– The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) was founded in 2001 when Asian countries sought economic integration following the financial crisis of 1998. Two decades after its creation, the world is again at a critical juncture Of the history.
– Faced with a world where anti-globalization sentiment, populism, unilateralism and protectionism are growing, China has developed its own vision of world governance.
– The past three years have seen China’s persistent efforts to translate Xi’s openness initiatives into reality, sharing China’s development opportunities with the rest of the world.
BEIJING, April 18 – In an increasingly complex world where economic globalization faces headwinds with a threat to multilateralism and free trade, where humanity is going and what is the future of ‘Asia?
Chinese President Xi Jinping answered these “fundamental questions of our time” at the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) conference in 2018, pledging to open up China further and calling for building a community with a shared future for humanity.
The past three years have seen China’s persistent efforts to translate Xi’s openness initiatives into reality, sharing China’s development opportunities with the rest of the world.
A NEW OPENING PHASE
Xi announced a series of openness measures at BFA’s annual conference in 2018, hoping that the country’s openness efforts will benefit all businesses and people in China and the rest of the world as soon as possible. world.
The measures included significantly expanding market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and taking initiatives to increase imports, among others.
“Openness is a strategic decision taken by China on the basis of its development need as well as concrete action taken by China to advance economic globalization in a way that benefits people all over the world,” he said. Xi said.
As a result, China brought into effect the landmark Foreign Investment Law on January 1, 2020. The law allows foreign-invested enterprises to access government markets through fair competition and prohibitions on the use of administrative licenses. and sanctions to force foreign investors to transfer technology.
The negative list of foreign investors has been shortened repeatedly to further facilitate market access.
Specifically, the country removed foreign ownership restrictions on the auto industry in 2018, as overseas auto giants such as BMW and Tesla reacted swiftly by expanding their presence in the Chinese market.
While accelerating the development of 21 pilot free trade zones across the country, China has released a master plan to make Hainan, the southernmost province where the BFA takes place, a free trade port globally. influential and high profile by mid-century.
This month, the country unveiled more policies to further liberalize and facilitate trade in the free trade port of Hainan, allowing some regions to relax their controls on import and export qualifications and quantities of commodities such as crude oil, refined petroleum and sugar, and cancel their licensing systems for imports such as mechanical and electrical products.
The numbers speak for themselves. As global capital flows remain volatile due to uncertainties triggered by COVID-19, foreign direct investment in mainland China, in actual use, increased 6.2% year-on-year to a record high of 999 , 98 billion yuan (about 153.16 billion US dollars) last year.
The latest data also showed that the country’s total goods imports and exports jumped 29.2 percent year-on-year to 8.47 trillion yuan in the first quarter of this year.
A SHARED FUTURE
BFA was founded in 2001 when Asian countries sought economic integration following the financial crisis of 1998. Two decades after its inception, the world again finds itself at a critical juncture in history.
Faced with a world where anti-globalization sentiment, populism, unilateralism and protectionism are growing, China has developed its own vision of global governance.
Xi called on BFA attendees in 2015 and 2018 to build “a community with a shared future for humanity,” pursuing an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and of common prosperity.
China, along with many countries, is working to put this concept into practice.
A total of 138 countries and 31 international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to achieve political, infrastructural, commercial, financial and people-to-people connectivity. along and beyond the ancient Silk Road. trade routes.
“This initiative, responding to the development needs of China, the countries along the roads and the region as a whole, will serve the common interests of the parties concerned and respond to the call of our times for regional and global cooperation. “Xi said at the annual conference. of BFA in 2015.
Meanwhile, China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which now has 103 approved members globally, has pledged to promote infrastructure building, regional connectivity and mutual development in Asia. .
As of January, the bank had invested more than US $ 22 billion in infrastructure for its members and approved 108 projects.
Between April 2020 and October 16, 2021, the bank’s Crisis Recovery Facility will provide up to $ 13 billion in financing to public and private sector entities of AIIB members facing or at risk of induced negative impacts. by a pandemic.
Xi said the BRI and the AIIB are both open initiatives. China invites all countries along the roads and in Asia, as well as friends and partners around the world, to actively participate in these efforts.
In the meantime, China has also played an active role in global environmental governance and is willing to work with others to build a green house.
Xi has repeatedly called for joint efforts by the international community to tackle climate change and other environmental challenges and protect the blue planet.
He announced during the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly that China intends to reach a peak of CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
“Intensifying efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development is about the future of humanity,” Xi said in his special speech at the World Economic Forum’s virtual event on the agenda of Davos in January.
Over the years, the BFA has witnessed how China, as the host country, has firmly supported the development of the forum and is committed to promoting dialogue and cooperation among Asian countries.
The forum, which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, not only played a unique role in pooling consensus and putting forward valuable “Boao proposals”, but also engaged countries outside of Asia to s ” tackle global problems and promote global development and prosperity.
This year’s annual conference, welcoming more than 2,600 participants from more than 60 offline countries and regions, is themed “A Changing World: Unite Your Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt-to-Sea Cooperation. road”.