China will not close its door to the world, and will only become increasingly open, with its business environment becoming more open, transparent and regulated, President Xi Jinping said.
Xi made the pledge in a message sent to convey his congratulations on the start on Wednesday of the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou, in which more than 1,100 prominent political, economic and academic figures from around the world are participating this week.
China’s economy has the foundation, conditions and impetus to maintain stable growth and sound momentum, Xi said.
China will continue to forge global partnerships, expand common interests with other countries and further liberalize and facilitate trade and investment, the president said.
Xi welcomed global businesses to invest in China to share the opportunities brought by the country’s reform and development.
The country will further comprehensively deepen its reform, spur innovation capability in all walks of life and unleash the dynamics of development, Xi said.
Also, China will develop the open economy to a higher level and promote the Belt and Road Initiative, and the country will create more opportunities and make a greater contribution to the world, he said.
Vice-Premier Wang Yang spoke at the opening ceremony of the forum, and said that China will deliberate on a timetable and a road map for expanding the opening-up in some priority areas.
The whole country will ensure that before foreign investors enter the market they will get treatment at least as favorable as that accorded to national investors, that there will be a negative list and that there will be greatly lowered thresholds for their market entry, according to Wang.
A negative list specifies areas where investment is prohibited; all other areas are presumed open.
China will further protect the legal rights and interests of foreign investors and create a business climate that offers treatment based on equal footing and fair competition, Wang said.
Leaders attending the forum also hailed Beijing’s renewed commitment to boosting trade, openness and interconnectivity.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “When it comes to trade and international cooperation, China and Canada share the belief that more openness and more collaboration is the right way forward, indeed, the only way forward.”
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said his country, like others, will benefit from the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road plans, first proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, as it “will connect our businesses more fully with China and the wider global market”.
It “further creates potential for us to develop effective solutions to the real world problems we face today”, he added.