Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday pledged better market access for foreign investors at the opening of the 130th session of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, in the city. from Guangzhou, in the province of Guangdong (southern China).
Premier Li said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letter to the fair demonstrates China’s steadfast determination to open its doors more widely to the outside world.
The fair will be held from October 15 to 19 in the city of Guangzhou. The five-day offline exhibition will cover an area of 400,000 square meters and approximately 60,000 booths will be set up virtually online.
The Canton Fair has been held every spring and fall since its first launch in 1957 and is considered a barometer of China’s foreign trade. Held both online and offline for the first time, China’s largest and oldest trade fair is expected to attract 26,000 domestic and overseas exhibitors.
Li emphasized cooperation and inclusion in the context of a complex international environment, adding that the Chinese economy has shown tremendous resilience and booming vitality this year and that the China is able and confident to meet its annual economic target.
He said China will accelerate the innovative development of foreign trade according to its industrial and commercial strength, and accelerate the development of new trade formats, such as building global digital trade demonstration zones.
Li pledged to keep the Chinese market as a “fertile ground” for foreign investment and to continue to reduce the list of sectors prohibited for foreign investors.
China will actively participate in improving international trade rules, Li said. The country will push the comprehensive regional economic partnership to enter into force with other members of the pact. It will also actively advance the process of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership while preparing to sign more demanding free trade agreements.
He stressed that China’s development will always be accompanied by reform and opening up. The country is ready to share development opportunities and draw the growth plan with the world to achieve greater progress, he added.
The challenges of energy supply
In his speech, Li said that the country still faces challenges in the economic functioning as there are many unstable and uncertain factors in the external environment. Affected by factors such as rising prices of major commodities and a sharp increase in logistics costs, the costs of intermediate and downstream industries and micro, small and medium enterprises continue to rise, and the country is facing new challenges in terms of energy supply.
The country is expected to balance development and reduction of carbon emissions, deepen market-based reform in the energy sector and promote green transformation, Li said at a meeting on October 9.
He stressed the need for the country to build a modern energy system on the principle of ensuring security and striving to improve the capacity of independent energy supply.
The country will continue to promote the clean use of coal, increase the proportions of clean energy in total energy consumption and improve the capacity for green development, he said.