SCIO briefing on development of Belt and Road Initiative

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Ning Jizhe, vice director of the Office of the Leading Group for the Belt and Road Initiative, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, head of the National Bureau of Statistics

Qian Keming, vice minister of commerce

Zhang Jun, assistant minister of foreign affairs

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office of China

August 27, 2018

China News Service & 

There is a view that the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative may encounter greater resistance given the current global situation which is undergoing certain changes, especially the rising trade and investment protectionism. Mr. Qian, what measures will the Ministry of Commerce take to further promote the Belt and Road Initiative in this context?

Qian Keming: 

In the next step, we will make solid efforts to promote the Belt and Road Initiative from the following five aspects.

First, making the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) a success. It is known that the expo was planned, announced and promoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The expo is by no means an ordinary exposition. Different from the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) which is targeted at boosting the country's exports, the expo is a trade fair focusing on the importation of goods and services. In addition, the expo will be developed into an open cooperation platform for countries in the world to showcase their development achievements and carry out international trade. It will also become an international public product that helps to promote the Belt and Road Initiative and boost economic globalization.

Second, innovating trade and investment cooperation models. In this respect, we will give top priorities to cooperation on key projects and innovative areas. As for key projects, Mr. Ning said just now that we will promote the construction of some important projects along the Belt and Road routes. As for innovative areas, we know that China has been enhancing development in innovative areas such as e-commerce, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence in recent years. In boosting the development of the "Silk-Road E-commerce," we mean to take advantage of e-commerce, big data and the newest modern science and technologies in building the Belt and Road Initiative.

Third, accelerating the construction of platforms for opening up, including pilot free trade zones (FTZs), for example the China (Hainan) Pilot Free Frade Zone, as well as cross-border economic cooperation zones and overseas economic and trade cooperation zones.

Fourth, enhancing regional economic integration, at both regional and sub-regional levels. We are willing to work together with the Belt and Road countries and regions to build high-standard FTZs and develop a large market under the Belt and Road Initiative. 

Last, implementing important opening-up measures announced by President Xi, especially the implementation of an across-the-board management system based on pre-established national treatment plus a negative list. We will enhance intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, promote implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), and deepen cooperation on achieving compatibility in customs clearance procedures along the routes.

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