Free trade to get boost at APEC

Xi to at­tend events as China sends pos­i­tive sig­nals on open economies

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page - By AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will send pos­i­tive sig­nals of sup­port­ing free trade and fa­cil­i­tat­ing in­vest­ment to in­ject pos­i­tive en­ergy into open economies dur­ing the APEC events to be at­tended by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping next week, se­nior of­fi­cials said on Fri­day.

Xi will travel to Da Nang, Viet­nam, for the 25th APEC Eco­nomic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing on Nov 10 and 11, For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang an­nounced on Fri­day. Xi will also make state vis­its to Viet­nam and Laos from Novem­ber 12 to 14.

It will be Xi’s first over­seas trip since be­ing re-elected last week as gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

Xi’s par­tic­i­pa­tion at the APEC events will show that China pays great at­ten­tion to eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, said Li Baodong, vice-for­eign min­is­ter.

Xi will de­liver a key speech while at­tend­ing the APEC CEO Sum­mit. He will also at­tend many other events, in­clud­ing the di­a­logue be­tween the APEC Busi­ness Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil and APEC Eco­nomic Lead­ers, and the APEC-ASEAN In­for­mal Di­a­logue. Xi will also hold bi­lat­eral talks with some lead­ers of the APEC economies, Li told a news con­fer­ence on Fri­day.

Not­ing that there re­main many un­cer­tain­ties in global eco­nomic growth, Li said the Asia-Pa­cific econ­omy is the big­gest and most dy­namic in the world, and the re­gion’s trade vol­ume ac­counts for nearly half of global trade.

China calls on the APEC economies to make joint ef­forts to main­tain open­ness, sup­port a mul­ti­lat­eral trade sys­tem and fa­cil­i­tate trade and in­vest­ment, Li said, adding that the build­ing of an Asia-Pa­cific free trade zone should be pushed for­ward.

The theme for APEC 2017 is “cre­at­ing new dy­namism, fos­ter­ing a shared fu­ture”.

Wang Shouwen, vice-min­is­ter of com­merce, said the APEC lead­ers will dis­cuss such is­sues as inclusive eco­nomic growth, re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion, in­no­va­tion of small and medium-sized en­ter­prises and food safety.

Chen Xiaodong, as­sis­tant for­eign min­is­ter, said the state vis­its to Viet­nam and Laos will be of great im­por­tance, since they mark the start of neigh­bor­ing diplo­macy with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics for a new era.

Not­ing that both Viet­nam and Laos are so­cial­ist coun­tries, Chen said China will work with them to build a com­mu­nity of shared fu­ture for neigh­bors.

In Jan­uary, Nguyen Phu Trong, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of Viet­nam, vis­ited China. In May, Viet­namese Pres­i­dent Tran Dai Quang vis­ited China and at­tended the Belt and Road Fo­rum for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion in Bei­jing.

The fre­quent high-level ex­changes be­tween China and Viet­nam show that lead­ers of both coun­tries at­tach great im­por­tance to the devel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral ties, Chen said, adding that the two coun­tries plan to sign doc­u­ments in such ar­eas as build­ing Belt and Road projects, ca­pac­ity pro­duc­tion co­op­er­a­tion and cul­tural ex­changes.

Xi’s visit to Laos will be the first visit in 11 years by a Chi­nese head of state to the neigh­bor, and he will at­tend a cer­e­mony to lay the cor­ner­stone for a China-as­sisted project, Chen said.

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