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China's opening up policy continues with new methods adopted

by December 19, 2017 General

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the reform and opening up policy in China.

Ahead of this, economic experts have been discussing ways to try to achieve a newly minted goal by the CPC central committee to find new ways to advance this process in the 21st century.

China contributed over 30 percent of global economic growth, and is seen as powerhouse and anchor of the global economy. [Photo:]

China contributed over 30 percent of global economic growth, and is seen as powerhouse and anchor of the global economy. [Photo:]

As the largest exporter and the second largest importer of the world, China’s opening up policies have made the country an economic powerhouse.

But not resting on the achievements, a report to the 19th CPC National Congress has specifically called for new ways to further open up China in the years to come.

Dong Ximiao, chief of Hengfeng Bank’s Research Institute, says there are a number of ways to achieve this goal.

“There are new areas and new methods in fostering a comprehensive opening up policy. With regards of new areas, authorities are already planning to lower the threshold for foreign funds to enter the financial sector, allowing foreign institutions to invest in Chinese bonds, insurance and banks. As for new methods, the Belt and Road initiative is a also good example,” Dong said.

One of the keys to opening up in recent years has been the expansion of free trade zones.

Aerial shot of Shanghai Free Trade Zone [Photo: Xinhua]

Aerial shot of Shanghai Free Trade Zone [Photo: Xinhua]

There are now 11 free trade zones in different parts of China, including coastal centers such as Shanghai and Guangdong, but also inland areas now, including Sichuan and Shaanxi.

Other plans also include the creation of free trade ports to further drive international trade.

Zhang Jianping with Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation says the free trade ports will make doing business much more convenient.

“If China’s free trade ports are set up in a pattern similar to those in Dubai and Singapore, there will be changes in port tax structures, as well as more and more people working at the ports, which are also going to have to expand to accomdate the larger inflows of products. Authorities in Shanghai have already submitted their port proposals to the central authorities. Guangdong and Zhejiang are also working on their own plans,” Zhang said.

Stats show that through the first 11 months this year, foreign direct investment into China hit 121 billion US dollars, a 9.8 percent increase year on year.

But many experts say utilizing foreign investment should be beyond just attracting money, and try to foster more trade in advanced technology, as well as the absorbsion of new management concepts and experience.

Einar Tangen is one of CRI’s leading financial analysts.

“In terms of opening up, China has its own vision. And it doesn’t necessarily mean what a lot of westerners did is opening up. So when China says that, it means opening up with parameters. China is looking for added value. It’s not like the old days when anybody can come to China; it’s very easy. Now the emphasis is not finding something to do but find people who can add value to what China is trying to build,” Tangen said.

Observers are also suggesting that advancing reform strategies also requires China to remain compeditive in various areas, particularly in areas of new technology.

Despite moves by a number of countries to turn inward recently, the Chinese government has remained a champion of global trade.