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Services negative list gives China edge

China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-14 09:14
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An array of cars are parked beside a cargo ship for export at the port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, on Sept 7. [ Photo/GENG YUHE FOR CHINA DAILY]

BEIJING-China has outlined more moves, including a negative list for cross-border trade in services, for higher-level opening-up. The nation is also seeking to strengthen global cooperation and competition to achieve stronger development.

The proposed negative list for cross-border trade in services will be rolled out by the end of this year, Xian Guoyi, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, told a media briefing on Sept 3.

"It is an important attempt to promote institutional opening-up in the field," said Xian, adding that the country aims to establish open platforms to enhance international cooperation and communication in services trade while expediting building of institutional infrastructure for better trade in service innovation.

The move came as China vowed to pursue higher-level opening-up to provide a strong impetus for establishing a new development pattern, which was stressed at the 15th meeting of the Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform on Sept 1.

Facing a world with growing anti-globalization sentiment, experts said the country needs to accelerate domestic reforms while stimulating vitality through deeper-level reforms and forming new advantages in global cooperation and competition through high-level opening-up.

"A fundamental restraint for China's opening-up push comes from domestic mechanisms," said Xu Qiyuan, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Resources in both domestic and international markets should be given full play to achieve stronger and more sustainable development."

The meeting held on Sept 1 reviewed and approved the guideline on innovative developments of foreign trade in tandem with the country's endeavors to further promote the opening-up policy.

China has been making unwavering efforts to honor its opening-up promise despite the rise of anti-globalization sentiment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in May, China issued a financial support guideline for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, followed by a master plan, released in June, on building the southern island of Hainan into a globally influential free trade port.

The country also shortened the negative list for foreign investment in the 2020 version in late June.

On top of these measures, the Sept 1 meeting stressed the need to link the construction of a new development pattern with the implementation of a strategy for coordinated regional development and the construction of pilot free trade zones.

To forge new advantages in international cooperation and competition, China will need to promote high-quality development driven by reform and opening-up, while improving weak links and leveraging strengths to meet challenges, said Guan Tao, chief economist with BOC International.

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