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Li Keqiang Attends the Opening Ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2019 and Delivers a Keynote Speech

2019-03-28

On the morning of March 28, 2019, Premier Li Keqiang attended in Boao of Hainan Province the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2019 and delivered a keynote speech titled "Jointly Tackling Challenges for Common Development". Over 2,000 representatives from political and business circles and scholars from think tanks of more than 60 countries and regions in five continents were present.

Li Keqiang expressed that the BFA, with its founding focus on Asia and a global perspective, has evolved into an influential high-level dialogue platform for Asia and beyond. At the opening of its annual conference last year, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech. The conference this year has chosen a highly relevant theme of "Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development". I hope various parties will build consensus and actively contribute to promoting peace and development in Asia and the world.

Li Keqiang said that we meet at a time of profound and complex changes in the international landscape. In the face of world economic headwinds and other common challenges, no country can stay immune. It is time to jointly seize the opportunities and rise to the challenges, and seek an inclusive path of mutually beneficial cooperation. All parties need to jointly uphold the international system with the United Nations as the core and the rules-based multilateral trading system, and work together for common development. It is time to actively advance reform in the global governance system to move it toward a fairer and more equitable direction.

Li Keqiang pointed out that Asia is an important force for world peace and stability, and a strong engine for global growth. In a complex and fast-changing world, Asian countries should, like passengers on the same boat who need to help each other, work together for common development. We must jointly uphold the overall environment of peace and development, deepen strategic mutual trust and preserve the sound momentum of peace and development in Asia. All parties concerned must jointly elevate regional integration to a higher level, work for an all-win outcome from the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as early as possible, and advance the synergy between the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and development strategies of other countries. We need to jointly break new ground in innovation-driven development, and make our business environment open, fair, transparent and predictable.

Li Keqiang stressed that opening-up is China's fundamental state policy. The Foreign Investment Law is a crucial step toward building a world-class and business-friendly environment governed by a sound legal framework. We will move quickly to formulate relevant matching regulations. The drafting will be completed by the end of this year to see that these regulations enter into force together with this law as of 1st January next year. We will further widen market access for foreign investment. The management system of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list will be implemented across the board. We will open our financial sector and modern services sectors wider. All companies registered in China, be it domestic or foreign-invested, will be treated as equals. We will strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors. We will maintain the continuity and stability of our policies for investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and continue to support their development. We will also promote trade facilitation at a faster pace. We will notably reduce the customs clearance costs this year and make the process more efficient.

Li Keqiang briefly introduced China's economic situation, and pointed out that this year, the Chinese economy has maintained a steady momentum and showed some positive changes that have improved market expectations, with the increase of uncertainties and destabilizing factors as well as externally-generated risks. We will carry on with our policies and will not resort to massive stimulus measures, or return to the old approach of expansion in scale and inefficient growth. We will make greater efforts to ensure full delivery of our policies, firmly depend on opening-up and innovation, make good on the promises of larger tax and fee cuts, energize market entities, boost internally driven growth, and counter the downward pressure, so as to keep the economic performance within a proper range, and ensure the long-term, positive and stable development of the Chinese economy.

At the opening ceremony, BFA Chairman Ban Ki-moon delivered a welcoming speech. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus of Sao Tome and Principe and representatives from the business circle successively delivered speeches.

State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Xiao Jie attended the opening ceremony.

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