to intensify exchanges and cooperation on innovation, facilitate integration of science and technology with economic growth, increase the sharing of innovation results, and remove all barriers that hamper the flow of knowledge, technology, talent and other factors of innovation.

Fourth, we need to improve on global governance. In today's world, the future of all countries is closely linked. Seeking exclusive blocs will only lead the world to division and confrontation. We should uphold genuine multilateralism, embrace a global governance vision featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and mobilise resources from across the world to meet global challenges and advance global development.

Dialogue should be used over confrontation, tear down walls rather than erect them, pursue integration instead of decoupling, opt for inclusiveness not exclusion, and guide reforms in the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice.

Xi promised that China's resolve to open up at a high standard will not change, and that the door will open even wider. The country will continue to foster an enabling business environment based on market principles, and governed by international law and standards.

“We will pursue high-standard implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and offer more market, investment and growth opportunities to the global business community,” Xi said.

Ultimately, to survive the world should join hands to uphold peace, development, cooperation and win-win partnership. To ensure resilience in the future, the international community should work together to solve the myriad problems facing the global economy.

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