Economy: Multiple measures to bolster imports, protect patents
Consumption contributed to 78 percent of the country’s economic growth in the first three quarters of the year, and China’s 400 million middle-income consumers are demanding more imports of highquality goods and services, according to official data.
The Ministry of Commerce held its annual work conference over the weekend, with Zhong Shan, the minister, vowing to continue promoting reform and opening-up, expand domestic consumption, accelerate development of pilot free trade zones and free trade ports, and enhance bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation next year.
Song Xianmao, deputy directorgeneral of the ministry’s Foreign Trade Department, said the country’s imports are expected to exceed $2 trillion this year, compared with $1.84 trillion last year, setting a record and making a greater contribution to global trade.
“China will take multiple measures to further increase imports next year such as hosting the second China International Import Expo and increasing imports of agricultural and resource products.”
China has signed cooperation deals with more than 130 countries, regions and international organizations on jointly developing the Belt and Road, with 17 free trade agreements involving 25 countries and regions finalized. The work conference, presided over by President Xi Jinping, called for continued expansion of economic opening-up.
Bernard Dewit, chairman of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said, “It is reassuring to learn that President Xi reaffirmed in the speech that he emphasized among other subjects that China had pushed forward reform and opening-up in 2018 and maintained sustained and healthy economic development. It is reassuring to learn that China will continue in that direction in 2019.”
He added that it is important for the outside world to have a China with a more open economy and market, as well as a socially stable country.
China and the United States conducted vice-ministerial-level calls on Friday and achieved fresh progress on issues of mutual concern, including trade imbalances and strengthening of intellectual property rights protections, the Ministry of Commerce said in an online statement released on Sunday.
The calls came as China’s Central Economic Work Conference decided to “push forward SinoUS economic and trade negotiations”.
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