Premier Li Keqiang meets with foreign representatives of the China Development Forum (CDF) 2017 in Beijing, capital of China, March 20, 2017.
Premier Li Keqiang stressed global efforts to solve any problems in globalization in response to a question about China’s role in globalization during a meeting with foreign representatives at the China Development Forum (CDF) 2017 in Beijing, March 20.
Foreign representatives of world leading companies, academic institutions, international organizations, and media attended the meeting and communicated with the Premier.
The future of globalization was the main topic at the meeting.
China never deliberately pursues trade surplus
Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard University and US Treasury secretary, brought up a question of trade imbalance between China and other countries and opening-up issue concerning China’s major sectors, such as the auto industry.
Economic globalization is an inevitable product of modernization, which can promote communication through trade and avoid conflicts and wars, according to the Premier.
There must be surplus and deficit in trade, but China is never deliberately after a trade surplus. We have relatively larger trade deficits against some developed countries, he said.
But it doesn’t matter, as we all think that investment and trade can gradually be developed on balance through common efforts, he added.
As for the opening-up issue, Premier Li said that more than 90 percent of middle- and high-end vehicles in China are foreign brands and stressed that China will create a favorable business environment for foreign companies in China.
Individual creativity releases huge economic vigor
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook asked about what transnational companies can do in internet service sectors, as he was interested in the Internet Plus and digital economy, which were mentioned in the government work report this year.
The Premier said that the digital economy and new business modes driven by the Internet Plus initiative are typical new driving forces, which can not only renovate traditional driving forces but also create a large number of jobs.
China created more than 13 million jobs a year on average in recent years, and the credit mainly goes to the new driving forces stimulated by mass entrepreneurship and innovation, he added.
He stressed that China is highly opened up in such sectors and welcomes foreign companies to seize the opportunities.
The Premier told Cook that he hopes Apple will keep investing in China and efforts will be made for all foreign companies to create a fair environment and bigger market.
Trade war is no good and should be avoided
Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at Financial Times, put forward a question about what would the Chinese government do if the US government adopted policies of trade protectionism.
Premier Li said that to maintain the world trade system and trade liberalization, the first thing that should be done is to avoid trade wars, which is not good for anyone.
To maintain trade liberalization, China will, on the one hand, keep opening up and continue expanding domestic demands on the other hand, providing more market opportunities for the world.
As for the question of who will lead globalization, he said that China is still a developing country, and globalization, which cannot be led by a single country, needs global efforts.
“I believe that human beings’ rationality and wisdom can tackle current problems,” he said.
Focus on SMEs is respect for individual value
Edmund S. Phelps, Nobel Prize winner in economics and Columbia professor, asked about artificial intelligence and other innovations’ challenge to employment.
Premier Li admitted there are such challenges due to innovation but said that it will also create new jobs.
China witnessed rapid development in robot technologies in recent years, but service economy developed faster with the help of smart manufacturing. For example, the bicycle-sharing mode not only drives the bicycle manufacturing industry, but also promotes related service industries, such as software development, according to the Premier.
Many products and services cannot be replaced by robots. With sustained efforts, mass entrepreneurship and innovation will generate demands and jobs and promote transformation and upgrades, he said.
In the internet era, the vitality of small and medium enterprises is unimaginable. Paying more attention to them is actually paying respect to individual values, he said.
You should put more focus on small and medium enterprises, the Premier told the foreign representatives at the meeting.