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Li Keqiang Attends the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019 and Delivers a Special Speech

2019-07-02

On the morning of July 2, 2019, Premier Li Keqiang attended the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019 in Dalian and delivered a special speech.

Li Keqiang expressed that the Annual Meeting of the New Champions has been held in China for 13 years. When it was launched 13 years ago, the new round of industrial revolution was just on the horizon, globalization was picking up pace, and new forms of business, new technologies and new business models were burgeoning. The focus on "New Champions" for the Summer Davos back then still remains meaningful today. Many growth enterprises, which were mere seedlings a dozen or so years ago, have grown into "towering trees". We would like to see that all types of market players, large companies and growth enterprises alike, compete on a level playing field and achieve common development.

Li Keqiang noted that in the current international context, the focus of this year's Annual Meeting on globalization issues is highly relevant. In his remarks at the G20 Osaka Summit held last week, President Xi Jinping further elaborated on China's position and propositions on economic globalization and reaffirmed China's readiness to work with the international community in steering economic globalization in the right direction.

Li Keqiang pointed out that economic globalization is a natural requirement and outcome of social productivity growth and scientific and technological progress, and it has delivered benefits to all countries across the world. The latest round of industrial revolution, born in the age of economic globalization, has closely knitted together global industrial, innovation and value chains and vigorously enhanced inclusive growth. It is crucial that countries remain committed to the general direction of economic globalization, and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. At the same time, we need to improve institutional arrangements to promote equal rights, equal opportunities, and fair rules for all so as to achieve mutually beneficial, balanced and inclusive development. In the face of the downward trends in the world economy, countries need to renew the spirit of partnership, maintain equal consultations, seek common ground while shelving or managing our differences, and forge synergies. The authority and efficacy of the rules-based, WTO-centered multilateral trading system should be respected and safeguarded.

Li Keqiang said that in the past 40-plus years of reform and opening-up, China has actively integrated itself into the international division of labor and the global industrial, innovation and value chains and fully honored its commitments. Going forward, China will remain firmly committed to all-round opening-up and building an open economy of a higher standard. We will advance the opening-up of the manufacturing sector, further open up the financial and other modern services sectors, take forward the reform of the exchange rate mechanism and the convertibility of the RMB under the capital account in a steady manner, lower overall tariffs voluntarily, further improve laws and regulations concerning opening-up, and strengthen IPR protection. Efforts in all the above areas will make China even more open, transparent and predictable for foreign investment and improve the overall investment environment in this country.

Li Keqiang introduced the performance of the Chinese economy. He pointed out that as we head into the second half of this year, the Chinese economy has registered steady growth and has been operating within a proper range. The economic fundamentals remained stable with a positive momentum. Major economic indicators match our expectations. That being said, the Chinese economy does face some new downward pressure. Yet, we have long seen challenges coming and have been making full preparations. With its huge market, ample human resources, full-fledged industrial system and dynamic new growth drivers, the Chinese economy enjoys resilience, potential and flexibility, sufficient to sustain its sound development in the long term.

Li Keqiang stressed that in the coming months and years, we will unswervingly focus on development as China's top priority. To this end, we must implement well the macro policy measures we have introduced. This does not mean that we will resort to massive stimulus measures, or return to the old approach of expansion in scale and inefficient growth. We will continue to deepen reforms to foster a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by law and further invigorate all market entities. China will slash taxes and fees to reduce the burden and pressure on market entities. At the same time, we will streamline administration, delegate power, and improve compliance oversight. We will further ease market access and create a market environment where companies under all types of ownership and from both home and abroad are treated as equals and compete on a level playing field. We will encourage financial institutions to provide more loans to small and micro businesses, and support big enterprises in working with medium, small and micro companies in an integrated way to better leverage their comparative strengths. We will foster a more enabling environment for the development of private businesses. We will fully implement fiscal support policies such as general-benefit tax and fee cuts. We will fully implement the strategy of innovation-driven development and cultivate and strengthen new drivers of growth. A prudent yet accommodating regulatory approach will remain in place to sustain the healthy growth of emerging industries. We will take forward the nationwide business start-up and innovation initiative and make our economy more innovative and competitive. We will work to foster a healthy cycle of economic growth and higher living standards for the people, and target the most acute bottlenecks affecting the daily lives of our people to make people's lives better and better share the fruits of reform and development among our people.

Guests at the event warmly applauded Li Keqiang's speech several times. After the speech, Li Keqiang also took questions on China's macro economy and other aspects.

Political heavyweights including Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, and Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze of Georgia as well as more than 1,900 people from more than 100 countries and regions and all sectors of society attended the meeting.

Xiao Jie and He Lifeng were present at the meeting.

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