China’s deepening reform and opening up of the economy is expected to generate new opportunities for the shared development of the country and the world, China’s ambassador to the UK said
Addressing British and Chinese representatives from business and media enterprises at a convention in Bloomberg’s European headquarters, China’s UK ambassador Liu Xiaoming reaffirmed commitment to further open up its economy to foreign investors and to ease restrictions on entities doing business with China.
Underlining the pivotal role of China’s reform and opening-up policy, which was adopted 40 years ago, Liu said the policy has enabled China to embrace the rest of the world with open arms. GDP has rocketed, from $175 billion (£130 billion) in 1977 to $12 trillion in 2017, a 68-fold increase at an average annual growth rate of 9.5 percent.
China’s share of the world’s GDP has also increased, from 2 percent in 1977 to 15 percent in 2017.
Seven hundred million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, thanks to the reform policies that have now entered what the ambassador called the “deep water zone”.
China’s economic development has been achieved in an open market, and its future development requires an even greater openness of markets, so China will open even wider to the outside world, he said.
He said more open-market access and more import facilities will further benefit foreign businesses enjoying opportunities brought by the Chinese market and by the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
“We will implement opening-up measures in banking, securities, insurance and other parts of the service sector,” he said, adding that the Chinese government will also raise the limit on foreign ownership of joint-venture companies in the automotive, shipbuilding, and aircraft sectors.
The Shanghai-London Stock Connect will be launched by the end of the year, the ambassador said, reiterating China’s commitment to further open its financial industry to foreign companies and institutions.
Robust China-UK “golden era” relations have entered a new stage, Liu said. The UK remains China’s second-largest trading partner in the European Union, he said.
The fact that China is also the UK’s second-largest trading partner outside the EU has prompted the ambassador to call for the better dovetailing of both countries’ development strategies.
He urged both countries to remain committed to international trading systems and to uphold globalisation, while opposing protectionism. Beijing and London need to work together for steady and sustainable China-UK relations, he said.
Liu also suggested the UK’s industries better harness their expertise and talent in finance, banking, financial technology and other areas to tap into the “huge potential in economy and trade between China and the UK”.
Frontpage November 9, 2017