This Sept 19, 2018 photo shows Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, delivering his speech at the opening plenum of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018, also known as Summer Davos, in Tianjin. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
TIANJIN – China will further reduce the tariff duties on some imports, making the country's overall tariffs continue to fall, and gradually remove the unreasonable charges on imports, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday.
"It is the independent decision of China to open up its economy to promote domestic industrial transformation and upgrading, and to bring more options for domestic consumers," Li said at the opening plenum of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018, also known as Summer Davos, in Tianjin.
China will make greater efforts to promote opening-up, deepen reform in all areas, further ease market access, improve transparency of policies as well as conduct fair and equitable regulation.
Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier
It is also a practical action taken by China to advance economic globalization, he said, adding: “China's economy has been growing and thriving through opening-up.”
This year, the country has drastically eased control on market access to the service industry, especially the financial industry, and relevant measures are being swiftly implemented.
China would build a business environment that treats Chinese and foreign companies equally and ensures fair competition, said Li.
"China will make greater efforts to promote opening-up, deepen reform in all areas, further ease market access, improve transparency of policies as well as conduct fair and equitable regulation.”
"We will optimize the business environment. Whether it's a Chinese or foreign company, once it gets registered in China, it should enjoy fair treatment in such fields as streamlined administration, tax and fee reduction as well as fair and equitable regulation," he said.
‘WON'T PURSUE DEVALUATION OF YUAN’
China will stick to market-oriented reform of the exchange rate formation mechanism and will not pursue competitive devaluation of its currency, said Li.
The yuan exchange rate has shown signs of fluctuations recently, raising concerns that China is devaluing the currency on purpose. "It is not true, as one-way devaluation of the yuan will bring China more drawbacks than benefits," Li said.
"China's economic fundamentals are solid, with a sound balance of international payments and sufficient foreign exchange reserves. The yuan exchange rate therefore is fully capable of remaining basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level."
NEW GROWTH DRIVERS
Premier Li said China has become a fertile land for global entrepreneurs and innovation, with new growth drivers breaking new ground for the country's economic development.
"Among all industrial sectors, high-tech and advanced manufacturing have been taking the lead, while new business models have been constantly emerging in the service industry, and the upgrading of industrial structure has been on the fast track," he said.
"China's online retail sales went up by more than 30 percent annually, and emerging consumption, such as information consumption and green consumption, has also grown rapidly. Consumption has contributed more than 60 percent to China's economic growth.”
China will implement and optimize policies that support the development of private and non-public economy and remove relevant constraints, said Li.
The Chinese government had constantly taken measures to reduce taxes and fees on small, medium-sized and micro enterprises, while reducing their financing costs and easing their financing difficulties.
"Most of these enterprises are privately-owned and have generated the most jobs for the country," he said.
Announcing that China would further cut taxes and fees to reduce the corporate burden, the premier said: "The Chinese government has made great efforts to streamline business procedures, and cut taxes and fees over the past several years.”
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers his speech at the opening plenum of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018, also known as Summer Davos, in Tianjin, Sept 19, 2018. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
FURTHER TAX CUTS
These efforts have reduced institutional transaction costs and companies' production and operation costs, optimized the business environment and improved the quality and profits of companies, he said.
"We will make greater efforts to cut taxes and fees and continue to ease the corporate burden and resolutely prevent new burdens on businesses," he said.
Pointing out that China remains a developing country and still has many weak links in infrastructure construction, Premier Li said the country would not follow the old investment-reliant path.
The government would increase supply of public goods and promote reasonable and effective investment, he said.
China aims to resist the pressure from slowing investment and maintain stable infrastructure investment, rather than resorting to a deluge of strong stimulus policies, the premier said.
STRICTER IPR PROTECTION
China would adopt a stricter protection system on intellectual property rights (IPRs), according to the premier.
Protecting IPRs meant protecting and inspiring innovation, he said. "China cannot achieve innovative development without an environment that respects knowledge and protects property rights.”
China would further strengthen law enforcement and adopt a stricter and more forceful punitive compensation system on infringement to protect innovation in all areas, he added.
MASS ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INNOVATION
In his address at the Summer Davos, Premier Li called for more efforts to advance mass entrepreneurship and innovation.
"Greater enthusiasm and creativity of Chinese workers is a must for stimulating market vitality and social creativity, realizing inclusive growth, and developing new momentum," the premier said.
China has a labor force of nearly 900 million, 170 million of which have higher education or professional skills, according to the premier.
"The country should create an environment for college and high school graduates, people studying overseas, and migrant workers returning to the countryside to participate in innovation, so as to create jobs and wealth and fulfill their value," Li said.
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