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Nation to further expand opening-up, premier says

Forum: Attendances reflect ‘level of interest’ in market

By CAO DESHENG, LIU ZHIHUA and FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-24 23:18
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Premier Li Qiang shakes hands on Sunday with Apple CEO Tim Cook after the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum 2024 in Beijing. FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

China will take pragmatic and effective actions to promote its high-quality development, injecting greater certainty and more positive energy into global economic recovery and stability, Premier Li Qiang said on Sunday.

When delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum 2024 in Beijing, Li also highlighted the nation's commitment to expanding opening-up. He said that China, with greater openness, will create more opportunities for the world to advance win-win cooperation.

The premier's remarks came amid consistent efforts made by the Chinese government to bolster economic growth despite multiple challenges. The country has unveiled a number of policies and measures to address the difficulties that are hindering high-quality growth.

Senior Chinese officials recently held a series of meetings with foreign business executives as part of the nation's efforts to boost the confidence of foreign investors in the vast Chinese market.

Li assured the participants at the meeting that China's economy remains resilient, dynamic and full of potential, with the fundamentals sustaining the country's economic growth in the long run staying unchanged.

The positive momentum of economic recovery has continued to strengthen with new industries, business models and driving forces growing rapidly, he said.

Noting that profound changes are taking place in the international environment and the global economy is confronted with grave challenges, the premier pledged that China will take effective steps to contribute to world economic recovery with its high-quality development.

He emphasized that China will strengthen macro policy readjustment and coordination to drive economic growth.

Speaking of specific measures, Li said the nation will focus on expanding domestic demand, promoting construction of a unified national market, advancing new urbanization, and driving large-scale equipment renewal and trade-ins of consumer goods.

China will also accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system, promote industrial innovation through technological advancement, and facilitate the upgrading of traditional industries, the growth of emerging industries and the cultivation of future industries to speed up the development of new quality productive forces, he added.

The premier underlined the importance of taking prudent and comprehensive risk prevention and control measures to ensure the long-term healthy development of the Chinese economy.

He said that China will further deepen reforms in key fields, continue to improve the efficiency of government services, protect the legitimate rights and interests of all types of enterprises in accordance with the law, steadily promote institutional opening-up in terms of standards, management and rules, and continuously connect with the world with a higher level of openness.

Highlighting China's deep integration with the global economy, the premier pledged to continue fostering a world-class, market-oriented business environment that is governed by a sound legal framework.

Approximately 400 participants, including World Bank President Ajay Banga, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and domestic and international experts, as well as business leaders and government officials, attended the opening ceremony of the two-day event.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of United Kingdom-based biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, said that Li's speech underlined the Chinese government's confidence in the nation's economic growth prospects.

"We recognize China's numerous strengths in accelerating global healthcare, innovation and sustainability, and we look forward to advancing further partnering opportunities with Chinese enterprises, both to promote Chinese innovations overseas and to advance scientific research in our own laboratories," Soriot told China Daily.

Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Chartered, expressed his full confidence in China's 5 percent growth target this year, saying that the nation is "still the biggest single contributor to global growth".

He said the number of foreign CEOs attending this year's China Development Forum is roughly double that of last year or even more. "I think that reflects the level of ongoing interest in the Chinese market and in investing in China."

Denis Depoux, global managing director of market consultancy Roland Berger, said he understands China's emphasis on developing new quality productive forces is all about the transformation of its economy.

Foreign companies can play a bigger role in supporting China's economic transformation in fields such as decarbonization, automation and digitalization of industrial and supply chains, Depoux said, adding that China's efforts to develop new quality productive forces will attract more foreign companies to bring more investment and technologies to the world's second-largest economy.

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