Joint efforts are needed from all countries to promote an open economy worldwide and stimulate sluggish global growth, as unilateralism and protectionism continue to vex the world, experts said.
Keeping in mind the complex and profound changes that have taken place in the international landscape, business leaders, academicians and think-tank researchers at the two-day 85th International Forum on China Reform, which ended in Haikou, Hainan province, on Sunday, called for a multilateral approach to address the common challenges the world is facing.
The event, themed “China and the world in the context of unprecedented profound changes”, was jointly hosted by the China Institute for Reform and Development, the Bank of China and China Daily.
Chi Fulin, president of the institute, said during the forum that China’s ongoing efforts to expand high-level opening-up and to push for a new round of reforms not only matter for its own midrange and long-term development but will also deliver significant benefits for world economic growth and economic globalization.
China has achieved rapid economic growth over the past 40 years, thanks to its opening-up policy, Chi said, adding that high-quality economic growth in the future can be realized only through further opening-up.
Saying that China’s development needs the world and the world needs China, the senior expert said China’s high-level opening-up will have a positive effect on the rest of the world, leading both to become more progressive and prosperous.
Feng Zhonghua, vice-governor of Hainan province, said Hainan is stepping up to build an international business environment as part of its efforts to create a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.
A free trade port system will be basically established in Hainan by 2025, according to guidelines supporting the province’s efforts to deepen reform and opening-up that were jointly released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council in April 2018.
Liu Liange, chairman of Bank of China, said in a speech that as the major contributor to the global economic growth and an important driving force, China’s high-quality development has great relevance in bringing the world economy out of the doldrums.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Zhou Shuchun, China Daily’s publisher and editor-in-chief, underlined the importance of opposing protectionism and upholding multilateralism to build an open world economy, calling China a crucial force of opening-up in a changing world.
Zhou also highlighted the need to build “bridges” between various civilizations to promote a better world. Noting that major-country relationships are the key to the future development of the world landscape because they represent the main strategic powers of the world, Zhou said the China-United States relationship is tied to world peace, stability and development.
A consensus appearing in the latest round of discussions between Beijing and Washington over trade frictions has eased concerns somewhat in the international community, which demonstrates that the two countries properly dealing with disagreements not only helps themselves but also benefits the whole world, Zhou added.
Mladen Ivanic, former prime minister of Republic of Srpska, said economic globalization and the multilateral trading system are being challenged amid a changing international situation. He hailed China’s important role in upholding multilateralism and said the Belt and Road Initiative is significant to the countries and regions involved.
Zhang Junkuo, vice-minister of Development Research Center of the State Council, said that although the existing global trading rules need improving, the trend of economic globalization is irresistible.
Around 500 scholars, academicians and researchers from China and abroad attended the forum.