SCIO press conference on advancing commerce development for moderate prosperity in all respects

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Wang Wentao, minister of commerce

Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative

Qian Keming, vice minister of commerce


Chen Wenjun, head of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


Aug. 23, 2021

Chen Wenjun:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning! Welcome to this press conference from the State Council Information Office (SCIO). The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has played an active part in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Today, we are delighted to be joined by Mr. Wang Wentao, minister of commerce; Mr. Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative; and Mr. Qian Keming, vice minister of commerce. They will share relevant information and answer your questions. First, let's give the floor to Mr. Wang Wentao.

Wang Wentao:

Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good morning! I am very glad to be attending this SCIO press conference today. First of all, I would like to extend my appreciation to you for your long-term attention to and support for China's commerce work.

At the ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), General Secretary Xi Jinping announced that we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This historic achievement made by the Chinese people under the CPC's leadership is a key milestone in our socialist modernization drive.

The commerce work connects China with the world, links urban and rural markets, and concerns each and every household. It has also played an important role in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China's commerce work has made historic achievements and undergone significant reforms. China has further consolidated its position as a major economy and trading nation, and is accelerating its move toward becoming a quality economy and trader. While being the world's second largest consumer market and largest trading nation, China also leads the world in paid-in foreign investment and outbound investment with growing global economic governance capacities, which in turn promote economic prosperity, social development and the people's well-being. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the commerce system bears in mind the country's most fundamental interests and carries out the "four commitments."

Next, I would like to share with you some information about our commerce work.

First, we are committed to expanding domestic demand as a strategic priority to foster a strong domestic market. China enjoys the advantage of a unique and super-sized market with a population of 1.4 billion people and a 400-million strong middle-income group. Domestic demand is a fundamental driver of China's economic growth and its expansion is essential to meeting people's aspirations for a better life. We have driven innovation in circulation by creating 15-minute community service circles for the convenience of residents, upgrading pedestrian streets, transforming the retail sector, promoting the innovative development of commodity markets, improving cold-chain logistics facilities for agricultural products, enhancing the urban and rural logistics distribution system, and advancing the standardization of commercial circulation to make it smoother and more convenient. We have upgraded consumption by boosting the consumption of goods such as cars and home appliances, and services such as catering and housekeeping. We have recently announced five leading cities for developing into international consumption centers. Meanwhile, we have strengthened commercial systems in counties and boosted rural consumption. We have worked to ensure emergency supplies. In response to unexpected situations, such as the recent floods and sporadic coronavirus cases, we enhanced the joint supply security mechanism to ensure market supplies. In 2020, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 39.2 trillion yuan. Consumption has been the strongest engine driving economic growth for many years.

Second, we are committed to expanding high-level opening-up to promote high-quality development. Opening-up is the only way for China to achieve national prosperity. Driven by greater opening-up, reform and development holds the key to China's continual development achievements. High-quality development requires a high-level of opening-up. We continue expanding the scope of opening-up and further broadening market access. The negative list for foreign investment has been shortened from 93 to 33 items. We have also raised foreign equity caps in areas including the automotive, finance and securities sectors. We have launched comprehensive pilot demonstration programs for wider opening-up in the services sector. We have actively built new highlands and platforms for opening-up, pushed for the establishment of 21 pilot free trade zones and the high-quality development of the Hainan Free Trade Port while promoting the innovative upgrading of national economic development zones. We ensured the success of major expos such as the China International Import Expo, Canton Fair, China International Fair for Trade in Services, and China International Consumer Products Expo. We have accelerated institutional opening-up and improved systems and mechanisms commensurate with new business types and models such as cross-border e-commerce. We have promulgated the Foreign Investment Law and regulations for its implementation, implemented a pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list management system nationwide. We aim to align with international rules and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

Third, we are committed to serving the people through commerce and contributing to the victory in eradicating poverty. Winning the fight against poverty is the most daunting and complex task for achieving moderate prosperity in all respects. We have been upholding a people-centered development philosophy in the commerce work. On one hand, we have leveraged the strengths of commerce and introduced measures in five commerce-related areas of e-commerce, housekeeping services, overseas labor services, industrial growth and border trade. On the other, we have actively cooperated with other countries and international organizations to channel more development aid to impoverished regions in central and western China to support local industrial development.

Fourth, we are committed to pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation and common development under the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. We have pressed ahead with the Belt and Road cooperation by intensifying trade and investment cooperation with partner countries and forging closer business and cultural exchanges, so that all countries can enjoy new development opportunities and broader markets, and share in the dividends of China's reform and development. Through our well-implemented cooperation and foreign aid projects, we have provided assistance within our ability to developing countries, notably the least developed countries, as part of our efforts to implement the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. We have played an active part in international economic governance, put forward China's proposals and contributed Chinese wisdom to multilateral meetings such as the G20, APEC and BRICS. We firmly uphold the multilateral trading system with the WTO as the core and are striving to build an international network of high-standard free trade zones.

Looking ahead, we will march forward on the new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country. The positioning of the commerce work can be summarized in three important aspects, that is, commerce work, as an important part of the domestic circulation and an important link between domestic and international circulations, plays an important role in building a new development paradigm. Commerce work is an important part of the domestic circulation as it includes domestic trade. The position as an important link between domestic and international circulations involves foreign trade, foreign investment and domestic trade. Our work can play an important role in building a new development paradigm. Ahead of us are heavy responsibilities and a noble mission. We will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, ground our work in the new stage of development, and fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy. With our focus on the positioning in the above three important aspects, we have introduced a portfolio of "5+5" measures for this year's work. Specifically, for smoother domestic circulation, we will take five measures of elevating traditional consumption, fostering new types of consumption, upgrading consumption platforms, optimizing distribution networks, and developing stronger distributors. To promote international and domestic circulations, we will also make efforts in five aspects of keeping the fundamentals of foreign trade and foreign investment stable, deepening Belt and Road economic and trade cooperation, promoting the integration of domestic and foreign trade, developing high-standard opening-up platforms, and strengthening multilateral and bilateral trade and economic cooperation. To sum up, the three important aspects will be implemented through the five measures in domestic circulation and another five in international and domestic circulations, which together constitute our fundamental tasks this year.

Next, my colleagues and I will answer your questions. Thank you.

Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, Mr. Wang. The floor is now open for questions. Please identify your news outlet before asking your questions.

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