China’s economic development zones, as well as bonded areas and free-trade zones that were created in line with the nation’s reform and opening-up, play a significant role in helping Chinese enterprises take on global markets, the head of an association linked to the Belt and Road Initiative said at its launch on Thursday.
Yan Ansheng, chairman of the BRI Development and Free Trade Districts Association, elaborated on the association’s vision and future role with a communicative platform catering to economic development, bonded and free-trade zones, as well as free ports, in the BRI countries.
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“Hong Kong – the nation’s biggest free port -- is playing the role of a ‘super-connector’ linking China and the rest of the world at a time when our reform and opening-up enter a new phase,” said Yan, who is also chief editor of the Hong Kong Economic Information and Agency.
A summit on the “New Pattern of China’s All-round Opening-up” was held after the launch ceremony. It was attended by politicians, businessmen and academics from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the consul generals of the Philippines, Mongolia and Myanmar in Hong Kong.
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Liao Qun, chief economist and general manager of the research department at China CITIC Bank International, touched on China’s economic outlook and new development opportunities over next five years.
He predicted that economic growth would remain at medium-to-high speed -- ranging from 5 to 7 percent -- due to strong domestic demand. The biggest threat would come from continued trade tensions between China and the United States.
Liao said he expected new consumption and emerging industries and booming cities to offer future economic development opportunities for China.
“The overall risks are still within our control due to the uniqueness of our economic, political and social structure,” he said, while warning of the many problems and challenges threatening the nation’s growth, such as credit default risks, a real-estate bubble, bearish stock markets and the yuan’s depreciation.
HONG KONG NEWS