BEIJING/GUANGZHOU — President Xi Jinping told world business leaders gathering in China that the country would continue to open up and improve its business climate to create more opportunities and make greater contributions to the world.
Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, which opened in the southern China city of Guangzhou on Dec 6.
In his letter, Xi said China would develop the open economy to a higher level, promote the Belt and Road Initiative, and push for a new pattern of all-round opening up.
Looking forward, he said China would enjoy robust development momentum, the people would have a greater sense of gain and the country would be more integrated into the world.
The President said China’s economy had the foundation, condition and impetus to maintain stable growth and sound momentum.
He reiterated that China would not close its door to the world, and would only become more and more open, with its business environment becoming more open, transparent and regulated.
“China will continue to forge global partnerships, expand the common interests with other countries, further liberalize and facilitate trade and investment, and push for an economic globalization that is more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all,” Xi said.
Xi welcomed global businesses to invest in China to share the opportunities brought by the country’s reform and development.
The three-day 2017 Fortune Global Forum has chosen “Openness and Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy” as its theme, drawing 1,100 participants, mostly world business leaders, including senior executives from the world’s top firms such as Alibaba, Tencent, Ford, HSBC and JP Morgan.
It is the fifth time that a Chinese city has hosted the forum. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill addressed the opening.
Vice-Premier Wang Yang delivered a keynote speech, in which he highlighted the significance of sticking to globalization, innovation and inclusive growth.
“China’s economy is undergoing profound transformations, and the country’s future development will prioritize quality and efficiency, which will be driven by innovation and openness,” Wang said.
He attributed China’s growth to opening-up and promised to stick to this path.
“China will substantially ease market access and formulate a timetable for opening up in key areas,” Wang said, adding that the country would protect the rights and interests of foreign businesses, and create a fair market environment.
Alan Murray, editor-in-chief of Fortune magazine, said the forum comes at a time when technology is reshaping the business world in ways never seen before, and rising nationalism and growing distrust in businesses and other institutions are posing a threat to globalization.
Jing Ulrich, managing director and vice-chair of Asia Pacific at JPMorgan Chase, said it was very important for China to say it would hold on to developing an open economy, especially at a time when global protectionism is on the rise.
“Some countries turned to protectionism. By opening up, China asserts its leadership position as the world’s second largest economy and a champion of globalization,” she said, at the sidelines of the forum. “China shows the world a correct path to development.”