Of the Two Sessions
RJiang Zengwei | CCPIT Chairman
ecent years have seen Chinese enterprises’ expanding their business overseas, having more passion and capabilities to involve into global economic governance and playing a larger role in global economic governance. As a national trade promotion institution, the CCPIT will further improve its work mechanism, to enhance China’s say over international regimes in global economic governance.
Last year the CCPIT organized B20 meeting, an important event of G20 Summit. Business and industry people from the world have been actively involved in the meeting and proposed 20 important policy recommendations and 76 measures on task forces of finance-driven growth, trade and investment. The meeting finally produced 2016 B20 Policy Recommendation Report, which was submitted to President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of B20 Summit held last September. Many policy recommendations have been adopted by G20 communiqué, and provided important reference to G20 summit. This indicated the role played by business industries in global economic governance. Meanwhile, during the preparation of B20 summit, Chinese business industries were fully engaged in the discussion and raising of policies, which added a lot of China factors into the report. For example, Chinese entrepreneurs proposed the establishment of EWTP, and the implementation of G20 smart innovation, which gained positive response from the world business industries. The international market still has many shining growth points despite weak external demands. The new competitiveness is taking shape, although traditional advantage is weakened. The industry development of emerging markets still have a large potential, which provides new support to the foreign trade development. Now the “Belt and Road” construction is fully under way. It needs mobilization of all areas of resources, the control of directions and coordination by the government and also the larger input of trade and investment promotion institutions. It shall organize and direct more social powers to engage and form a condition of “government leads, social resources promote and enterprises participates”. This year the CCPIT will organize a series of exhibitions and forums to help companies nurture self-owned brands, increase export, and create overseas marketing network. It will also promote trade facilitation, the development of new trade patterns, such as cross-border e-commerce and market purchase trade, to carry forward trade transformation and upgrading. The CCPIT will also enhance the trade dispute alarm system, accelerate the construction of official public dialogue channels and industry negotiation system. It will improve training and consultation services for companies, organize companies to prepare the defense response and safeguard the rights.
Foreign trade has increased by 20.6% in January. In February, the growth rate will be 13.35% as calculated by the US, and tariff income will also have grown. I think that the foreign trade has picked up in the beginning of the year, mainly reflected in four aspects:
The first is the increase in trade volume and the market demand. I want to emphasize that domestic demands have been increasing markedly. The second is that the high-tech products and manufactured products have seen rapid increase. This shows that our trade structure is improving. The third is the fair trade with countries along the “Belt and Road” route and nearly 70% countries have seen increase of trade. The fourth is the rise of market expectation and corporate confidence. I think that we shall be more confident when faced with difficult times. The confidence, courage and the striving spirit need to be enhanced. So the custom shall follow the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s speech and the report, and I will talk about several points as follows:
Firstly, the Custom manages the country’s door to the outside world. It needs loyal commitment and precise and efficient management to combat fraud and smuggling, especially the smuggling of “overseas waste”. It shall safeguard normal trade orders and protect people’s health and safety.
Secondly, the Custom shall use comprehensive measures. Plainly speaking, it shall reduce the time of clearance by 1/3, to facilitate the foreign trade of companies. I think this year we will achieve national clearance integration, to increase work efficiency and save time for companies and people.
Thirdly, speak standard mandarin. It is important to speak standard mandarin. We will set a single window. On the one hand, it shall match international rules and standards; on the other hand, we shall transform local dialects to standard mandarin. We will promote free declaration and the sharing of information resources. Our single window will play a more important role in clearance integration, the connection with the world and trade facilitation in key points, routes and spreading areas.
Fourthly, it is important to reduce tax and fees. We shall bear in mind the fee reduction and implement the work. Now the Custom has no administration fees, and has largely reduced the operation fees. This year we will put more efforts into the work.
China enjoy large surplus when trading with countries of the “Belt and Road” region. Such surplus was enlarging last year. The initiative for bilateral cooperation will be affected.
Some provinces and cities have attached importance to export when developing relations with countries of the “Belt and Road” region. Take China-europe Railway Express for example, the outbound delivery volume is larger than the return delivery volume. Generally speaking, China is still used to tapping markets of other countries. Sticking to such idea will impede the future cooperation. So my suggestion is that there shall be some long-term investments to help local manufacturing industries develop processing capacity, and we shall import more processed products instead of raw materials.
Talking is always easier than action. It still needs further exploration of enterprises and guidance by the government. The investment may last a long time, but it will improve trade balance, advance local industrialization, create more jobs and improve local income. This will be strategically benefiting to us. The outbound investment is key to the improvement and upgrading of industrial capabilities, the promotion of M& A and enhancement of international competitiveness. China’s economic power will perfectly match the global resources. Also the private economy shall improve protections on intellectual property rights when introducing global resources.