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Experts: FTZs to shield China from impact of trade war

By Cheng Yu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-08-27 19:22
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This bird's-eye view of Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, features the city at night. [Photo/VCG]

China's accelerated steps on free trade zones development will facilitate a higher-level of opening-up, which would further drive domestic economy to be more "tenacious" in face of trade conflicts, experts said.

"China's vision to promote FTZs will play a huge role in attracting foreign capital. The country's economy will be more tenacious with a stable growth on foreign capital and trade, sound infrastructure, labor force and other industrial matching abilities," said Huo Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Society for WTO Studies.

"With such tenacity, China is capable of shielding the economy from the negative impact brought by the ongoing trade conflicts," Huo said at a symposium held by University of International Business and Economics on Tuesday.

His remarks came after the nation announced on Monday the establishment of six new FTZs in Shandong, Jiangsu, Hebei, Yunnan and Heilongjiang provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which made the number of FTZs in the country reach 18 in total.

"Despite the ongoing trade frictions, foreign trade and capital remained relatively stable. Companies also started to make adjustments to suit the changing environment," he added.

In the first half of this year, China's 12 current FTZs attracted foreign investment of nearly 70 billion yuan ($10 billion), accounting for 14 percent of the total.

"The potential of the country's economy is as vast as ocean. We have every reason to believe that China has the ability to oppose against any strong wave and winds," said Hong Junjie, head of the International Economics and Trade College at UIBE.

Domestic demand has huge room for development in areas like infrastructure in second and third-tier cities, he said.

At the symposium, Zhang Jianping, director of the Center for Regional Economic Cooperation which is affiliated with the Ministry of Commerce, noted that the US behavior is not beneficial to itself, nor to companies around the world.

"We have seen that some US companies already started to stock up goods made in China. In the long term, the storage cost will in the end transfer to its own consumers and downstream manufacturers," he said.

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