China's Xi demands accelerated FTA strategy


Xi Jinping on Friday called for accelerated fulfillment of the free trade area (FTA) strategy and the building of a new economic system of openness.

The remarks, published on Saturday, were made at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday.

The FTA strategy is an important part of China's new round of opening-up, Xi said. Multilateral trade systems and regional trade arrangements have always been the driving force behind economic globalization.

Global trade is experiencing the largest change since the Uruguay round of trade talks in 1994, Xi said.

As the economy is entering its "new normal", China needs even more opening-up to address problems in economic and social development, he added.

China must accelerate the FTA strategy and make FTAs play a bigger role in trade and investment, he said.

Accelerating the FTA strategy is an important way for China to actively participate in the rule-making of international economic and trade areas, he added.

We can not just be spectators and followers, but should participate and lead, make China's voice heard and inject more Chinese elements into the international rules, he said.

In recent years, China has been pushing forward opening-up, having signed numerous free trade agreements with more than 20 countries or regions.

Top-level design and planning must be improved to set up a network of FTAs, "which has a foothold in neighboring regions, and radiates across the 'Belt and Road Initiatives', to face the world," the President said.

The number of its FTAs needs to increase, but more attention must be paid to the quality of these FTAs with more emphasis on risk and risk assessment. Market-oriented reform will create a law-based business environment, and economic restructuring should move faster, according to the President.

Xi highlighted the importance of equitable, open and transparent market rules and international competitiveness of the service sector.

The President also wants to see better mechanisms and policies governing Chinese companies overseas.

Source from : Xinhua